DURHAM, N.C. – The top-seeded Duke women’s tennis team defeated No. 44 Boston College, 6-1, Friday, April 11, in Ambler Tennis Stadium in Durham, N.C. With the win, the Blue Devils improved to 21-1 on the season and 11-1 in ACC play, while Boston College fell to 12-8 and 4-6 in conference action. Duke’s two seniors, Hanna Mar and Marianne Jodoin, were honored at the beginning of the match as a part of Senior Day festivities.
“There’s always emotions with things like that, and I think [Hanna and Marianne] did a good job of handling their emotions, especially in the beginning of the match,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “Hanna did a good job of being aggressive and coming forward and staying emotionally engaged in the match. When she does that, she’s really tough to beat. For them not to get caught up in the moment and instead, concentrating on the match at hand was big, and they handled it really well.”
The Blue Devils asserted themselves in doubles action, never trailing on any of the three courts. With wins on courts two and three, Duke clinched the doubles point.
“We talked about finishing what we started and making this a tough place to play,” Ashworth said. “We’ve done a good job at home all year and this was our last home match, so we talked about just making today really tough for [Boston College]. I think we did a good job of taking advantage of the elements and being disciplined in our decision making. We never let up on any court.”
The 20th-ranked doubles team of junior Ester Goldfeld and freshman Alyssa Smith improved to 9-1 on the season after upending Wan-Yi Sweeting and Katya Vasilyev, 8-2, at the No. 2 position. The Blue Devil pair remained in control throughout the match, jumping out to a 3-0 lead. With the match at 6-2, Goldfeld and Smith won two straight games to lead Duke off the courts.
The Duke tandem of junior Annie Mulholland and Jodoin clinched the doubles point for the Blue Devils with an 8-3 victory over Emily Safron and Heini Salonen on court three. With the win, the Duke pair moved to 5-1 on the season.
The match on court one between the fourth-ranked pair of sophomore Beatrice Capra and Mar and the 64th-ranked duo of Lexi Borr and Jessica Wacnik was abandoned with Duke leading, 7-4.
As has been the case throughout the season, Duke’s momentum from clinching the doubles point carried over to singles. On Senior Day, it was fitting that the seniors proved to be the deciding factor in the Blue Devil’s victory.
“I was a little emotional, but having the chance to be on the court and help the team was great,” Jodoin said. “I think it was a good win for us. We played well as a team, and I’m just really happy with the overall match.”
On court one, 23rd-ranked Goldfeld remained undefeated at the No. 1 position this season after defeating Wacnik, 6-1, 6-1. Goldfeld’s strong play in the first set carried over into the second as the Brooklyn, N.Y., native took a 4-0 lead to start the second set. After dropping a game, bringing the second set to 4-1, Goldfeld broke Wacnik’s serve before serving out for the match. Goldfeld extended her winning streak to nine matches with the victory.
The 32nd-ranked Mar brought the Blue Devils within a point of the victory after defeating Katya Vasilyev, 6-1, 6-2, on court two. Mar opened the match by dropping the first game, however the Burr Ridge, Ill., native never looked back, winning six straight games to take the first set. In the second set, Mar jumped out to a 4-1 lead. After dropping an additional game, Mar closed out by winning two consecutive games.
Appropriately, Jodoin clinched the match for the Blue Devils on Senior Day. Jodoin remained unbeaten at the No. 5 position this season after upending Safron, 6-2, 7-5. Although Jodoin cruised in the first set, the second set proved more challenging for the Varennes, Quebec, native. Jodoin trailed from the start of the second set, falling behind, 4-5. Jodoin rallied, winning three straight games to clinch the victory for Duke.
“I just told myself that I’d stick to my match plan,” Jodoin said. “Even though [Safron] had some good points, I just hung in there and when I had the chance, I grabbed it.”
With the match clinched, Redshirt junior Rachel Kahan outlasted Boston College’s Heini Salonen, 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-5) on court four to win her 13th match of the season, while 114th-ranked Smith battled to a 6-4, 7-6 (10-8) victory on court three against Borr, moving Smith to 23-8 on the year. Mulholland fell to Sweeting, 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-3) on court six to close out the match.
The Blue Devils close out the regular season with two matches on the road, traveling to Clemson Thursday, April 17, before stopping in Atlanta, Ga., to face Georgia Tech Saturday, April 19.
1. #23 Ester Goldfeld (DU) def. Jessica Wacnik (67) 6-1, 6-1
2. #32 Hanna Mar (DU) def. Katya Vasilyev (67) 6-1, 6-2
3. #114 Alyssa Smith (DU) def. Lexi Borr (67) 6-4, 7-6 (10-8)
4. Rachel Kahan (DU) def. Heini Salonen (67) 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-5)
5. Marianne Jodoin (DU) def. Emily Safron (67) 6-2, 7-5
6. Wan-Yi Sweeting (67) def. Annie Mulholland (DU) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-3)
1. #4 Beatrice Capra/Hanna Mar (DU) vs. #64 Lexi Borr/Jessica Wacnik (67) 7-4, unfinished
2. #20 Ester Goldfeld/Alyssa Smith (DU) def. Wan-Yi Sweeting/Katya Vasilyev (67) 8-2
3. Annie Mulholland/Marianne Jodoin (DU) def. Emily Safron/Heini Salonen (67) 8-3