Women’s Tennis: Big end to regular season

The breaks just didn’t go Miami’s way last weekend as the ‘Canes fell to both Duke and North Carolina.

That changed this weekend, as Miami didn’t lose a point, defeating both Maryland and Boston College to conclude their regular season.

The victories end the regular season for Miami (17-5, 8-3 ACC), who are ranked No. 10 in the country, according to the International Tennis Federation.

Friday’s big story was the historic performance of senior Audrey Banada. Banada, ranked No. 44 by the ITF, became Miami’s all-time leader in both singles and doubles.

Banada defeated Maryland’s Brooke Rogers in dominant fashion, 6-0, 6-1. The win put her beyond Miami’s former All-American Ronni Reis, who recorded 103 wins from 1985-1988.

The doubles performance was equally as overpowering, as she and partner Gina Sabatino defeated Lisa Miller and Elyse Steiner 8-0. Banada’s doubles record is now 131-32, well beyond former Hurricane Melissa Applebaum’s 107-34 record.

Banada is the first ‘Cane to hold the singles and doubles record since Lise Gregory in 1987.

Banada’s performance matched her team’s output, as they swept the Terps 7-0. ITF No. 1 ranked Audra Cohen lost only one game to Maryland’s Marianne Baker, 6-1, 6-0. In fact, no ‘Cane lost a set to the Terrapins, with freshman Laura Vallverdu coming the closest to going into a third set. She defeated Michal Amir 6-1, 6-2.

The performance Saturday was not as historic, but equally dominant. No. 14-ranked Laura Vallverdu was taken into a tiebreaker, but held, and again the Hurricanes didn’t give up a set. Vallverdu defeated Dasha Cherkasov (BC) 7-5, 6-1, and the ‘Canes defeated the Eagles, 7-0, on Senior Day.

Cohen defeated Lana Krasnopolsky, 6-1, 6-1, and the record-breaker Banada extended her mark, picking up a singles victory over Lauren Cash, 6-1, 6-0 and a doubles victory, as she and Sabatino defeated Brittany Delaney and Gia Nafarrete, 8-2.

The match, which wasrescheduled from Sunday to Saturday due to possible inclement weather, went all for the Hurricanes.

Every singles and doubles match was picked up by Miami.

The ‘Canes now prepare for the ACC Championships, which will take place at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, North Carolina this Thursday through Sunday. Miami advanced to the ACC final last year, where they were defeated by the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech.

Matthew Bunch may be contacted at m.bunch@umiami.edu.