Canes triumph over ranked opponents

Miami won two of three matches at the ITA Indoor Championships over the weekend, the nation’s most prestigious indoor team tournament.

The Canes were one of the 14 ranked teams in the 16-team tournament. Miami downed No. 13 William & Mary and No. 7 California; their only loss came at the hand of No. 1 Stanford, 4-3.

“The girls really played great tennis,” Head Coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “The one thing that I haven’t seen in a few years is that one through six, our entire lineup, we just can outwork the other programs. In the past, certain positions could, but this year’s squad, whether on a good or bad day, [the girls] put their hard hats on.”

On Thursday night, the Hurricanes defeated William & Mary 4-1, thanks to singles wins from all but No. 29 sophomore Laura Vallverdu. Wins in two of three doubles matches led by the team of freshman Michaela Kissell and senior Gina Sabatino, in an 8-3 win, as well as Kissell’s 6-2, 6-1 victory against No. 55 sophomore Ragini Acharya put Miami ahead 2-0. In the No. 5 spot, senior Caren Seenauth defeated sophomore Lauren Sabacinski to finish off the Tribe.

The following day, the Hurricanes suffered their first loss of the season in a close 4-3 decision to undefeated Stanford. Despite falling behind 2-0, Miami would persevere and come back to win two of the next three points from sophomore Claudia Wasilewski and Vallverdu. However, No. 58 freshman Carolyn McVeigh beat Seenauth 6-2, 6-3 in the fifth position. The Cardinals won all three doubles matches.

To end the weekend, the Canes took part in the quarterfinal consolation bracket by facing No. 7 California.

Kissell won her ninth-straight match and Vallverdu conquered her second consecutive top 40 foe as Miami won 4-3.

In a crucial deciding doubles point, the team of Seenauth and freshman Bianca Eichkorn took down Stanford’s pair 8-2. Eichkorn would determine the day’s outcome with a 6-4, 6-4 win in the fourth position and the first for the Canes over a top 10 team this season.

“[Kissell] and [Eichkorn] had great starts and a good tournament,” said Yaroshuk-Tews. “They’re good listeners and play with fire and are intelligent kids who work their tails off. They set the tone for the upperclassmen. They have great attitudes and back it up with such passion and work.”

Miami returns to the Neil Schiff Tennis Center for two weekend battles. Miami will welcome in-state rival Central Florida Saturday at 12 p.m. and No. 11 Baylor Sunday at 11 a.m.

Christina De Nicola may be contacted at