Women’s Tennis: ‘Canes sweep weekend

The 9th-ranked University of Miami women’s tennis team barely broke a sweat over the weekend in handily sweeping ACC foes Virginia Tech on Friday and No. 49 Virginia on Sunday afternoon.

The Hurricanes (15-3, 6-1) welcomed freshman star Laura Vallverdu back into doubles action on Friday as she teamed with Audra Cohen in the No. 1 spot to defeat the Hokies’ Inga Beermann and Jessica Long 8-0. The UM pair are currently No. 16 in the nation in doubles.

Audrey Banada and Romy Farah, ranked 22nd, won their doubles match 8-4 and Caren Seenauth and Gina Sabatino teamed up to win 8-2.

In singles action, the ‘Canes rout continued, sweeping all six matches in two sets apiece, the closest set being Jessica’s long first set 6-4 loss to No. 38 Audrey Banada. Gino Sabatino earned her first sweep of the season, beating Virginia Tech’s Abbey Walker 6-0, 6-0 at the No. 5 spot.

Virginia Tech fell to 10-9 with the loss and has yet to win in ACC play.

Sunday’s match against Virginia (8-8, 2-5) saw a Cavaliers team currently ranked 49th in the country and coming off a big win against NC State. The Hurricanes could not be stopped, however, sweeping the Cavaliers 7-0.

“I expected to win, without a doubt,” Head Coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “But to win 7-0, that was a bit surprising.”

Yaroshuk-Tews believes the ‘Canes were able to dominate because they were more physical than their opponents

“Physically our girls were a big stronger today,” she added. “When you’re in good condition, you’re able to play very mentally sound tennis.”

No. 1 ranked Audra Cohen easily won her match against the Cavaliers’ Jennifer Stevens 6-1, 6-0.

“I played well today,” she said. “[Stevens is] from Miami and probably had more fans here than me, but I played a solid match from beginning to end.”

Cohen’s match was finished almost as quickly as it began, but No. 16 Laura Vallverdu, after winning her first set 6-1, had a fight to the finish in her second set before finally closing out Lindsey Pereira 7-6. A brief controversy over calling faults seemed to throw Vallverdu off her game slightly in the second set.

In other action, Banada defeated Maggie Yahner 6-3, 6-1; Romy Farah won in the No. 3 spot against Britney Larson 6-3, 6-5; Sabatino beat Amanda Rales 6-4, 7-5; and Caren Seenauth won in the No. 6 spot against the Cavaliers’ Caroline Hammond 6-2, 6-1.

“I’ve been having a bit of a tough time with my own game lately,” Banada said. “So it was important to have no unforced errors today.”

Currently tied for second in the ACC, the ‘Canes go on the road for a pair of tough matches against No. 20 Duke and No. 13 Maryland before returning home to close out with Maryland and Boston College.

“We can go to the top from here,” Cohen said. “We just need to keep it simple.”

Brian Yates may be contacted at b.yates@umiami.edu.