CORAL GABLES, Fla. – In front of the largest crowd in recent memory, the 10th-ranked University of Miami women’s tennis team dropped its first match in 10 tries to top-ranked North Carolina on Friday night at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center, 5-2.
“North Carolina played a great match,” said Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews. “North Carolina does what they always do, they make you beat them.”
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 10 Miami
|No. 7 Gina Suarez-Malaguti||6||6|
|No. 79 Stephanie Wagner||3||3|
|No. 48 Zoe De Bruycker||3||6||10|
|No. 42 Caroline Price||7||6|
|No. 81 Kelsey Laurente||5||1|
|No. 34 Whitney Kay||7||6|
|No. 121 Clementina Riobueno||6||6|
|No. 52 Whitney Kay/Caroline Price||8|
|No. 39 Lina Lileikite/Stephanie Wagner||4|
|Ashley Dai/Zoe De Bruycker||0|
|Clementina Riobueno/Monique Albuquerque||8|
|Tessa Lyons/Gina Suarez-Malaguti||9|
|Melissa Bolivar/Kelsey Laurente||8 (9)|
Despite singles wins from Melissa Bolivar and Clementina Riobueno, the Canes couldn’t overcome losing the doubles point for the first time in 10 matches.
Following an easy win at No. 2 and a loss at No. 1, the Miami faithful turned their attention to the battle at the third doubles spot. After several match-point opportunities for UM, the North Carolina duo of Lyons and Suarez-Malaguti were able to edge Laurente and Bolivar, 9-8 (11-9), in the two-hour long set.
“At this point in in the season, in April, you got to be finishing matches,” said Yaroshuk-Tews. “It’s not about starting off strong, it’s about finishing matches strong… I’m pretty disappointed with how that transpired.”
Albuquerque and Riobueno were flawless in an 8-0 win over UNC’s Dai and De Bruycker on Court No. 2, improving their doubles record to 11-1 on the season.
After doubles, Yaroshuk-Tews’ message to the team was to go out and get a fast point in singles and wash out the doubles loss.
Bolivar did just that, tying the match a 1-1 with her 6-2, 6-2 win over Tessa Lyons. The victory was the 15th of the season for the Colombian and she moved to a perfect 7-0 playing at No. 6 singles.
Unfortunately for Miami, the next three matches went to the North Carolina as the nation’s top-ranked team clinched the win.
Caroline Price, ranked No. 42, defeated Kelsey Laurente on Court No. 3, 7-5, 6-1. Seventh-ranked Gina Suarez-Malaguti handed freshman Stephanie Wagner her first loss in six matches at the No. 1 spot, 6-3, 6-3. The match-clincher came on Court No. 4, where 34th-ranked Whitney Kay defeated Monique Albuquerque, 7-5, 6-1.
Play continued and Riobueno cruised in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) for her team-leading 19th singles win of the season, 13 of them coming out of the No. 5 position.
On all the fans that supported the Canes, Yaroshuk-Tews said, “I think it was unbelievable for college tennis. I hope everyone go to see what we have to offer and how great the tennis is out here on a weekly basis in our conference… It’s great to have people appreciating what these kids are putting in.”
Miami has less than 48 hours before it faces the No. 9 Duke Blue Devils on Sunday. The match is set for a noon start at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Those that can’t make it to the match can follow along via live stats here or by following @HurricaneTennis on Twitter.
1. #7 Gina Suarez-Malaguti (NC) def. #79 Stephanie Wagner (UM) 6-3, 6-3
2. #48 Zoe De Bruycker (NC) def. Lina Lileikite (UM) 3-6, 6-2, 10-8
3. #42 Caroline Price (NC) def. #81 Kelsey Laurente (UM) 7-5, 6-1
4. #34 Whitney Kay (NC) def. Monique Albuquerque (UM) 7-5, 6-1
5. #121 Clementina Riobueno (UM) def. Lauren McHale (NC) 6-4, 6-2
6. Melissa Bolivar (UM) def. Tessa Lyons (NC) 6-2, 6-2
1. #52 Whitney Kay/Caroline Price (NC) def. #39 Lina Lileikite/Stephanie Wagner (UM) 8-4
2. Clementina Riobueno/Monique Albuquerque (UM) def. Ashley Dai/Zoe De Bruycker (NC) 8-0
3. Tessa Lyons/Gina Suarez-Malaguti (NC) def. Kelsey Laurente/Melissa Bolivar (UM) 9-8
Order of Finish
Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,3,1,4,5,2)