W. Tennis Falls to Top-Seeded Duke in ACC Semifinals
By Alex Schwartz
CARY, N.C. – The fourth-seeded University of Miami women’s tennis team saw its seven-match winning streak end Saturday in the ACC Championship semifinals at Cary Tennis Park.
No. 15 Miami (16-7, 11-3 ACC) dropped a 4-1 decision to top-seeded and third-ranked Duke, which was the last team to beat the Hurricanes back on March 25.
“You can’t start playing tennis when you’re down, 5-0, not on this stage. So, if you don’t loosen up and start playing until you’re down big, it’s way too late,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We talked about getting off to a quick start and I didn’t see any quick starts on court one, two or three in doubles. Duke, on the majority of the courts today, just their emotional maturity and their ability to hit balls longer in points and higher situations [was key].”
Duke (23-2, 13-1 ACC) won the opening match, as the No. 12-ranked pair of Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy beat Miami’s No. 79-ranked duo of sophomore Estela Perez-Somarriba and junior Daniella Roldan, 6-1.
Sophomore Dominika Paterova and freshman Ulyana Shirokova won three games in a row to pull within 4-5 against the fifth-ranked pair of Kelly Chen and Samantha Harris, but dropped the next game and fell in a 4-6 decision.
With Duke earning the doubles point, play was halted on the final court, where senior Sinead Lohan and junior Ana Madcur trailed Meible Chi and Hannah Zhao, 3-4.
“I think we lost like four deuce points on court two in doubles. You’ve got to play the big points well,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We just got off to a bad start. When you’re coming out to take down a team like this, what we discussed was how important our start was—not whether you’re winning or losing points, but how aggressively you’re going to play, how you’re going to make them feel. I felt like we gave them every opportunity to jump on us, which is exactly what we were talking about not doing.”
Miami quickly evened the score, as sixth-ranked Harris retired from her match against third-ranked Perez-Somarriba, who held a 4-3 edge in the first set.
The victory was Perez-Somarriba’s second over Harris this spring and improved her to 13-1 in 2018 against top-90 players, 8-0 versus top-35 opponents and 4-0 against top-10 foes.
Duke regained the lead shortly thereafter, as No. 118 Hamlin registered a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Shirokova.
No. 105 McCarthy logged the Blue Devils’ third point of the contest with a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4 win against Roldan.
In the second ranked match of day, No. 54 Chi posted a 6-4, 6-2 decision over No. 64 Lohan to clinch the Blue Devils’ victory.
When play stopped, both Madcur and Paterova were one game away from forcing a third set. The former trailed No. 28 Chen, 2-6, 6-5, while the latter was behind Zhao, 4-6, 5-3.
“In singles, Stela, I thought, was playing good tennis. Dani, I thought, played a pretty good match; it just came down to a few points here or there in a four and four loss,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “At this level, you can’t start off slow in doubles and have five of your six players show up to play against a team like Duke and expect to be successful.”
Miami dropped to 17-13 all-time in ACC Championship play with Saturday’s result, including 16-11 at Cary Tennis Park, 7-3 as the fourth seed and 2-2 against Duke.
The Hurricanes will now await their seeding for the NCAA Team Championship, with draws announced Tuesday at 5 p.m.
1. No. 12 Ellyse Hamlin/Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. No. 79 Estela Perez-Somarriba/Daniella Roldan (UM), 6-1
2. No. 5 Kelly Chen/Samantha Harris (DU) def. Dominika Paterova/Ulyana Shirokova (UM), 6-4
3. Meible Chi/Hannah Zhao (DU) vs. Sinead Lohan/Ana Madcur (UM), 4-3, unf.
1. No. 3 Estela Perez-Somarriba (UM) def. No. 6 Samantha Harris (DU), 4-3, ret.
2. No. 54 Meible Chi (DU) def. No. 64 Sinead Lohan (UM), 6-4, 6-2
3. No. 105 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. Daniella Roldan (UM), 6-4, 6-4
4. No. 28 Kelly Chen (DU) vs. Ana Madcur (UM), 6-2, 5-6, unf.
5. No. 118 Ellyse Hamlin (DU) def. Ulyana Shirokova (UM), 6-2, 6-0
6. Hannah Zhao (DU) vs. Dominika Paterova (UM), 6-4, 3-5, unf.