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@CanesWTennis Blanks USF, 4-0, in NCAA Round of 64

GAINESVILLE, Fla. The University of Miami women’s tennis team began the NCAA Team Championship in stellar fashion Saturday morning, storming past USF, 4-0.

No. 28 Miami (13-11, 8-6 ACC), seeded No. 17-32, clinched its 17th straight winning season by blanking the Bulls, seeded No. 33-48, inside the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex. It marked the 16th straight season the Hurricanes have won their NCAA opener, including the 13th in a row via shutout.

“I’m proud of how the girls are playing right now,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “I’m happy that they’re able to experience the tournament [in spite of] the little adversity that we had this season. We’re obviously playing good tennis when it counts.”

The Hurricanes opened the day with a strong performance in doubles competition, dropping just four games in the two completed matches. Junior Sinead Lohan and freshman Dominika Paterova earned the first win, topping Vera Bessonova and Olga Martinez, 6-2.

Sophomore Ana Madcur and freshman Estela Perez-Somarriba won six games in a row to defeat Juliana Cardoso and Jessica Cortes Chaves, 6-2, and give Miami the doubles point.

The final match was left unfinished with the USF (15-11, 7-2 AAC) duo of Nicole Dzenga and Vanja Klaric holding a 5-3 edge over redshirt senior Maci Epstein and junior Silvia Fuentes.

“I think we’re playing better doubles,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “I think we’re doing well in situations where maybe we don’t start off as quickly as we would like, but we’re turning the corner faster in the matches. We’re not waiting four games to turn the corner. You wait four games in doubles, you’re done. We’re seeing changes that we need to make earlier, we’re executing and we’re implementing change.”

In singles action, the Hurricanes got their first two points from a pair of freshmen competing in the NCAA Team Championship for the first time.

Paterova got on the board first with a scintillating showing against Cardoso, cruising to a 6-1, 6-1 victory to double Miami’s lead.

“Domi is playing the best tennis we’ve seen her play all season, hands down,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “As you move forward in a tournament or a season, one player could be a game changer and we need her to keep playing the tennis she’s playing. It’s fun to see her play. She’s competing hard, she’s playing aggressive.”

No. 40 Perez-Somarriba increased the Hurricanes’ advantage to 3-0 by registering a 6-4, 6-4 triumph against Bessonova to up her winning streak to 10 in a row.

No. 21 Lohan, who won 10 games in a row during her match, clinched the victory for Miami with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Ana Roman Dominguez. The Waterford, Ireland, native is now 12-3 in NCAA matches in her career, with a 5-1 mark in the team competition to go along with a 7-2 ledger in the singles event.

“I think Lohan is striking the ball better. I think she’s doing her thing, she’s taking care of business at one,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “Estela, same thing. One and two, those girls are doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

When play was halted, Fuentes held a 6-1, 1-2 advantage against Klaric. Meanwhile, Madcur’s contest against Dzenga finished with neither play getting on the board, as just a handful of points were completed. Epstein’s match versus Chaves did not officially begin.

The contest took place at the three-court indoor facility despite an unsuccessful attempt to beat the incoming rain by moving the start time up one hour, to 9 a.m.

Miami will play its second round match Sunday at 1 p.m., against homestanding Florida, the top-ranked and top-seeded Florida team in the nation.

“Quite honestly, I’m really excited for tomorrow,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “I’m really excited for the match in front of us. I think that that our girls are ready to play.”

To keep up with the University of Miami women’s tennis team on social media, follow @CanesWTennis on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

RESULTS

Doubles Competition
1. Sinead Lohan/Dominika Paterova (UM) def. Vera Bessonova/Olga Martinez (USF), 6-2
2. Ana Madcur/Estela Perez-Somarriba (UM) def. Juliana Cardoso/Jessica Cortes Chaves (USF), 6-2
3. Nicole Dzenga/Vanja Klaric (USF) vs. Maci Epstein/Silvia Fuentes (UM), 5-3, unfinished

Singles Competition
1. No. 21 Sinead Lohan (UM) def. Ana Roman Dominguez (USF), 6-2, 7-5
2. No. 40 Estela Perez-Somarriba (UM) def. Vera Bessonova (USF), 6-4, 6-4
3. Dominika Paterova (UM) def. Juliana Cardoso (USF), 6-1, 6-1
4. Silvia Fuentes (UM) vs. Vanja Klaric (USF), 6-1, 1-2, unfinished
5. Ana Madcur (UM) vs. Nicole Dzenga (USF), 0-0, unfinished
6. Maci Epstein (UM) vs. Jessica Cortes Chaves (USF), did not play