Sports, Tennis

Hurricanes maul Pack

Melissa Bolivar returns a serve during a 2nd doubles match against NC State. Adrianne D'Angelo//Photo Editor

In their first weekend series at home in nearly a month, the Hurricane women’s tennis team continued to demonstrate why they are among the top teams in the ACC.

For the second time in as many matches, Miami struck first and didn’t let up until the victory had been clinched, taking the first four points en route to a 5-2 win over the NC State Wolfpack. The win puts the Hurricanes at 7-1 in the ACC and 15-4 overall.

“I’m happy with the way the girls have been coming out and competing,” said head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews after the win against NC State. “Wake and NC State are both really solid teams. NC State’s got a lot of fight, willing to play long points. I think it says a lot about the girls to go out and take care of these two matches the way they have.”

The No. 11-ranked duo of Bianca Eichkorn and Anna Bartenstein got things rolling for the Canes in the doubles match, securing the first win of the afternoon with an 8-4 victory over the No. 26-ranked Sanaa Bhambri and Sandhya Nagaraj. From there, Gabriela Mejia and Melissa Bolivar guaranteed Miami the point with an 8-2 win of their own, before Danielle Mills and Brittany Dubins completed the sweep with an 8-6 win.

“I think it was important to come out the way we did in doubles,” Eichkorn said. “We played aggressive and I think everyone went into singles feeling comfortable and confident that we could win all seven points today. The team just did a great job today and came out strong.”

Once singles play began, Eichkorn continued her tear through ACC opponents after a 6-0, 6-0 win over the No. 29 Bhambri. It’s the eighth win of the season against an ACC foe for Eichkorn, who herself is ranked eighth in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association Rankings.

“I don’t really pay that much attention to the winning streak,” Eichkorn said. “Every time I step out there I just try to do exactly the same.”

Miami won the next two matches to guarantee the overall win after Bartenstein (6-2, 6-2) and Mejia (6-4, 6-4) overpowered NC State’s Nagaraj and Joelle Kissell.

The Wolfpack managed to take two points of their own when Tatiana Illova made quick work of No. 109 Kayla Rizzolo (6-1, 6-4). Brittany Dubins also took a loss (2-6, 6-3, 1-0) for the Canes at the hands of Chloe Smith, but Melissa Bolivar ended things on a high note for Miami with a win of her own to conclude the match.

Miami also got off to a quick start against Wake Forest on Friday afternoon, taking the first five points of the day and eventually cruising to a 6-1 win. The Canes took two out of three for the doubles point, and Mejia was able to take the clinching fourth point against Wake Forest’s Ryann Cutillo (6-1, 6-1). Coach Yaroshuk-Tews emphasized the importance of getting off to a quick start, but also noted that her team has been playing well enough to be able to recover from any situation.

“The doubles point is always important. To be able to go into singles one point up, with as strong as we are in singles, I think it sets a tone,” she said. “With that being said, you lose the doubles point, we still have the ability to win the match, but in women’s tennis, I think momentum is really big.”

The team will hit the road once more next weekend for matches against Boston College and Maryland before returning home to close out the regular season against the Duke Blue Devils.

Ernesto Suarez may be contacted at esuarez@themiamihurricane.com.

April 3, 2011

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Ernesto Suarez

Sports Editor


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