It took the very last singles match of Wednesday afternoon for the 13th-ranked University of Miami women’s tennis team to finally lose its first point of the young season.
Luckily everything else went the Hurricanes’ way against No. 53 Florida International in a 6-1 victory at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
Miami (3-0) took five of the six singles matches as well as the doubles point.
Junior two-time All-American Laura Vallverdu easily disposed of her opponent in the second position, 6-1, 6-0, while eighth-ranked sophomore Julia Cohen battled back from an early first-set deficit to win in straight-sets, 6-4, 6-0.
In the sixth position, freshman Alessa Waibel won in her debut, finishing on a come-from-behind three-set win, 5-7, 6-3, 11-9. Junior Claudia Wasilewski and 50th-ranked sophomore Michaela Kissell each took care of business in two sets.
“I think it was a great test for the girls, definitely our strongest opponent thus far,” head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “I think we responded in a positive way. They played well at most of their positions and overall it was a good day for our girls.”
In doubles, the tandem of Cohen and Vallverdu overcame a 3-2 disadvantage and held off a late rally to clinch the point for a 1-0 lead.
“At the beginning we started pretty nervous,” Vallverdu said. “It was really windy and the girls were serving pretty well. We were not too solid. We just kind of played and kept it clean and we told ourselves, ‘we’re still up, we’re still winning.”
The only setback on the day was Mariana Muci’s 6-4, 6-4 upset over 20th-ranked sophomore Bianca Eichkorn in the third position.
With the victory, the Canes improved to 21-1 all-time against the Panthers (1-1).
Miami will serve as one of 15 host sites for this weekend’s ITA National Indoor Qualifier. The Hurricanes face Utah (1-1) at 10 a.m. Saturday. No. 41 Virginia (2-0) and 24th-ranked Tennessee (2-0) will also compete, with the winners of each match set to play in the final on Sunday afternoon.
“Heading into this weekend we’re expecting to have to play great tennis,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “At this point we just want to keep the girls rested, make sure they’re fresh on Sunday and play a little better on doubles.”