W. Tennis Blanks No. 25 Syracuse, 7-0
By Alex Schwartz
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s tennis team posted its first 7-0 win of the season Sunday, shutting out No. 25 Syracuse at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
No. 18 Miami (12-6, 8-3 ACC) recorded its fourth top-25 win of the spring and tallied its fifth clean sheet of the spring in a stellar outing.
“We knew how big this was today. We knew that we just had to be tougher,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “[That means] playing great defense, but when the strike presents, stepping up and taking it. We were able to do that today against a team that, on courts one, two and three, was hitting absolute rockets. They were able to stay calm mentally and tough physically, which is where we need to be. We’ve been talking about [getting a 7-0 win against] a team for a while, so to finally do it is nice.”
Syracuse (14-5, 6-5 ACC) struck first in doubles play, as No. 12 Gabriela Knutson and Miranda Ramirez topped Miami’s No. 66-ranked duo of sophomore Estela Perez-Somarriba and junior Daniella Roldan, 6-3.
Senior Sinead Lohan and junior Ana Madcur, ranked No. 82, evened the tally by defeating Sofya Golubovskaya and Anna Shkudun, 6-3.
Action came down to court three, where sophomore Dominika Paterova and freshman Ulyana Shirokova, ranked No. 82, closed out a 6-4 triumph over Dina Hegab and Maria Tritou to give Miami the opening point in comeback fashion.
“Siny and Ana just played smart. Kudos to [associate head coach Laura Vallverdu] because Lau was the one who said to put that team at two and put Uly and Domi down at three. She made a great call there,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “I think we’re giving teams a different look that they haven’t seen and we’re playing two back at times and forcing kids to come up with big shots and, a lot of times, as you see in college tennis, they’re not able to. I thought we played well at two and three.”
No. 75 Lohan tacked on Miami’s first singles point of the day with a dominant showing against Ramirez, whom she defeated in the title match of the Milwaukee Tennis Classic in the fall. The Waterford, Ireland, native won the first five games and posted a 6-1, 6-1 victory.
Madcur upped the Hurricanes’ lead to 3-0 by finishing off a quality 6-3, 6-3 performance versus Tritou.
In a top-10 showdown, sixth-ranked Perez-Somarriba clinched the match by downing No. 10 Knutson, 6-4, 6-4.
The Madrid native, who moved to 7-0 against top-35 players this spring, won seven games in a row after dropping four of the first five. Perez-Somarriba is now 4-1 against top-10 foes in 2017-18, including 3-0 in the spring.
“Down, 1-4, I told her I wasn’t worried. The kid was just hitting bombs,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “Now, Stela’s ball had a little to do with that. Once Stela was able to get her out to the wings a little bit more and open up the court a little bit more, things changed. To be able to do that when a kid is hitting the ball so big, is not easy. Stela was moving well and implementing some different things into her game. She’s being such a rock mentally, it’s nice to see.”
???????Shirokova logged the Hurricanes’ fourth straight-set win in narrow fashion, edging Shkudun, 7-5, 6-4, to improve to 15-4 in 2018.
For the second time in three days, Roldan dropped her opening set and came back to win in a 10-point tiebreaker after taking the second set. The Boca Raton, Fla., native staved off two match points and won the last four points of the day to earn a 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 (11-9) triumph over Golubovskaya.
Paterova finished off Miami’s first 7-0 win of the season and she too fought off a match point against Hegab before walking off the court with a 6-2, 2-6, 1-0 (11-9) result for her third consecutive victory.
All four of the Hurricanes’ top-25 wins this year have come against ACC opponents within the last month.
The last time Miami tallied a 7-0 triumph was on April 16, 2017 at home against Pittsburgh. For Yaroshuk-Tews, this was the 140th shutout of her 17-year tenure at the helm of the Hurricanes, including the 83rd since 2009.
Miami now has a 10-1 all-time record versus the Orange with seven shutout wins and an 8-0 record in Coral Gables.
The Hurricanes will conclude their regular season home slate in one week when they host Virginia Tech April 15 at 11 a.m., for senior day.
1. No. 12 Gabriela Knutson/Miranda Ramirez (SU) def. No. 66 Estela Perez-Somarriba/Daniella Roldan (UM), 6-3
2. No. 82 Sinead Lohan/Ana Madcur (UM) def. Sofya Golubovskaya/Anna Shkudun (SU), 6-3
3. No. 88 Dominika Paterova/Ulyana Shirokova (UM) def. Dina Hegab/Maria Tritou (SU), 6-4
1. No. 6 Estela Perez-Somarriba (UM) def. No. 10 Gabriela Knutson (SU), 6-4, 6-4
2. No. 75 Sinead Lohan (UM) def. Miranda Ramirez (SU), 6-1, 6-1
3. Daniella Roldan (UM) def. Sofya Golubovskaya (SU), 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 (11-9)
4. Ana Madcur (UM) def. Maria Tritou (SU), 6-3, 6-3
5. Ulyana Shirokova (UM) def. Anna Shkudun (SU), 7-5, 6-4
6. Dominika Paterova (UM) def. Dina Hegab (SU), 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (11-9)