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W. Tennis Falls, 5-2, at No. 44 Notre Dame

W. Tennis Falls, 5-2, at No. 44 Notre Dame

by Alex Schwartz

NOTRE DAME, Ind. The University of Miami women’s tennis team dropped a 5-2 decision Friday evening at No. 44 Notre Dame in their first indoor conference match of the year.

The homestanding Fighting Irish took the first three points at Eck Tennis Pavilion and withheld a comeback bid by the visitors across a quartet of three-set matches. It marked the first time this season eighth-ranked Miami (13-4, 7-3 ACC) fell to a lower-ranked opponent.

“Notre Dame looked like the better team today,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “They played bigger and more aggressive. They deserved this one.”

Notre Dame (12-8, 5-5 ACC) got off to a strong start on multiple doubles courts and, despite Miami fighting off simultaneous match points on both of them, eventually closed each of them out.

First, Julia Andreach and Yashna Yellayi defeated freshman Tatyana Nikolenko and third-year sophomore, 6-2.

Just a minute later, in a top-50 affair, No. 41 Maria Olivia Castedo and Page Freeman won, 6-4, against the Hurricanes’ No. 20-ranked duo of fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong and fifth-year senior Eden Richardson to clinch the opening point. It marked just the fourth time in 17 outings Yaroshuk-Tews’ team fell short in doubles.

The final match was left unfinished with Miami sophomores Audrey Boch-Collins and Isabella Pfennig tied, 5-5, versus Carrie Beckman and Nibedita Ghosh.

Notre Dame upped its lead to 3-0 by taking the two matches at the top of the lineup. First, in a top-100 clash, No. 90 Freeman beat No. 48 Richardson, 6-1, 6-3.

Then, Andreach stopped No. 28 Achong’s 12-match winning streak with a 7-5, 6-2 decision, giving the Geleen, Netherlands, native her first setback since January.

Nikolenko tallied the first victory—in singles or doubles—of her collegiate career to get the Hurricanes on the board. She defeated Meghan Coleman, 6-0, 5-7, 6-2, in the first of the four three-setters.

With three contests remaining, all in decisive sets, the Hurricanes soon held an edge in two of them, while deadlocked on the other. Boch-Collins led Castedo, 5-2, while Pfennig had a 3-0 advantage on Yellayi and Tahan sat even, 3-3, with Ghosh.

The Hurricanes, however, could not claw all the way back. Ghosh took each of the next three games to finish off a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Tahan and clinch the match for the Fighting Irish.

The two remaining matches were both played out, with Boch-Collins holding at 5-4 deuce to take a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 victory against Castedo, making it 4-2.

Pfennig dropped five games in a row to fall behind, 3-5, in the last set, but then leveled it at 5-5. She and Yellayi then split the next two games to force the second tiebreaker of their match, which once again went to the home competitor, giving Yellayi a 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 7-6 (7-4) victory.


The Hurricanes now travel to Louisville, Ky., where they conclude their regular season road slate Sunday at noon against Louisville

To keep up with the University of Miami women’s tennis team on social media, follow @CanesWTennis on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Doubles Competition
1. No. 41 Maria Olivia Castedo/Page Freeman (ND) def. No. 20 Daevenia Achong/Eden Richardson (UM), 6-4
2. Julia Andreach/Yashna Yellayi (ND) def. Tatyana Nikolenko/Maya Tahan (UM), 6-2
3. Audrey Boch-Collins/Isabella Pfennig (UM) vs. Carrie Beckman/Nibedita Ghosh (ND), 5-5, unf.

Singles Competition
1. No. 90 Page Freeman (ND) def. No. 48 Eden Richardson (UM), 6-1, 6-3
2. Julia Andreach (ND) def. No. 28 Daevenia Achong (UM), 7-5, 6-2
3. Yashna Yellayi (ND) def. No. 74 Isabella Pfennig (UM), 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 7-6 (7-4)
4. Nibedita Ghosh (ND) def. Maya Tahan (UM), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
5. Audrey Boch-Collins (UM) def. Maria Olivia Castedo (ND), 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
6. Tatyana Nikolenko (UM) def. Meghan Coleman (ND), 6-0, 5-7, 6-2