CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.— In its first match since claiming the 2014 National Team Indoor Championship and moving to No. 1 in the nation, the Duke women’s tennis team dropped a 5-2 decision at 13th-ranked Virginia (6-2, 1-0 ACC) on Friday afternoon at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.
No. 1 Duke (8-1, 0-1 ACC) jumped out to a good start by taking the doubles point as sixth-ranked Blue Devil tandem of Beatrice Capra and Hanna Mar claimed an 8-6 win over third-ranked Julie Elbaba and Rachel Pierson on court one. Duke’s duo of Ester Goldfeld and Alyssa Smith then knocked off Stephanie Nauta and Maci Epstein, 8-7, on court two after falling down 7-6.
All the momentum Duke had heading into singles play evaporated quickly as Virginia won the first set on five of the first six courts.
The Cavaliers claimed a 6-1, 6-2 win on court five as Epstein downed senior Rachel Kahan to even the score, 1-1. Next 53rd-ranked Danielle Collins knocked off Scholl, 6-2, 6-3, on court two to give Virginia a 2-1 advantage.
Virginia went ahead, 3-1, after a 7-5, 6-4 win on court four as 107th-ranked Nauta took down Duke’s 42nd-ranked Mar. The Blue Devils started to mount a comeback led by 20th-ranked Goldfeld as she claimed a 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 win over 39th-ranked Pierson on court three.
At about the same time with Duke needing two wins to clinch the victory, Blue Devils’ 115th-ranked Marianne Jodoin came back from dropping the first set, 7-5, to win the second set, 6-4, on court six against Marie Faure. On court one, third-ranked Capra held a 5-4 lead in the second set versus fourth-ranked Elbaba, after falling in the first set, 7-5.
Elbaba would make a comeback on the first court to clinch the team victory for Virginia with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Capra. Jodoin also lost on court six, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, to give the Cavaliers a 5-2 win.
Duke will next host Syracuse on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 12:00 p.m., at Ambler Tennis Stadium.