Falling 11 spots in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings usually makes for a discouraged and unmotivated team.
However, the University of Miami women’s tennis team has not faltered since – in fact, it retaliated with a 7-0 sweep of Wake Forest, losing only one set in the entire match. The team also defeated No. 14 Clemson, 7-0, just two days later.
The doubles performance of senior Lina Lileikite and junior Stephanie Wagner nearly toppled the top-ranked doubles team in the country against Clemson. Lileikite and Wagner led 7-4 and were two points away from defeating Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies when the match ended.
On top of that, star senior Clementina Riobueno was named ACC Player of the Week.
Maybe the ITA should question the Hurricanes’ talent more often. On Tuesday, the ITA ranked the Hurricanes as No. 14.
“We’re excited for March. March is a tough month for us, and to start [ACC play] the way we did was great,” head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews told hurricanesports.com. “They came out and they just played with incredible energy and did a great job … I thought they played well; I thought they played clean.”
The Hurricanes have yet to lose a single match in head-to-head ACC play, but they must continue to play with the right amount of confidence and motivation.
As one of the most competitive conferences in the ITA, the ACC is bound to throw tough matches at Miami with University of North Carolina (UNC), Duke and Florida State University (FSU).
Four of the top 15 teams and six in the top 25 in the ITA are in the ACC.
UNC handed Miami one of its hardest losses of the season last month at the ITA National Indoor Championships, and rival FSU always puts up a tough match.
Both of Miami’s losses in 2015 are to teams that have been ranked No. 1 in the country.
Six of Miami’s eight dual matches have come against nationally ranked teams. The Canes defeated four of them; three of them were shutouts.
This Friday, the Hurricanes will head north to Syracuse, N.Y. to take on the Orange at 3 p.m.