Tennis teams storm past competition over weekend


Hurricane Claudia Wasilewski returns a shot from UCF's Kenza Belbacha at a match on Sunday.  The Hurricanes won 6-1.  ALEX BROADWELL // HURRICANE STAFF
Hurricane Claudia Wasilewski returns a shot from UCF's Kenza Belbacha at a match on Sunday. The Hurricanes won 6-1. ALEX BROADWELL // HURRICANE STAFF

Whoever said perfection wasn’t possible obviously didn’t watch this weekend’s men’s tennis matches.

On both Saturday and Sunday afternoon, the 23rd-ranked Hurricanes (4-2, 1-0) swept both 63rd-ranked Clemson (3-3, 0-1) and Penn (2-2), 7-0.

Sophomore Christian Blocker won his first two matches of the season in the first position while freshman Ignacio Taboada and 96th-ranked All-American sophomore Carl Sundberg improved to a flawless 5-0 in the spring.

Besides winning all three doubles matches on Sunday, every singles point was decided in straight sets except for sophomore Keith Crowley’s 7-6, 3-6, 10-4 victory against freshman Jason Lin.

“The guys have stepped up and are becoming better players,” volunteer assistant Mel Spence said. “I don’t think we did anything different over these last two wins. I think it’s the mindset that these guys are getting comfortable with that’s helping them execute better and get more mature as we move along.”

Senior David Rosenfeld returned to the court on Saturday for his first action after having surgery in the ACC opener. Senior Daniel Vallverdu remains sidelined by a pectoral strain.

Blocker and Taboada each battled back in three-set affairs to take down their Tiger opponents.

“We are very glad to have David Rosenfeld back playing again after recovering from surgery,” head coach Mario Rincon said. “Christian played a lot more aggressively and used all of his weapons. We played solid in every spot.”

After a short break, the Hurricanes, who have won three straight, hit the road to face in-state rival and seventh-ranked Florida (5-0) on Feb. 22. A week later, Miami heads to 17th-ranked Florida State (6-2).

“During the next two weeks we will focus on making individual improvements for all of our guys,” assistant coach CJ Weber said. “We’ve learned a lot over our first six matches, so now we get a little bit of a break to allow our guys to rest and work on some of those things we need to improve.”

The 13th-ranked women’s tennis team won its ninth-straight home victory on Sunday afternoon at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center with a 6-1 defeat of Central Florida (2-2).

For just the second time under head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews, the Hurricanes jumped off to a 6-0 record to start the season.

After securing the doubles point by sweeping all three doubles matches, including wins from junior Laura Vallverdu and sophomore Julia Cohen in the first position, the Canes took an early 1-0 lead.

Vallverdu and Cohen improved to 6-0 in doubles play.

“I’m really happy with the progress we are making in doubles play,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We are implementing some new formations, and the girls are getting adjusted and playing really well. I’m especially excited about the progress of our No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams.”

For the first time this season, Vallverdu competed in the first position and dominated in a 6-0, 6-0 decision. Eichkorn also won 6-0, 6-0 in the third slot. Kissell, who moved into the second position with Cohen out of the singles lineup, earned a 6-1, 6-0 victory and remained perfect in the spring at 6-0.

The lone loss came in the sixth position as freshman Alessa Waibel dropped her first match, 6-7 (2-7), 2-6.

“Our No. 1 through No. 4 singles positions are looking really good right now, and I’m proud of the way they stayed focused today and kept playing to the level I know they can play at,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We needed to stay focused as a team today, and make sure to keep playing at a high level.”

Miami heads to Madison, Wis., for the ITA National Team Indoor Tournament, which the team earned a bid to last weekend by winning the Coral Gables qualifier.