Colleges

WTEN: Duke edges top-seeded UNC in ACC semi's

Posted April 26

— Duke senior Hanna Mar has done it again. The three-time All-ACC selection came-from-behind to win a three-set tiebreaker to push the fifth-seeded and sixth-ranked Duke women’s tennis team into the ACC Championship with a 4-3 win over top-seeded and 11th-ranked North Carolina (24-5) Saturday afternoon at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C.

The Blue Devils (24-3) will next face Virginia (20-5) Sunday, April 27 in the ACC Championship at 11:00 a.m.

Mar, who is a native of Burr Ridge, Ill., dropped the first set on court three, 6-3, to 50th-ranked Caroline Price before storming back to win the second, 6-1. In the deciding third set, Mar fell behind as much as 5-3 late, but was able to even the match, 5-5 following a string of six straight breaks for the student-athletes.

“I felt that I wasn’t playing at the beginning kind of the way that I needed to to be able to win the match,” said Mar. “It was really important to make some changes in how I was playing and I think that I did that really effectively in the second set. That is why I was able to win that set. In the third set, it was really important for me to continue to do that, but also to just not let things get too out of hand, stay in the moment in the one point I was playing.”

The 35th-ranked Mar once again fell behind, 6-5, but was able to hold on to send the match into a third set tiebreaker, 6-6. In the breaker, Price went ahead, 2-1, but Mar made a run to take a 3-2 lead. After switching sides at 3-3, Mar would only lose one more point on her way to winning the tiebreaker, 7-4, and sending Duke into the ACC Championship for the 22nd time in school history.

“The knowledge that it is not over, it is not finished until it is actually finished,” commented Mar on where she drew her strength from when she was down. “I just had to keep going at one point in time. I had great support from my teammates and people around watching who I just knew were with me and still believed that I could win that match and so I didn’t stop believing either.”

Duke’s lone senior on the court, Mar once again came through for the Blue Devils as she also guided Duke to the National Team Indoor Championship with a 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 10-3 win on court three against UCLA’s 24th-ranked Jennifer Brady. Mar went on to be named MVP of the indoor championship.

“It is fitting and it is a position she has been in before this year,” commented Duke head coach Jamie Ashworth on Mar. “With the finals of the National Team Indoors it came down to her in a tiebreaker and she battled through that one. It was kind of the same deal – the person who was going to be the more aggressive person was the person that was going to win. I kept telling her that seven out of the whatever last points have been won by someone inside the baseline and up at the net. You’ve got to take some chances and make her come up with a shot to beat you. If she does that is fine.”

The match started on a high for Duke as the Blue Devils claimed the doubles point in thrilling fashion. The Blue Devil 88th-ranked tandem of Chalena Scholl and Annie Mulholland cruised to an 8-3 win over Laura Slater and Kate Vialle on court three, while North Carolina’s Jamie Loeb and Ashley Dai downed 30th-ranked Ester Goldfeld and Alyssa Smith, 8-3, on the second court.

It all came down to Duke’s fifth-ranked Beatrice Capra and Mar versus North Carolina’s Caroline Price and Whitney Kay. The Blue Devils held the lead early in the match, 4-3, but the Tar Heels fought back to take a 5-4 lead by winning two straight points. Capra and Mar responded by winning two points to take a 6-5 lead. Price and Kay then broke Mar’s serve to even the ledger at 6-6. Duke then broke UNC to lead 7-6 with Capra serving for the doubles point. The Duke tandem came through without losing a point to put the Blue Devils ahead, 1-0, with an 8-6 victory.

Duke is now 23-1 this year when winning the doubles point, with the lone loss coming at Virginia Feb. 21. Capra and Mar moved to 16-5 on the year and won their eighth consecutive match.

In singles play, North Carolina came out very strong to lead on courts one, two, three and five. Duke’s Scholl and redshirt junior Rachel Kahan were solid on courts four and six, respectively.

Kahan made quick work of Vialle, 6-1, 6-2, in a singles match that took only one hour and 16 minutes. A product of Unionville, Conn., Kahan went ahead 3-0 in both sets on her way to improving to 16-6 on the year and giving Vialle just her fourth loss of the season.

With Duke leading 2-0, Scholl downed Kay, 6-4, 6-3, on court four to put the Blue Devils within one win of the team victory. Scholl, who is from Pampano Beach, Fla., won her fourth straight match and the eighth out of her last 11.

North Carolina would then take control of the match winning on courts two, one and five to even the contest, 3-3. The fifth-ranked Hayley Carter knocked off 26th-ranked Goldfeld, 6-3, 6-4, on the second court, top-ranked Loeb defeated seventh-ranked Capra, 6-3, 6-3, and 111th-ranked Dai ousted 113th-ranked Smith, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2).

