DURHAM, N.C. – The 16th-ranked Clemson Tigers played spoiler on senior day, topping the sixth-ranked Duke women’s tennis team, 4-1, Sunday at Ambler Tennis Stadium. After being limited to only five players for the second straight match, the Blue Devils fall to 13-5 on the season, including 4-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play. Of the team’s five losses this season, three have come when Duke is limited to five players.
“After yesterday’s match, we talked about playing as a team and staying together as a team,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “The adversity keeps coming our way, and we just need to keep staying together and believing in each other. We need to be 10 people strong. It doesn’t matter if we have one person on the court or if we have 10 people on the court, we have to play with pride and with character, and I thought we did a good job of doing that today. Clemson is a very good team.”
Despite being limited to just five players in the match, the Blue Devils won both doubles matches to claim the crucial doubles point for the squad. On court one, the duo of senior Mary Clayton and junior Hanna Mar fell behind 0-2 to Tristen Dewar and Yana Koroleva , but broke serve twice to take a 4-2 lead. The two tandems traded games, before Mar showed outstanding quickness at the net, carrying the team to a 7-4 edge. Duke dropped serve to bring the match to 7-6, before Clayton placed a couple of outstanding serves to give the squad a 40-15 advantage. After Clayton hit an outstanding forehand, the Tigers were only able lob it back, where Mar was waiting for an overhead smash to close out the match, 8-6.
On court two, junior Marianne Jodoin and sophomore Annie Mulholland traded games with Beatrice Gumulya and Romy Koelzer to bring the match level at 6-6. After breaking serve to take a 7-6 advantage, Duke was unable to capitalize and dropped consecutive games to fall behind, 7-8. After fending off a triple match point, Jodoin pinned the corners with back-to-back serves to push the match into deuce. The Tigers took the early advantage in the first deuce, but the Blue Devils fought off yet another match point to set up a Mulholland overhead smash to close out the game and force a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, the Tigers took an early 2-0 advantage, but quick hands at the net by Jodoin helped rally the Blue Devil tandem to a 6-2 lead. After a solid rally, the Tigers return landed in the net, clinching the doubles point for Duke.
In singles play, senior Nicole Lipp fell to Dewar, 6-0, 6-0, on court five to give Clemson a 2-1 lead in the match, while 19th-ranked Mar was unable to slow No.42 Liz Jeukeng, falling, 6-3, 6-1.
Clayton, tabbed at No. 99 in the most recent ITA poll, took the first set, 6-4, over 16th-ranked Koroleva in the second position, but was unable to carry that momentum, falling 4-6, 6-0, 6-0. Clayton and Koroleva both held serve early in the first set, but Clayton broke through in the ninth game to take a 5-4 edge before holding serve to close out the set. In the second, Koroleva responded with a number of big serves to take the set, 6-0, and continued her solid play to take the match over Clayton, and clinch the match for Clemson.
In the third spot, Mulholland took a 3-1 lead in the first set against No. 49 Gumulya, but was unable to hold serve twice, giving Gumulya a 6-5 advantage. Mulholland fended off a set point with an outstanding forehand, and was able to capitalize on a critical double fault by Gumulya to push the set into a tiebreaker, where Mulholland outlasted the Clemson sophomore, 7-5. Mulholland held a 2-0 edge when the match was clinched.
Jodoin, listed at No. 94 in the ITA rankings, cruised through the first set, 6-1, against Koelzer but dropped just her first set in the past five matches when Koelzer broke serve twice, en route to a 6-2 victory in the second set. The match was clinched for Clemson at the completion of the second set, so the match was left unfinished.
“It doesn’t get any easier [with the rest of the ACC schedule], so at this point it’s more about our mindset,” Ashworth said. “We’ve just got to keep believing and keep fighting. If someone comes out and beats us, then they beat us, but we want to make people beat us. We can’t just give away points; we just aren’t in a situation where we can afford to do that.”
Duke returns to the courts Friday, April 12 as it takes on Florida State to being the squad’s five match road trip at 5 p.m. The Blue Devils will then remain in Florida, as they travel to Miami for a match with the Hurricanes Sunday, April 14 at 12 p.m.
Tennis Match Results
Clemson vs Duke Apr 07, 2013 at Durham, N.C. (Ambler Tennis Stadium)
#16 Clemson 4, #6 Duke 1
Singles Competition 1. #42 Liz Jeukeng (CU) def. #19 Hanna Mar (DUKE) 6-3, 6-1 2. #16 Yana Koroleva (CU) def. #99 Mary Clayton (DUKE) 4-6, 6-0, 6-0 3. Annie Mulholland (DUKE) vs. #49 Beatrice Gumulya (CU) 7-6 (7-5), 2-0, unfinished 4. #94 Marianne Jodoin (DUKE) vs. Romy Koelzer (CU) 6-1, 2-6, unfinished 5. Tristen Dewar (CU) def. Nicole Lipp (DUKE) 6-0, 6-0 6. Carola Pederzani (CU) def. No player (DUKE), by forfeit
Doubles Competition 1. Mary Clayton/Hanna Mar (DUKE) def. Tristen Dewar/Yana Koroleva (CU) 8-6 2. Annie Mulholland/Marianne Jodoin (DUKE) def. Beatrice Gumulya/Romy Koelzer (CU) 9-8 (7-2) 3. Liz Jeukeng/Ani Miao (CU) def. No player/No player (DUKE), by forfeit
Match Notes: Clemson 10-7 (5-2 ACC); National ranking #16 Duke 13-5 (4-2 ACC); National ranking #6 Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (6,5,1,2) T-3:23 A-328
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