CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women's tennis team was edged by No. 18 Duke, 5-2, Sunday afternoon at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
No. 29 Miami was down a player due to injury and had another player retire during the match, leaving the Hurricanes quite shorthanded against their third top-20 opponent in a span of six days.
“Honestly I'm so proud of these girls; they competed their tails off,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We obviously came up short today. We had an unfortunate incident happen on court one, but I am really proud of the girls' fight and I'm really proud of what they did today. We just have to move forward.”
After a lengthy doubles competition, Duke (9-3, 3-0 ACC) won a pair of matches just moments apart to take the opening point.
Chalena Scholl and Alyssa Smith downed sophomore Ana Madcur and freshman Estela Perez-Somarriba, 6-2, and then No. 34 Meibile Chi and Kaitlyn McCarthy defeated junior Silvia Fuentes and freshman Dominika Paterova, 6-4.
The match between freshman Sara Culbertson and junior Sinead Lohan against Ellyse Hamlin and Samantha Harris was left unfinished with the Blue Devils in front, 6-5. For Culbertson, a native of Coral Gables, it marked her first dual match action as a Hurricane.
Duke earned its second point when seventh-ranked Lohan was forced to retire from her match, while holding a 5-4 lead in the first set. That gave the victory to No. 90 Harris.
A 6-1, 6-0 win by No. 42 Scholl over Paterova made it 3-0 in favor of Duke, but Miami (4-7, 3-3 ACC) would not go away easily.
Perez-Somarriba earned her second top-25 victory in a span of three days, both of which have come over fellow freshmen, to put the Hurricanes on the board.
The Madrid native topped No. 23 Chi in straight set, 6-3, 6-1. She has won 24 of 29 games in her last four sets to lead her to the two elite victories.
“Estela once again is showing that she's going to be a force to reckon with here at the end of this year and beginning of next year,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “This kid is so committed to her tennis, she's so committed to the University and I'm just really proud of her level of maturity; it far exceeds someone of her age.”
Hamlin clinched the match for Duke by registering a 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Culbertson. The final two matches were then both played out.
Fuentes gave Miami its second point of the afternoon in comeback fashion, topping Smith, 1-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8).
Madcur's match against No. 79 McCarthy turned out to be thriller. After Madcur forced a third set, she took a 9-3 lead in the 10-point tiebreaker, but McCarthy stormed back to take a 10-9 lead. The players then went back and forth until McCarthy won the final three to take the match, 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 (17-15).
Miami's next match will be Friday on the road against Boston College, with the sides set to square off at 1 p.m., in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
1. No. 34 Meibile Chi/Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. Silvia Fuentes/Dominika Paterova (UM), 6-4
2. Chalena Scholl/Alyssa Smith (DU) def. Ana Madcur/Estela Perez-Somarriba (UM), 6-2
3. Ellyse Hamlin/Samantha Harris (DU) vs. Sara Culbertson/Sinead Lohan (UM), 6-5, unfinished
1. No. 90 Samantha Harris (DU) def. No. 7 Sinead Lohan (UM), 4-5, retired
2. No. 66 Estela Perez-Somarriba (UM) def. No. 23 Meibile Chi (DU), 6-3, 6-1
3. No. 42 Chalena Scholl (DU) def. Dominika Paterova (UM), 6-1, 6-0
4. No. 79 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. Ana Madcur (UM), 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 (17-15)
5. Silvia Fuentes (UM) def. Alyssa Smith (DU), 1-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8)
6. Ellyse Hamlin (DU) def. Sara Culbertson (UM), 6-2, 6-4