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WTEN: Blue Devils Advance to ITA National Team Indoors Finals with 4-2 Win Against No. 8 California

Posted February 10

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— For the second straight day at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoors, the 10th-ranked and seventh-seeded Duke women’s tennis team came through in tiebreakers as the Blue Devils downed eighth-ranked California, 4-2, to advance to the finals at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.

Duke (7-0) will make its fifth National Team Indoors final appearance and the second out of the last three years. The opponent for the Blue Devils will be fourth-seeded and fifth-ranked UCLA, who defeated Northwestern, 4-0, in the semifinals. Monday’s championship match will start at 11:00 a.m.

“We’ve played them [California] here a couple times,” said Duke head coach Jamie Ashworth. “We played them in the finals of the NCAAs a couple years ago. It was a battle there. We know that they’re going to come out and swing. They’re big hitters. Our goal coming into this weekend was to try to make a statement about where our program is. We’ve really felt like we were better than where we were [in the preseason rankings].”

Continuing its stellar play in doubles, the Blue Devils came out on the second court and took a 2-0 lead behind solid play from Ester Goldfeld and Alyssa Smith. California’s Denise Starr and Kelly Chui would not fold easily as the duo won three straight games to take a 3-2 lead. Duke responded by winning four consecutive games to take the match, 6-3.

California’s tandem of Lynn Chi and Alice Duranteau came back from being down 4-3 to Duke’s Annie Mulholland and Marianne Jodoin to win court three, 7-5.

The doubles point came down to Duke’s Beatrice Capra and Hanna Mar up against Maegen Manasse and Anett Schutting of the Bears. The Blue Devils came out and opened a 3-1 lead, but California came back to take a 5-4 advantage. Capra and Mar won two straight points to take a 6-5 lead, but the Cal duo came back to even the score, 6-6. In the tiebreaker, the Blue Devils would never trail en route to winning 7-4 and giving Duke a 1-0 advantage.

The victory for Capra and Mar was their fourth straight and improved their overall record to 7-2 on the year.

Coming off a victory on Saturday against second-ranked Jamie Loeb of North Carolina, third-ranked Capra never trailed against 15th-ranked Denise Starr of California and put the Blue Devils ahead 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 win on court one. A product of Ellicott City, Md., Capra moved to 18-3 on the season.

California responded by winning the next two points to even the score, 2-2. On court five, Klara Fabikova knocked off Rachel Kahan, 4-6, 6-3, 10-3 and 16th-ranked Zsofi Susanyi defeated Smith, 6-2, 7-5 on court four.

The final three singles matches came down to tiebreakers on court two, three and six.

Mar, a senior out of Burr Ridge, Ill., clinched the victory on Saturday over third-ranked North Carolina and netted a 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 win on Sunday against 95th-ranked Chi on court three. The 49th-ranked Mar improved to 4-0 in dual match action with the win.

“With the way the format is set up, it favors the person that wins the second set,” commented Ashworth. “To come back and put the second set out of your mind right away is a tough thing to do. Hanna does a really good job of not really playing to the score. She can compartmentalize really well. We talk about that with her and all the other girls all the time, just gather points. We’re just trying to get as many points as we can.”

Featuring an eight-match win streak entering Sunday, Jodoin dropped the first set, 6-1, to 31st-ranked Manasse and fell down 2-1 in the second set before getting hot. A product of Varennes, Quebec, Jodoin won five out of the next six games to win the second set, 6-3. In the tiebreaker, Jodoin built an early lead and ended up pulling out an 11-9 win to clinch the Duke victory, 4-2.

“Their singles are so good especially at the bottom of the lineup,” said Ashworth. “Maegan has been playing great all weekend and really since she’s been in school. Marianne hung in there after losing the first set. Even through the doubles, we had to battle.”

Goldfeld, who is ranked 45th out of Brooklyn, N.Y., split the first two sets with 26th-ranked Schutting and was trailing 4-3 in the tiebreaker when the match was clinched.

Other finals appearances for Duke were in 1998, 1999, 2003 and 2012. The Blue Devils claimed the 2003 title with a 4-3 win over Florida.

“We’ve historically played pretty well here,” said Ashworth. “No matter who we play, it’s going to be a tough match. UCLA has a great lineup all the way through in singles and doubles.”

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
Final
WASH 10
ARST 24
 
3rd
HAW 10
NEV 9
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14