May 9, 2009

DURHAM, N.C. - The No. 3 Duke women's tennis team defeated Virginia 4-1 on Saturday at Ambler Tennis Stadium to advance to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Championships.

"This was definitely one of our goals heading into the year," said head coach Jamie Ashworth. "It is tough to beat a team the level of Virginia three times in three weeks but we are really excited as a team to move on. We knew Virginia was going to fight us for everything and we did a good job competing hard on every point."

The Blue Devils will go to the round of 16 for the second straight year and 13th time in school history.

"We are so excited," said senior Melissa Mang. "It is great to have these two matches under our belt. It is going to be really tough from hear on out but we know we have a chance to do great things. We have so much belief in each other and it is special to have that."

Mang put the finishing touches on the victory over the Cavaliers, clinching the match with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Claire Bartlett at the No. 5 singles position. Mang improved to 32-7 overall in singles and is now 24-2 in dual matches.

"I was trying to keep my focus the whole time and not let any loose points go," said Mang. "I think I did a great job of getting out in front early in the second set. Then I got up 4-1 and just wanted to put pressure on her. When you play these tough opponents they don't give you anything so I just needed to make sure my focus was there and play my game."

No. 6 Mallory Cecil and Jessi Robinson also won in straight sets. Cecil cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win against No. 80 Emily Fraser at the No. 1 position in the order. Cecil, a freshman from Spartanburg, S.C. is now 24-3 in her first season with the Blue Devils. Robinson won the first set 6-0 and then edged Maggie Yahner 7-5 in the second set to improve to 22-16 on the year.

Mang and Amanda Granson gave Duke the doubles point with an 8-6 win at the top doubles spot. The win was the 23rd of the year for the 22nd-ranked doubles team. Ellah Nze and Reka Zsilinszka won their match at No. 3 by an 8-4 score. It gave the pair a team-leading 26th doubles win.

The Blue Devils will head to College Station, Texas for the remainder of the NCAA Championships. They will wait to see who their next opponent will be. The NCAA Championships will take place May 15-19 and will be hosted by Texas A&M.

Tennis Match Results
Virginia vs Duke University
May 9, 2009 at Ambler Tennis Stadium, Durham, N.C.

#3 Duke University 4, #27 Virginia 1

1. #22 Amanda Granson/Melissa Mang (DU) def. Amanda Rales/Maggie Yahner (UVA) 8-6
2. Claire Bartlett/Jennifer Stevens (UVA) def. #53 Jessi Robinson/Mallory Cecil (DU) 8-4
3. Ellah Nze/Reka Zsilinszka (DU) def. Emily Fraser/Lindsey Hardenbergh (UVA) 8-4

1. #6 Mallory Cecil (DU) def. #80 Emily Fraser (UVA) 6-1, 6-2
2. #37 Ellah Nze (DU) vs. #100 Jennifer Stevens (UVA) 4-6, 5-5, unfinished
3. #30 Reka Zsilinszka (DU) vs. Amanda Rales (UVA) 6-2, 5-3, unfinished
4. Lindsey Hardenbergh (UVA) def. #91 Amanda Granson (DU) 6-0, 6-2
5. #122 Melissa Mang (DU) def. Claire Bartlett (UVA) 6-3, 6-2
6. Jessi Robinson (DU) def. Maggie Yahner (UVA) 6-0, 7-5

Match Notes:
Virginia 14-10; National ranking #27
Duke University 25-3; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,1,6,5)
NCAA Tournament Second Round