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@HurricaneTennis Defeats No. 70 FSU, 5-2

@HurricaneTennis Defeats No. 70 FSU, 5-2

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s tennis team defeated Florida State for the second time this season, posting a 5-2 comeback victory Saturday afternoon at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

The 16th-ranked Hurricanes dropped the doubles point and trailed early in all six singles matches, but displayed impressive resiliency to knock off the 70th-ranked Seminoles.

“We showed at Notre Dame that we could lose a doubles point and come back and win a match. I think we showed today that we could lose a doubles point, get off to some slow starts in singles and still come back and win a match,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “These are all things that we’ve been saying throughout the year needed to happen in order to get us stronger, so I think that it happening today is not actually a bad thing . . . To be able to stay calm and poised in those moments I think was big.”

Florida State (13-10, 6-8 ACC) opened the match strong in doubles competition. Mia Vriens and Kerrie Cartwright won 8-3 over senior Lina Lileikite and freshman Wendy Zhang, ranked No. 71. Danieka Borthwick and Yukako Noi then defeated No. 44 senior Monique Albuquerque and junior Clementina Riobueno, 8-4, to clinch the doubles point.

The match featuring freshman Silvia Fuentes and junior Stephanie Wagner against No. 54 Emily Fanning and Gabriella Castaneda was left unfinished with the score even at seven.

“For one and three to start off slow [in doubles] was a little disappointing,” Yaroshuk-Tews said, “but it happens and we’ve just got to make sure that we get it out of our system and hopefully it doesn’t happen moving forward in some bigger [postseason] matches.”

Miami (15-5, 11-2 ACC) got off to a rough start in singles play, trailing early in each match. Freshmen Sinead Lohan and Fuentes both regrouped to win their first sets easily, but the other four were much tighter.

Albuquerque dropped set one 6-4, Wagner and Riobueno both trailed 5-3, and Lileikite went to a tiebreaker after leading 5-3. However, that is when the match began to turn.

Albuquerque dominated the second set for a 6-0 win, Wagner won four straight games for a 7-5 victory, Riobueno fell in a tiebreaker after an impressive battle, and Lileikite won a lengthy tiebreaker.

“That was huge,” Yarohsuk-Tews said of the match seemingly heading in Miami’s direction at that point. “Especially when our focus out of the gates was to try to get out to big leads early in singles because we knew we had to kind of smash their momentum a little bit.”

After that, the Hurricanes cruised to victory. Fuentes won nine straight games for a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Daniela Schippers and then No. 38 Lohan knocked off No. 119 Cartwright, 6-3, 6-4 to put Miami in front.

Just minutes after the freshmen gave Miami the lead, Albuquerque made it 3-1 in favor of the Hurricanes by closing out Vriens for a 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 win. The Porto Alegre, Brazil native won 12 of the final 13 games to keep her perfect ACC singles record the past two seasons intact and up it to 23-0.

It was Wagner, ranked eighth, who clinched it for Miami, sealing the deal with a beautiful service ace to give the Hurricanes their 11th ACC win of the season. She defeated No. 80 Borthwick, 7-5, 6-3.

The Seminoles got on the board again with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 win by Castaneda over No. 76 Riobueno, but Miami struck again in the final match. No. 115 Lileikite took down Fanning, 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 1-0 (10-2), to make it a 5-2 final margin of victory for the Hurricanes in their fourth straight win over Florida State.

“Happy with the way the girls fought in singles. We played well at one, we played well at two,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We weren’t sure if Sinead was even going to play the match, she wasn’t feeling well. She just was unbelievable at two and [she was] followed by the rest of them . . . FSU is a great team. You can’t take them lightly, those girls can play and they’ve got a lot of fire and a lot of heart and we knew that coming into the match.”

With the win, the Hurricanes clinched at least a share of second place in the ACC and locked up the two seed in next week’s ACC Tournament in Cary, N.C.

Miami will have a quick turnaround for its final regular season match of the season, as it faces Pittsburgh Sunday at 11:00 a.m. at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. It will be Senior Day for Albuquerque and Lileikite, and live stats will be available HERE.

To keep up with the match on Twitter, as well as learn more about University of Miami women’s tennis, follow @HurricaneTennis.


Singles Competition

1. No. 8 Stephanie Wagner (Miami) def. No. 80 Daneika Borthwick (FSU), 7-5, 6-3
2. No. 38 Sinead Lohan (Miami) def. No. 119 Kerrie Cartwright (FSU), 6-3, 6-4
3. Gabriella Castaneda (FSU) def. No. 76 Clementina Riobueno (Miami), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
4. Silvia Fuentes (Miami) def. Daniela Schippers (FSU), 6-2, 6-0
5. No. 115 Lina Lileikite (Miami) def. Emily Fanning (FSU), 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 1-0 (10-2)
6. Monique Albuquerque (Miami) def. Mia Vriens (FSU), 4-6, 6-0, 6-1

Doubles Competition

1. Daneika Borthwick/Yukako Noi (FSU) def. No. 44 Monique Albuquerque/Clementina Riobueno (Miami), 8-4
2. Silvia Fuentes/Stephanie Wagner (Miami) vs. No. 54 Emily Fanning/Gabriella Castaneda (FSU), 7-7, unfinished
3. Mia Vriens/Kerrie Cartwright (FSU) def. No. 71 Lina Lileikite/Wendy Zhang (Miami), 8-3