W. Tennis Downs Florida Atlantic, 6-1, on Senior Day
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s tennis team defeated Florida Atlantic, 6-1, in its regular season finale Friday afternoon at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
Following Senior Day ceremonies for 2019 NCAA singles champion and two-time ACC Player of the Year, Estela Perez-Somarriba, No. 23/19 Miami (12-7, 8-5 ACC) logged the first five points of the match on the way to its second win of the year over the Owls.
“I think we’re playing well. I think we’re striking the ball well and I think we’re playing with confidence,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “It was a very different match than the last time we played them. I think our team looks very different. I’m happy with the way that we’re striking the ball.”
The Hurricanes won two doubles matches in impressive fashion to take the opening point over Florida Atlantic (8-6, 2-0 CUSA). The first victory came from third-year sophomore Daevenia Achong and second-year freshman Florencia Urrutia, who defeated Natalie Boltinskaya and Louie McLelland, 6-1.
Miami’s second-year freshman tandem of Diana Khodan and Maya Tahan, ranked No. 24, clinched the point with a 6-2 victory against Katerina Filip and May Kimhi.
When play stopped, Perez-Somarriba and freshman Isabella Pfennig, ranked No. 34, trailed Radka Buzkova and Martina Kudelova, 3-4.
Three Hurricanes cruised to quick victories in singles competition, speedily sealing the win over their South Florida foe. Achong recorded the first triumph, rolling to a 6-1, 6-3 decision against Kimhi.
Just seconds later, third-ranked Perez-Somarriba finished off one of the most dominant showings of her illustrious career. The Madrid native took the first 10 games of the match on her way to a 6-0, 6-1 win against Boltinskaya.
“I just think that you’re really able to see the power of someone’s presence in your program,” Yaroshuk-Tews said of Perez-Somarriba’s career. “Not only are her numbers what her numbers are and as a person she is who she is and as a teammate she’s as strong as she is, but the ripple effects that her career is going to have on not only each and every one of her teammates who will be back here, but on the future of this program, is going to be so impactful for years to come. That’s when you know that a kid is very, very special.”
Within minutes of Perez-Somarriba’s contest concluding, Tahan clinched the overall match by topping McLelland, 6-1, 6-1.
No other match ended for another 40-plus minutes until No. 17 Pfennig finally upped the edge to 5-0. The Gauting, Germany, native posted a 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) victory against Kudelova.
Approximately 20 minutes later, Filip registered the lone point of the day for the Owls by narrowly edging Khodan, 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7).
Yet another 40-plus minutes went by before the final match came to an end. In an affair that featured three tiebreakers, Urrutia topped Buzkova, 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (1-7), 1-0 (10-5), to produce Miami’s sixth and final point.
With Friday’s triumph, the Hurricanes improved to 33-0 all-time against Florida Atlantic, including 25-0 at home.
The regular season complete, Miami now heads to Rome, Ga., for the ACC Tennis Championship. The Hurricanes will open play Thursday, with their match time and opponent still to be determined.
1. Radka Buzkova/Martina Kudelova (FAU) def. No. 34 Estela Perez-Somarriba/Isabella Pfennig (UM), 4-3, unf.
2. No. 24 Diana Khodan/Maya Tahan (UM) def. Katerina Filip/May Kimhi (FAU), 6-2
3. Daevenia Achong/Florencia Urrutia (UM) def. Natalie Boltinskaya/Louie McLelland (FAU), 6-1
1. No. 3 Estela Perez-Somarriba (UM) def. Natalia Boltinskaya (FAU), 6-0, 6-1
2. No. 17 Isabella Pfennig (UM) def. Martina Kudelova (FAU), 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
3. Daevenia Achong (UM) def. May Kimhi (FAU), 6-1, 6-3
4. Florencia Urrutia (UM) def. Radka Buzkova (FAU), 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (1-7), 1-0 (10-5)
5. Katerina Filip (FAU) def. Diana Khodan (UM), 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7)
6. Maya Tahan (UM) def. Louie McLelland (FAU), 6-1, 6-1