All focus turned to the No. 3 court with big crowds surrounding the stadium. Mar would pull out a three hour and four minute match to send Duke to the championship. The win for Mar was the third of the season against the Tar Heels in dual match action and her second straight versus Price.

“Having her [Hanna] on the court and having someone that has been in that position before in a situation like this is great,” said Ashworth. “She is not going to give away free points, she will run down a lot of balls and will make someone come out and beat her. She did that. She stayed with it, she was down really the whole set. The first time she had any kind of breathing room was at 5-3 in the breaker. She never was up and had time to sit back and relax. It is great to have her out there when we need a match like that.”

Duke has claimed ACC Championship 17 times with the last title coming in 2012, following a 4-2 defeat of North Carolina. The Blue Devils will play their fourth match in four consecutive days Sunday and will try to become just the second ACC team to claim the ACC Championship by winning four matches to win the title – Georgia Tech (2010).

#GoDuke

#6 Duke 4, #11 North Carolina 3
Singles competition
1. #1 Jamie Loeb (NC) def. #7 Beatrice Capra (DU) 6-3, 6-3 2. #5 Hayley Carter (NC) def. #26 Ester Goldfeld (DU) 6-3, 6-4 3. #35 Hanna Mar (DU) def. #50 Caroline Price (NC) 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) 4. Chalena Scholl (DU) def. Whitney Kay (NC) 6-4, 6-3 5. #111 Ashley Dai (NC) def. #113 Alyssa Smith (DU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) 6. Rachel Kahan (DU) def. Kate Vialle (NC) 6-1, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. #5 Beatrice Capra/Hanna Mar (DU) def. Caroline Price/Whitney Kay (NC) 8-6 2. Jamie Loeb/Ashley Dai (NC) def. #30 Ester Goldfeld/Alyssa Smith (DU) 8-3 3. #88 Chalena Scholl/Annie Mulholland (DU) def. Laura Slater/Kate Vialle (NC) 8-3

Match Notes:
Duke 24-3; National ranking #6
North Carolina 24-5; National ranking #11 Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (6,4,2,1,5,3)

Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • ACC: North Carolina at Virginia

    Today at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Seattle at Carolina

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Logan Zone with Steve Logan

    Today at 10:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
EDM 6
CAR 3
12:30pm Today
UVA
UNC
2:00pm Today
NCCU
SAVST
 
Final
SFG 2
KAN 3
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
ORL 92
DAL 117
Final
TOR 83
NYK 80
Final
MEM 98
MIA 104
Final
CHI 112
MIN 113
Final
HOU 96
SAN 87
Final
UTA 100
PHO 105
 
4th
LAL 92
SAC 91
 
3rd
GSW 86
DEN 77
 
4th
LAC 64
POR 78
 
Final
CIN 34
SFLA 17
Final
SALABAMA 27
TROY 13
Final
BSU 55
BYU 30
 
Half
CAL 28
OREG 38
 
12:00pm Today
WISC
MD
12:00pm Today
SMU
MEM
12:00pm Today
ILL
MINN
12:00pm Today
RICE
UNT
12:00pm Today
NEB
RUTG
12:00pm Today
KST
TEX
12:00pm Today
ARK
UAB
12:30pm Today
UVA
UNC
1:00pm Today
EMICH
NILL
1:00pm Today
NAVY
SJST
2:00pm Today
BST
AKR
2:00pm Today
GASTATE
GASO
2:00pm Today
TOL
UMASS
2:00pm Today
WMICH
OHIO
2:00pm Today
COL
UCLA
2:30pm Today
UMO
KSU
3:30pm Today
WAKE
BC
3:30pm Today
BUF
CMICH
3:30pm Today
MARS
FATL
3:30pm Today
PITT
GT
3:30pm Today
SMISS
LATU
3:30pm Today
MSU
MICH
3:30pm Today
KENT
MSST
3:30pm Today
STAN
ORST
3:30pm Today
TCU
TTU
3:30pm Today
OKST
WVU
4:00pm Today
WKENT
ODU
4:00pm Today
UTST
UNLV
4:00pm Today
MIZZ
VANDY
5:00pm Tonight
UCF
TEMPL
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
NJD 2
DAL 3
Final
WIN 2
TAM 4
Final
COL 7
VAN 3
Final
EDM 6
CAR 3
3rd
ANA 3
CLB 1
 
4:00pm Today
SJS
BUF
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
 
2:00pm Today
NCCU
SAVST