May 8, 2009

Courtesy of Duke Athletics

DURHAM, N.C.-- The Duke University women's tennis team rolled to a 4-0 victory over Richmond in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The third-seeded Blue Devils posted their 13th straight victory to move into the second round against ACC rival Virginia.

Duke and Virginia, which advanced on a 4-0 win over VCU, will square off on May 9 at 12 p.m., at Ambler Tennis Stadium. It will be the third times the two teams have met since April 4.

"Our goal is to play six matches and we don't want it to be like an on-off switch," head coach Jamie Ashworth said. "So whatever we brought out on the court today we wanted to make sure it was a level we would bring tomorrow and hopefully on."

Improving to 13-0 at home and 24-3 overall, Duke lost just two games in the finished doubles matches and just five in the completed singles contests to take a 4-0 victory over the Spiders.

"It's awesome [to get back on the court after three weeks]," freshman Mallory Cecil said. I think we were all ready to get back out there. It took us a little while to get adjusted again, but we were all just raring to go."

Senior Jessi Robinson and Cecil wasted little time jumping all over the doubles pair of Isabela Arana and Pamela Duran in the No. 2 spot. Cecil and Robinson jumped out in front 3-0 and never looked back, taking away an 8-0 victory in less than 30 minutes.

"We played really well," Cecil said. "We knew what we needed to do. We've been working on some stuff like both of us getting into the net and playing really synchronized. I was really happy with how we started fast and held momentum the whole way through."

Senior Melissa Mang and junior Amanda Granson clinched the point later as they broke open a tight match to win 8-2 over Ashlee Vosters and Erin Clark.

"I told them it has been a while since we played so make sure they have big targets and use the middle third of the court more until they felt comfortable," Ashworth said. "That's kind of what happened in two and three doubles. They were close in the beginning and as soon as they felt comfortable in the court they took over."

The singles action started much the same way with Duke quickly winning the first sets on the first four courts.

Cecil once again was the first off the court as she won her 13th straight match at No. 1. The Spartanburg, S.C., native dispatched Duran 6-2, 6-0 to give Duke the 2-0 lead. Granson made it a 3-0 Blue Devil lead moments later as she came away with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Kelly Tidwell.

Sophomore Reka Zsilinszka closed out the match for the ninth time this season. She breezed past Clark 6-0, 6-0 for her team-best 35th win of the year.

"We're looking at taking each match one match at a time," Cecil said. "We're not going to get ahead of ourselves. We have to take each match as if it were our last because it very well could be because anything could happen on any given day."

#3 Duke University 4, Richmond 0
May 08, 2009 at Durham, N.C. (Ambler Tennis Stadium)

Singles competition
1. #6 Mallory Cecil (DU) def. Pamela Duran (RICH) 6-2, 6-0
2. #30 Reka Zsilinszka (DU) def. Erin Clark (RICH) 6-0, 6-0
3. #91 Amanda Granson (DU) def. Kelly Tidwell (RICH) 6-1, 6-2
4. #122 Melissa Mang (DU) vs. Helen Cunningham (RICH) 6-1, 4-1, unfinished
5. Jessi Robinson (DU) vs. Joanna Matuszczyk (RICH) 6-4, unfinished
6. #53 Tara Iyer (DU) vs. Ashlee Vosters (RICH) 6-5, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. #22 Melissa Mang/Amanda Granson (DU) def. Ashlee Vosters/Erin Clark (RICH) 8-2
2. #53 Jessi Robinson/Mallory Cecil (DU) def. Isabel Arana/Pamela Duran (RICH) 8-0
3. Tara Iyer/Reka Zsilinszka (DU) vs. Helen Cunningham/Kelly Tidwell (RICH) 6-3, unfinished

Match Notes
Richmond 17-6
Duke University 24-3; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (1,3,2)