After 11 consecutive appearances in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, the Miami women’s tennis team is bound to stumble once in a while.
Facing some of the best teams in the country, including top-ranked UCLA, No. 7 Alabama and No. 3 UNC, the No. 12 Hurricanes hung tough in a talent-packed weekend that included five ACC teams.
On the first day of competition, the Hurricanes hit the ground running. They ousted Alabama, a top-10 team, in a decisive 4-1 victory.
Monique Albuquerque secured the most memorable win of the day. After winning her first set 6-2, she dropped her second set 2-6 and was falling behind, 1-4, in the third set, but rallied for five games to pull out the three-set victory.
In doubles play, Miami and Alabama split matches, and freshman duo Sinead Lohan and Wendy Zhang took home a tiebreak win.
The rest of the weekend proved difficult for the Hurricanes, who fell to the Tar Heels 4-1, in the quarterfinals. Doubles yet again came down to Lohan – Zhang freshman duo, who led 6-5 but fell in a tiebreaker, 8-6.
Miami lost all of its singles matches, thus being eliminated, but played in consolation matches the next day.
“[They] were just too good for us today,” said Head Coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews. “We weren’t able to implement game plans the way we needed to. We need to put this match behind us and get ready for another big battle.”
On Sunday, the last day of competition for the Hurricanes, UCLA swept Miami 4-0. Against the No. 1 Bruins, Miami’s only win of the day was the No. 15-ranked due of Albuquerque and Clementina Riobueno pulling out a 6-2 win.
The No. 8-ranked Miami team of Stephanie Wagner and Lina Lileikite narrowly lost to the top-ranked ULCA team 7-6. Apart from this weekend, Miami is 2-0 this season and swept both matches.
“We are definitely a better team coming out of this tournament then we were coming in,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “Having played number one, four and seven in the nation on the weekend just makes a team stronger. We learned so much about this team and I’m looking forward to an amazing season.”