With temperatures in the high 80’s, sixth-ranked Miami disposed of Army (24-9) 4-0 in an hour and 43 minutes to advance to the second round of the Coral Gables, Fla. NCAA regional against No. 29 Florida International.
“I could tell from the beginning in doubles that they wanted to make the match longer and we were kind of doing it quicker so that they got more tired, and I’m sure because it was really hot today,” junior Laura Vallverdu said. “They were taking their time between points.”
After winning all three doubles matches, the Hurricanes (24-4) earned perfect 6-0, 6-0 singles victories from third-ranked Julia Cohen and 24th-ranked Vallverdu to take a 3-0 lead. Junior Claudia Wasilewski clinched the match with a 6-1, 6-0 finish over Robie Verano in the sixth position.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be one of the hardest matches coming into the tournament, but we come out here and we try to play them as if we were playing top five, top 10 in the nation,” Vallverdu said. “We got the job done, we came out, did what we had to do and stayed efficient.”
Miami will play FIU (19-5) tomorrow at 2 p.m at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Tickets are $5. The winner heads to the Round of 16. Earlier in the day, the Golden Panthers came back from an early 1-0 deficit to defeat No. 42 Princeton 4-3 in a match that fell two minutes short of four hours.
On January 28 the host Canes beat Florida International 6-1. At the time, UM was ranked No. 13 and FIU ranked No. 53.
“We know them pretty well. We play them every year at the beginning of the season,” Vallverdu said. “It’s always a different match when you play them at the end of the season because we’re both different teams and we’re all playing better. They’re used to heat too so we’re expecting them to be at their highest potential.”
1. #3 Julia Cohen (UM) def. Anne Houghton (Army) 6-0, 6-0
2. #24 Laura Vallverdu (UM) def. Niki Flach (Army) 6-0, 6-0
3. #31 Bianca Eichkorn (UM) vs. Sarah Giles-Madden 6-1, 5-0, unfinished
4. #49 Michaela Kissell (UM) vs. Kristin Beehler (Army) 6-1, 3-2, unfinished
5. Gabriela Mejia vs. Michael Tollerton (Army) 6-0, 3-0, unfinished
6. Claudia Wasilewski (UM) def. Robie Verano (Army) 6-1, 6-0
1. #19 Kissell/Vallverdu (UM) def. Flach/Tollerton (Army) 8-1
2. #51 Cohen/Eichkorn (UM) def. Houghton/Beehler (Army) 7-2
3. Mejia/Wasilewski (UM) def. Giles-Madden/Verano (Army) 8-1