DURHAM, N.C. - Duke head coach Jamie Ashworth set a lofty goal for the team before conference play began this season. It was an achievement the women's tennis program has never achieved: An 11-0 record in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play. The third-ranked Blue Devils achieved just that Sunday afternoon, defeating Maryland, 6-1, as the Blue Devils hosted Senior Day at Ambler Tennis Stadium.
Since the conference expanded to 12 teams in 2005, Duke (22-2, 11-0 ACC) becomes the second team to record a perfect 11-0 mark in ACC play. North Carolina was the first to accomplish the feat back in 2010.
"We set a goal at the beginning of our conference season of being 11-0," said Ashworth. "This was the final step in that. We talked about finishing what we started six weeks ago. Today was just a culmination of the effort they put in, in practice and the matches, and we wanted to end the season with an exclamation point."
The day began with a dominating and record-setting performance in the No. 3 doubles match, as senior Monica Gorny and junior Mary Clayton cruised to an 8-1 victory over Jordan Hansbrough and Mikele Irazusta. The win tied the school record for ACC doubles victories by a Blue Devil tandem with 16. The only other doubles teams to reach the mark were the duos of Wendy Lyons and Monica Mraz, as well as Vanessa Webb and Karen Goldstein.
Duke clinched the doubles point a short while later with an 8-1 win at No. 1 doubles, as the nation's 28th-ranked unit comprised of freshman Beatrice Capra and sophomore Rachel Kahan cruised over the Terrapins' 26th-ranked duo of Ana Belzunce and Welma Luus.
In singles action, freshman and 102nd-ranked Monica Turewicz picked up a quick 6-0, 2-1 victory over in the No. 5 spot, after Irazusta retired in the second set. The Lake Forest, Ill., native improved her record to 24-3 overall and 10-1 in ACC play. Turewicz's 10 conference victories tie Mallory Cecil, Ellah Nze and Reka Zsilinszka for second most in school history by a freshman.
Ranked No. 96 and playing in the No. 3 spot, Kahan put Duke ahead 3-0 in the overall match with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Van Berlo. Clayton, the nation's 71st-ranked player followed up with a 6-3, 6-3 triumph in the No. 4 spot over Luus to clinch the match. Clayton earned her 30th singles victory of 2012 and finishes ACC play with a 9-0 record.
Mulholland continued the Duke rally in the No. 6 spot, upending Hansbrough, 6-1, 6-3 to push the Duke lead to 5-0. Capra, the nation's second-ranked player, broke Stancu, the nation's 26th-ranked player, twice to win the first set 7-6 (7-3). The Ellicott City, Md., native won a hard-fought second set, 6-2, to claim the victory - her third over a ranked opponent in the last four days. Playing in the No. 2 spot, the 91st-ranked Goldfeld dropped a tough 7-5, 6-3 decision to Belzunce.
After earning the No. 1 seed in next weekend's ACC Tournament, the Blue Devils receive a first round bye and will play Friday, Apr. 21 at 9 a.m., against the winner of Thursday's match between the No. 8 and No. 9 seed. The ACC Tournament will be held at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C.
#3 Duke 6, Maryland 1 Apr. 15, 2012 at Durham, N.C. (Ambler Tennis Stadium)