DURHAM, N.C. - The fifth-ranked Duke women's tennis team picked up its first Atlantic Coast Conference win of 2012 with a 7-0 sweep of N.C. State Saturday afternoon at Ambler Tennis Stadium. The win also marked head coach Jamie Ashworth's 350th career victory, and moves him within one of Kitty Harrison's record for wins in ACC history.
"Our goal is to go 11-0 in conference matches, and today was the first step of that process," said Ashworth. "Our goal, match-by-match, is to be the best team in the conference, and it started with today."
Starting out with doubles, senior Monica Gorny and sophomore Rachel Kahan rolled in No. 3 doubles, picking up a quick 8-0 victory over Chloe Smith and Elisha Hande, in a match that took just under 30 minutes.
The freshman duo of Beatrice Capra and Annie Mulholland got off to a slow start at No. 2 doubles, falling behind 4-0 to the Wolfpack's Tatiana Illova and Nicole Martinez. The Blue Devil tandem swung the momentum in their favor and won the final eight games to claim the 8-4 victory and clinch the doubles point for Duke.
After falling behind 4-1 early on in the No. 1 spot, junior Mary Clayton and freshman Ester Goldfeld, the 31st-ranked duo fought back to tie the match at 5-5 with Joelle Kissell and Ashley Miller. Following ties at six, seven and eight all, the Blue Devils won the tiebreak, 8-6, and solidified Duke's sweep of all three doubles matches.
In singles, freshman and 68th-ranked Monica Turewicz grabbed an easy 6-1, 6-1 win over Christy Sipes in the No. 5 spot, while the 102nd-ranked Kahan followed up with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Smith in the No. 3 spot to give the Blue Devils a 3-0 lead in the overall match.
Ranked 71st in the nation, Clayton clinched the match over N.C. State with a 6-2, 6-2 win in the No. 4 spot over Miller. The win was Clayton's 22nd this season, which leads the team. Goldfeld, ranked No. 117, upended Tatiana Illova, 6-1, 6-4, in the No. 2 spot to claim her 10th dual singles win in her last 11 matches.
Playing in the No. 6 spot, Mulholland fought her way to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Martinez. The win improved Mulholland's record to 15-7 on the season a 5-1 in dual singles matches.
Capra, the second-ranked player in the nation, faced the 60th-ranked Kissell in the No. 1 singles match. The Ellicott City, Md. native jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first set, but Kissell responded and took the next three games to tie the set at three apiece. Trailing 6-5, Capra remained relentless on the attack and went on to take the set, 7-6 (7-3). The newcomer cruised in the second set, 6-1, to complete the single sweep and the shutout.
Heading into Duke's first ACC road match against Wake Forest on Sunday, Ashworth wants to see the doubles team improve.
"We have to play a little cleaner [in] doubles," said Ashworth. "We got off to some slow starts in doubles today. This is just our third match outdoors, so the more matches we play outside, the better we'll be. We're just looking to keep building and keep improving."
The Blue Devils will begin a five-match ACC road swing Sunday when they travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. tomorrow, Mar. 18, for a 3 p.m. match against Wake Forest.
Tennis Match Results
N.C. State vs Duke
Mar. 17, 2012 at Durham, N.C.
(Ambler Tennis Stadium)
#5 Duke 7, N.C. State 0
1. #2 Beatrice Capra (DU) def. #60 Joelle Kissell (NCSU) 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
2. #117 Ester Goldfeld (DU) def. Tatiana Illova (NCSU) 6-1, 6-4
3. #102 Rachel Kahan (DU) def. Chloe Smith (NCSU) 6-0, 6-3
4. #71 Mary Clayton (DU) def. Ashley Miller (NCSU) 6-2, 6-2
5. #68 Monica Turewicz (DU) def. Christy Sipes (NCSU) 6-1, 6-1
6. Annie Mulholland (DU) def. Nicole Martinez (NCSU) 6-3, 6-2
1. #31 Mary Clayton/Ester Goldfeld (DU) def. Joelle Kissell/Ashley Miller (NCSU) 9-8 (8-6)
2. Beatrice Capra/Annie Mulholland (DU) def. Tatiana Illova/Nicole Martinez (NCSU) 8-4
3. Rachel Kahan/Monica Gorny (DU) def. Chloe Smith/Elisha Hande (NCSU) 8-0
N.C. State 5-8
Duke 12-2; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,3,4,2,6,1)