Maryland ends losing streak with ACC victory against No. 11 Duke
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Senior Vroni Van Berlo won the last four games of the third and final set to defeat No. 25 Hanna Mar and lift Maryland to its first ACC victory of the season against No. 11 Duke at the Tennis Center at College Park on Friday.
The Terrapins (6-14 1-9 ACC) were able to take advantage of a shorthanded Duke (14-8, 5-5 ACC) squad. A single victory gave the Terps the doubles point, before Van Berlo and freshman Gabriela Srodowski provided the only two singles victories needed to secure the match.
"It makes the entire season worth it," head coach Daria Panova said. "It's the best way for Vroni, on her senior weekend, to close out the match against Duke. That's how you make history as a program."
In doubles, the Terrapins needed one victory to secure the point, as a result of Duke fielding just five players. The session started out slowly for the Terps when Annie Mulholland and Marianne Jodoin defeated the freshmen tandem of Olga and Nataliya Bredikhina 8-1. Van Berlo and freshman Sarah Gealer were able to close out the point for the Terps, overcoming Mar and Mary Clayton 8-5.
Before singles play began, the Terps gained another point after Duke was forced to forfeit the match at No. 6. The Blue Devils quickly closed the Terrapins' advantage, ripping off three consecutive singles wins through No. 101 Clayton, Mulholland and No. 107 Jodoin.
Srodowski's routine 6-4, 6-1 win against Nicole Lipp leveled the match and left the outcome in the hands of Van Berlo and Mar. Maryland's only senior won the first set 6-1 before Mar evened up the match with a 6-3 second-set victory.
After a tight beginning to the third set, Mar broke Van Berlo at 3-3 and then held to take a 5-3 lead. Van Berlo managed to hang tough, holding serve to stay in the match with a powerful ace down the center on game point and then breaking the 25th-ranked player in the nation to 5-5 with a huge forehand down the line.
Riding the loud cheers of her teammates, Van Berlo pulled out the next two games to take the set 7-5 and give Maryland their first victory against a ranked team in more than a year.
The win also broke the Terps' eight-match losing streak and provided the Terps just their second win against the Blue Devils since 1998.