DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke earned a hard-fought 5-2 victory against 11th-ranked North Carolina on Sunday in the Ambler Tennis Center. The two teams met earlier in the season, as Duke (11-1, ACC 3-1) beat then third-ranked North Carolina (11-3, ACC 3-1) in the quarterfinal round of the ITA indoors championship in February.
Duke and North Carolina proved evenly matched in doubles play as the doubles point came down to the match on court No. 3 between junior Annie Mulholland and freshman Chalena Scholl. The Duke pair took an early 4-1 lead versus North Carolina’s No. 32 ranked duo of Laura Slater and Kate Vialle before the Tar Heels battled back to tie the match 4-4. Scholl and Mulholland won three consecutive games, leading the match 7-4. After surrendering one more game, Mulholland and Scholl secured the doubles point, winning 8-5.
Junior Ester Goldfeld and freshman Alyssa Smith were the first off the courts in the No. 2 position after defeating North Carolina’s No. 5 pair of Caroline Price and Whitney Kay 8-6. Duke’s fourth-ranked pair of Beatrice Capra and Hanna Mar faced stout competition against North Carolina’s ninth-ranked team of Jamie Loeb and Hayley Carter on court No. 1. The match saw four ties before Loeb and Carter broke Duke’s serve to take the match 8-6, forcing the match on court No. 3 to decide the doubles point.
Court No. 1’s singles match pitted the top-two ranked singles players in the nation against one another, as No. 2 Capra faced No. 1 Loeb. The match lived up to its billing. Neither competitor could hold serve in the first set as Capra held only once en route to a 6-3 first-set win. After the match sat tied at 3-3, Capra broke Loeb’s serve, bringing the set to 4-3 before holding serve and breaking Loeb’s serve once more to close out the first set. With the second set tied at 3-3, Loeb won three consecutive games to take the second set 6-3. Capra fell behind 5-3 in the final set, as Loeb threatened to earn the victory. She rallied to tie the match at 5-5 before Loeb took a 6-5 lead. Capra could not tie the third set, as Loeb earned the victory on court No. 1 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Junior Rachel Kahan improved to 6-3 after cruising to a 6-2, 6-1 win versus North Carolina’s Tessa Lyons and earning Duke's first singles point. Goldfeld earned the second singles point for Duke after defeating North Carolina’s 83rd-ranked Whitney Kay 6-4, 6-4 on court No. 4.
The 44th-ranked Mar exhibited her resilient spirit on court No. 3, falling behind 5-2 to North Carolina’s 52nd-ranked Caroline Price before winning five consecutive games to take the first set, 7-5. Mar carried the momentum over, taking an early 4-0 lead in the second set. After Price held serve, bringing the match to 4-1, Mar won a game before dropping three. Mar secured the point, however as well as the Duke victory, closing the second set 6-4.
No. 92 Smith outlasted North Carolina’s Kate Vialli 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 on court No. 5. On court No. 2, Duke freshman Chalena Scholl faced a tough competitor in North Carolina’s sixth-ranked Carter. After Scholl dropped the first set 6-0, School opened the second set by winning the first game. Scholl could not keep the momentum however, surrendering six games to Carter and dropping the match, 6-0, 6-1.