Duke wins ACC Championship
Blue Devils cap perfect conference record by beating UNC
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Duke completed a perfect run through the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 4-2 win against rival North Carolina in Sunday’s tournament final.
In a title match played at the Wake Forest Tennis Center due to heavy rain at Cary Tennis Park, the Blue Devils extended a pair of conference records by claiming their 17th ACC championship and their eighth under current head coach Jamie Ashworth.
Freshman Beatrice Capra, the ACC Player and Freshman of the Year, added to her list of accolades by being named the Championship’s Most Valuable Player. Capra scored one of four Duke singles victories on Sunday, as the top-seeded Blue Devils (25-2) regrouped after dropping the doubles point.
Capra scored a 6-0, 6-4 win against Lauren McHale on the No. 1 court. The match followed Duke teammate Rachel Kahan’s 6-1, 6-1 victory against Shinann Featheston at No. 3.
With the match knotted at 2-2, Duke finally put the Tar Heels down with three-set wins at No. 4 and No. 6. Hanna Mar turned back UNC’s Caroline Price, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, and Monica Turewicz rallied for a 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-2 win over Tessa Lyons at No. 6.
Second-seeded UNC (22-6) claimed the early edge by taking the doubles point. The nationally third-ranked doubles team of Featherston and McHale topped Duke’s Mary Clayton and Ester Goldfeld 8-3 in the decisive match on the No. 1 court. The win by Featherston and McHale came after UNC’s No. 3 team of Price and Gina Suarez-Malaguti defeated Annie Mulholland and Mar by an 8-1 score at No. 3, and Duke’s No. 2 team of Capra and Kahan scored an 8-5 win over Hemm and Tessa Lyons.
The Blue Devils quickly regained the momentum when singles play began, with the straight-set wins by Kahan and Capra setting the tone. UNC’s Zoe DeBruycker’s 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5) victory over Goldfeld at No. 2 evened the match before the wins by Mar and Turewicz lifted the Blue Devils.