The Blue Devils entered Friday having misplaced their final 5 matches to their Tobacco Highway rivals. That streak has now been prolonged to 6.
No. 9 Duke had a disappointing efficiency in opposition to its down-the-road rival No. 1 North Carolina, falling to the Tar Heels 6-1 on the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Heart in Chapel Hill.
The Blue Devils’ afternoon began off with powerful defeats within the doubles matches. Within the first end of the day, senior duo Kelly Chen and Hannah Zhao misplaced to North Carolina’s Reilly Tran and Alle Sanford 6-2. And never lengthy after, Meible Chi and Margaryta Bilokin fell 6-1 to Sara Daavettila and Cameron Morra, giving the Tar Heels the doubles level.
With sophomore Georgia Drummy sidelined as a consequence of an ankle damage, Zhao made her first look in ACC play this season, dropping in singles to Tran—who ranked as excessive because the No. 3 recruit within the Class of 2020—6-0, 6-0. Bilokin then fell to Makenna Jones 6-1, 6-2, whereas Chi’s nine-match win streak was snapped with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat to Fiona Crawley—the No. 1 ranked recruit within the Class of 2020—within the following match.
Berankova then misplaced 6-1, 6-4 to seal the victory for the Tar Heels and finish any probability Duke (10-3, 5-2 within the ACC) had at a comeback.
“[North Carolina] does a very good job of placing first…they knocked us again just a little bit and we weren’t capable of recuperate,” head coach Jamie Ashworth mentioned. “They have been higher proper from the beginning.”
North Carolina (17-0, 7-0) entered and exited this match undefeated, and current a uncommon sort of opponent for a workforce as persistently sturdy because the Blue Devils.
“There’s not a whole lot of alternatives to play the place we’re not purported to win on paper,” Ashworth mentioned.
Though Duke entered because the underdog, that doesn’t imply it went down with no struggle.
Within the remaining match of the day, sophomore Chloe Beck took down Morra—the No. 6 ranked singles participant within the nation—for her highest singles victory and second top-10 win of the season. Regardless of dropping the primary set, Beck got here from behind to drive a remaining tiebreaker set, which she finally gained 12-10.
“I’m happy with myself for getting a win for the workforce even after we misplaced, however I actually am on the market taking part in for my workforce, so it hurts that we misplaced as a workforce,” Beck mentioned.
Tennis, typically thought of solely on knowledgeable stage, is usually considered a person sport. Nevertheless, this season’s Blue Devils are an instance of how a lot of a workforce sport school tennis really is, one thing that’s evident from listening to the gamers’ feelings after each match whether or not it ends in a victory or a loss.
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Duke will look to rebound at No. 15 Virginia March 27.
“Our greatest tennis remains to be in entrance of us,” Ashworth mentioned.