W. Tennis Storms Past Louisville, 6-1
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s tennis team earned its fifth consecutive victory with a 6-1 decision against Louisville Sunday afternoon.
No. 35 Miami (8-5, 5-3 ACC) took each of the first five points of the contest at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center, securing its first five-match winning streak since March 2019.
“With wins, you always gain confidence. I think we’re gaining confidence, but we have to be humble … and know what we have moving forward,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “I do think that we’re playing better tennis. I think that we’re playing on our terms on a consistent basis at more spots. I think that when you do it for this many matches, it’s just going to continue into this coming weekend. I think that we’ll use this momentum that we’ve grabbed and we’ll just bring it forward.”
The Hurricanes took the first doubles decision with ease, as third-year sophomore Daevenia Achong and second-year freshman Florencia Urrutia defeated Dina Chaika and Chelsea Sawyer, 6-2. The other two contests, though, were both even at 4-4, giving Louisville (6-8, 3-6 ACC) a chance to claw back for the point.
Fifth-year senior Estela Perez-Somarriba and freshman Isabella Pfennig, however, won the next two games on Court 1 to defeat Andrea Di Palma and Rhea Verma, 6-4, giving the Hurricanes a 1-0 advantage for the fifth straight match.
The remaining match was played out, with Raven Neely and Tatiana Simova notching a 6-4 win for the Cardinals against second-year freshmen Diana Khodan and Maya Tahan.
“We’re playing smart doubles. We’re staying calm when we need to be calm. We’re aggressive when we need to be aggressive,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “I think we’re truly believing that we’re going to get in that point. We’re playing some different formations and we’re doing some different things, I think, that are just really smart and a little uncomfortable for our opponents. It’s working well for us. So, I’m just happy that they’re believing in the game plan out there.”
In singles play, second-ranked Perez-Somarriba upped the Hurricanes’ lead to 2-0 when her opponent, Nikolina Jovic, retired during the second set. The Madrid native held a 6-1, 3-1 edge when the action stopped.
Khodan tacked on the third point when she wrapped up one of the most impressive outings of her young career, a 6-0, 6-1 decision against Verma.
After nearly 30 minutes, Miami tacked on two more points in a matter of moments with the first, from No. 87 Achong, clinching the win. The Geleen, Netherlands, native topped Neely, 6-4, 6-3, to seal the decision and then Tahan beat Chaika, 6-2, 6-4, to make it 5-0.
Sawyer got the Cardinals on the board by taking a third-set tiebreaker against Urrutia, who played such a match for the third time in her last four outings. Sawyer came away with a 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-3) result to log Louisville’s lone point of the afternoon.
In the final remaining matchup of the day, Pfennig posted a comeback triumph over Di Palma, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 1-0 (10-4).
“I think for Bella to be able to recover from that 7-6 first set and come back and dominate the second, and then get out of here with a third-set tiebreaker just says a lot about how good she is and what she’s capable of doing,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “It was nice we were able to get Di on the board with that big, dominant win at the number five position. I think that’s just going to help us moving forward in the conference.”
Miami, with Sunday’s victory, improved to 7-0 in its all-time series against Louisville. Every match between the two sides has come since the Cardinals joined the ACC in 2014-15.
The Hurricanes continue their seven-match homestand Friday at 11 a.m. when they square off with No. 29 Wake Forest at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
1. Estela Perez-Somarriba/Isabella Pfennig (UM) def. Andrea Di Palma/Rhea Verma (UL), 6-4
2. Raven Neely/Tatiana Simova (UL) def. Diana Khodan/Maya Tahan (UM), 6-4
3. Daevenia Achong/Florencia Urrutia (UM) def. Dina Chaika/Chelsea Sawyer (UL), 6-2
1. No. 2 Estela Perez-Somarriba (UM) def. Nikolina Jovic (UL), 6-1, 3-1, ret.
2. Isabella Pfennig (UM) def. Andrea Di Palma (UL), 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 1-0 (10-4)
3. No. 87 Daevenia Achong (UM) def. Raven Neely (UL), 6-4, 6-3
4. Chelsea Sawyer (UL) def. Florencia Urrutia (UM), 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-3)
5. Diana Khodan (UM) def. Rhea Verma (UL), 6-0, 6-1
6. Maya Tahan (UM) def. Dina Chaika (UL), 6-2, 6-4