CARY, N.C. - Miami Hurricanes Melissa Bolivar, Lina Lileikite and Kelsey Laurente each won their opening round matches in three separate singles brackets at Duke's season-opening Fab-Four Invitational on Friday.
"It's exciting to be back on the road with a phenomenal group of women that are eager to show what Miami tennis is all about," assistant coach Alex Santos said.
Friday's action at the Cary Tennis Center began with doubles matches in the morning. After a loss in the semifinal round of the Blue bracket, both Bolivar and Lileikite responded with singles wins in the Black and White brackets, respectively.
"In singles, both worked really hard to improve their games and finish the day on a positive note," Santos added.
Bolivar was leading in the third set, 5-4, over Texas A&M's Wen Sun when the latter retired.
Lileikite was steady in her match, proving to be too much for North Carolina's Ashley Dai (6-2, 6-4)
In the morning session, the two vets teamed up to defeat the Texas duo of Begley and Gajic, 8-1. However, North Carolina's pair of Slater and Suarez-Malaguti forced the Miami tandem into Saturday's third-place match against Texas A&M's Stancu and Sanchez-Quintanar, 8-1.
"It's the start of a new season and after a strong opening-round match in doubles, I felt that Lina and Meli had a hard time adapting in a more competitive environment in their second match," Santos said. "At this point in time, it's not as much about the results, but the overall process."
Bolivar and Lileikite will each play at 10 a.m. in their respective brackets. Bolivar will face Maya Jansen of Alabama while Lileikite will battle Yale's Madeleine Hamilton.
"It was also a special day for our program because it was the first college tournament for Kelsey wearing the orange and green," Santos said. "She competed and fit in perfectly with what we are trying to do."
Laurente overpowered Alabama's Natalia Maynetto in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. The Miramar, Fla., native will face Duke's 44th-ranked Mary Clayton Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Blue bracket quarterfinals.
"We will rest tonight and look ahead to another day full of tennis on Saturday," Santos concluded.