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W. Tennis Posts 7-0 Sweep of Virginia Tech

by Alex Schwartz

CORAL GABLES, Fla. The University of Miami women’s tennis team cruised to a 7-0 victory against Virginia Tech Friday afternoon at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

No. 26 Miami (10-6, 7-4 ACC) dropped just two sets on the day, en route to its fourth sweep of the season and its third in the past five outings.

“Some of these kids [from Virginia Tech] play an interesting style,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “It was a little windy and they play an interesting style of tennis. So, you have to stay on your ‘A’ game and we did that. We’ve got to take it into Sunday.”

Although all three doubles match were close throughout and action took almost an hour, Miami won all three contests, en route to a 1-0 lead.

Second-year freshmen Diana Khodan and Maya Tahan, ranked No. 20 nationally, logged the first victory with a 6-3 decision against No. 65 Shene Disbergen and Rita Pinto. The Hurricanes then rallied back from 4-5 deficits for wins on both remaining courts.

Third-year sophomore Daevenia Achong and second-year freshman Nada Dimovska—in their first match together since Feb. 17, 2020—topped Katie Andreini and Erika Cheng, 7-5, to clinch the point. The remaining match was played out, with Miami’s No. 19-ranked duo of fifth-year senior Estela Perez-Somarriba and freshman Isabella Pfennig defeating Nika Kozar and Nina Sorkin, 7-5.

Once singles play started, it did not take long for the Hurricanes to seal the win over Virginia Tech (5-13, 0-10). After about an hour of competition, Miami won four matches in the span of approximately 15 minutes to go from a 1-0 lead to a clinched match and beyond.

First, Khodan upped her winning streak to eight in a row by defeating Andreini, 6-2, 6-1. Next, No. 17 Pfennig completed a 6-4, 6-0 victory against Kozar for her seventh straight victory.

Minutes later, fourth-ranked Perez-Somarriba notched her ninth consecutive triumph, a 6-2, 6-2 decision against Tamara Barad Itzhaki to seal the over match. Just seconds later, in a nearly simultaneous match point, Achong finished off a 7-5, 6-0 win versus Sorkin to make it 5-0.

In the final remaining matches, Miami needed to post a comeback to earn the win and managed to do just that.

Urrutia, who went to a 10-point tiebreaker for the fourth time in her last five contests, topped Pinto, 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-3). Tahan then edged Danailova, 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8), to finish off the unblemished afternoon.

Yaroshuk-Tews, who has been preaching to her team to push for shutouts, now has 153 sweeps in her 20-year tenure, with 96 of them coming since 2009.

“It’s something we’re talking about, it’s something we’re focused on. It’s nice to see that the girls are focusing on it, as well,” the two-time ITA Southeast Region Coach of the Year said. “It’s easy, sometimes, to get in matches, just let it go and not worry about it a match tiebreaker, but they’re not doing that. So, I’m happy.”

With Friday’s win, the Hurricanes improved to 24-1 all-time against Virginia Tech, including 13-0 on their home court.

Miami wraps up its seven-match homestand Sunday at 11 a.m. when it faces eighth-ranked Virginia at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

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. No. 19 Estela Perez-Somarriba/Isabella Pfennig (UM) def. Nika Kozar/Nina Sorkin (VT), 7-5
2. No. 20 Diana Khodan/Maya Tahan (UM) def. No. 65 Shene Disbergen/Rita Pinto (VT), 6-3
3. Daevenia Achong/Nada Dimovska (UM) def. Katie Andreini/Erika Cheng (VT), 7-5

Singles Competition
1. No. 4 Estela Perez-Somarriba (UM) def. Tamara Barad Itzhaki (VT), 6-2, 6-2
2. No. 17 Isabella Pfennig (UM) def. Nika Kozar (VT), 6-4, 6-0
3. Daevenia Achong (UM) def. Nina Sorkin (VT), 7-5, 6-0
4. Florencia Urrutia (UM) def. Rita Pinto (VT), 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-3)
5. Diana Khodan (UM) def. Katie Andreini (VT), 6-2, 6-1
6. Maya Tahan (UM) def. Elizabet Danailova (VT), 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8)