CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Blue Devils Ester Goldfeld and Mary Clayton led third-ranked Duke as it downed No. 15 Baylor 4-1 on Friday in the first round of the ITA National Indoor Championship hosted by Virginia at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. With the win, the Blue Devils advanced to face No. 14 Northwestern in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Saturday.
In doubles action, junior Marianne Jodoin and sophomore Annie Mulholland broke serve twice to open their match against Alex Leatu and Victoria Kisialeva, before cruising to an 8-4 victory in the No. 2 position. On court one, senior Clayton and sophomore Goldfeld dropped serve twice and found themselves at a 4-1 deficit against Emma Burgic and Kiah Generette. Despite the slow start, the tandem battled back, winning seven consecutive games to claim the match 8-4 and clinch the doubles point for Duke. Sophomore Monica Turewicz and junior Hanna Mar held a 6-5 edge against Megan Horter and Jordaan Sanford when Goldfeld and Clayton clinched the point.
“I think [Mary Clayton and Ester Goldfeld] got off to a little bit of a slow start emotionally, but did a great job of coming back,” head coach Jamie Ashworth said. “They really cleaned up their game after being down 4-1 and stopped giving away free points. They played with a lot of emotion and it was really great to see.”
With the wins, the Blue Devils have now clinched the doubles point in five consecutive matches and now own a perfect 11-0 score in doubles play this season.
Clayton and Goldfeld carried the momentum from their doubles match and both jumped out to early 3-0 leads in the singles matches in the second and third positions, respectively. Goldfeld, ranked No. 40 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) polls, continued her solid play to roll, 6-1, 6-1, against Sanford, while No. 53 Clayton dispatched Horter, 6-2, 6-2, to give the Blue Devils a 3-0 lead.
On court one, 10th-ranked Mar dropped the first set, 6-1, to No. 16 Burgic, and found herself down 4-1 in the second before mounting a comeback to bring the set back to even at four. Mar provided an emotional lift to the Blue Devils by battling her way back into the match, but dropped a hard-fought match to Burgic, 6-1, 6-4.
In the sixth position, Jodoin outlasted Leatu 6-4 in the first set before breaking serve to jump out to a 3-1 lead in the second set. After withstanding a brief comeback from Leatu, Jodoin was able to win the next two games to clinch the match for Duke with a 6-4, 6-3 victory. When the match was clinched, Mulholland held a 7-5, 3-0 edge against Kisialeva and Turewciz tallied a 7-5, 3-3 lead against Generette.