DURHAM, N.C. – The 10th-ranked Duke women’s tennis team, maintaining its momentum from a strong ITA Kickoff Weekend, upended visiting Furman, 7-0, Saturday morning in the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center in Durham, N.C. With the victory, Duke improved to 4-0 on the season, while Furman fell to 1-1. The Blue Devils remain undefeated against Furman, posting a 12-0 all- time record against the Paladins.
“We had some specific things that we wanted to work on [in the match],” Duke head women’s tennis coach Jamie Ashworth said. “We wanted to be the aggressive ones. I thought we did that. Now we have to get ready for the National Team Indoors this week. We have to step up everything because it’s another level.”
Freshman Alyssa Smith and senior Marianne Jodoin opened the match by dispensing of Furman’s Margaret Boyette and Karlee Bryde, 6-1, on court 3. The duo opened a 3-0 lead over the Furman pair before dropping their lone game of the set. Smith and Jodoin rebounded, winning the remaining three games to earn the pair’s eighth win of the season.
On court 2, junior Ester Goldfeld and senior Hanna Mar jumped out to an early 2-0 lead over Furman’s Ansley Speaks and Blair Martin before the Paladin pair won two consecutive games to tie the set, 2-2. Goldfeld and Mar strung together two games of their own, leading the set 4-2 before surrendering one more game en route to a 6-3 win. The match marked the first time the pair teamed together in 2014. With the win on court 2, Duke secured the doubles point.
Duke’s singles picked up where the doubles left off, putting in dominating performances that included a stellar 6-0, 6-0 showing by Jodoin on court 5. Jodoin was first off the courts in singles, improving her record to 13-5 on the season.
Senior Rachel Kahan, competing in just her third match of the season, posted an impressive 6-2, 6-0 victory over Furman’s Boyette on court 6. Kahan, returning from an injury that forced her to miss the entire season last year, continues to improve.
“Every time Rachel plays, she gets better and better,” Ashworth said. “She was much better today than she was last weekend. The more match play she has, the more time she puts herself in a pressure situation, the better off she’s going to be in the long term.”
Mar, third off the courts, secured the match winning point for Duke, defeating Speaks, 6-1, 6-1. After a 1-1 tied set, Mar settled in and won five consecutive games en route to a 6-1 first set. In the second set, Mar broke Speaks’ serve twice, leading to a 4-1 lead before Mar closed out the match with a 6-1 second set.
Smith extended her match win streak to four on Saturday after defeating Furman’s Oudin, 6-1, 6-2. The contest marked the first match this season that Smith played in the No. 3 position, after the Laguna Niguel, Calif., native posted records of 2-0 at the No. 4 position and 1-0 at the No. 6 position earlier in 2014.
In addition to strong performances, Duke also saw hard-fought victories Saturday, including the match on court 1 between Goldfeld and Moreno-Kaste. After falling behind 1-4, Goldfeld responded admirably, not conceding another game to Moreno-Kaste. Goldfeld closed out the first set after winning five consecutive games. During the second set, the two-time ACC Tennis Player of the Week settled into a rhythm, taking the match 6-4, 6-1, improving the Brooklyn, N.Y., native to 13-5 this season.
Mulholland concluded the match with a decisive 6-2, 6-3 victory over Furman’s Bryde. Mulholland maintained control of the first set, breaking Bryde’s serve to take a 2-0 advantage. Mulholland drop a game, making the match 2-1, before the Portland, Ore., native broke Byrde’s serve for a second time, cruising to a 6-2 first set. In the second set, Mulholland recovered from a 1-3 deficit, winning five consecutive games to conclude the final match of the contest.
Duke travels to Charlottesville, Va., Feb. 7-10 to compete in the 16-team field at the ITA Indoor Team Nationals competition.
1. Ester Goldfeld (DU) def. Alex Moreno-Kaste (FUR) 6-4, 6-1
2. Hanna Mar (DU) def. Ansley Speaks (FUR) 6-1, 6-1
3. Alyssa Smith (DU) def. Katherine Oudin (FUR) 6-1, 6-2
4. Annie Mulholland (DU) def. Karlee Bryde (FUR) 6-2, 6-3
5. Marianne Jodoin (DU) def. Kelly Sullivan (FUR) 6-0, 6-0
6. Rachel Kahan (DU) def. Margaret Boyette (FUR) 6-2, 6-0
1. Beatrice Capra/Annie Mulholland (DU) vs. Alex Moreno-Kaste/Katherine Oudin (FUR) 5-3, unf.
2. Ester Goldfeld/Hanna Mar (DU) def. Ansley Speaks/Blair Martin (FUR) 6-3
3. Alyssa Smith/Marianne Jodoin (DU) def. Margaret Boyette/Karlee Bryde (FUR) 6-1