Men’s and women’s tennis programs collect wins across the board

Redshirt senior Estela Perez-Somarriba loads up a return during her singles match in her win at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Sunday March 21. Perez-Somarriba who is currently ranked as the number two singles player, won her match 6-1, 3-1 after her opponent retired due to injury.
Redshirt senior Estela Perez-Somarriba loads up a return during her singles match in her win at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Sunday, March 21. Perez-Somarriba, who is currently ranked as the No. 2 singles player, won her match 6-1, 3-1 after her opponent retired due to injury. Photo credit: Josh Halper

It was a successful weekend for Miami’s men’s and women’s tennis programs as they went a combined 3-0.

Even with a two-hour rain delay, the No. 35 women’s team was red hot with a 7-0 win over No. 47 Notre Dame at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center Friday afternoon.

The Hurricanes’ only blemish on the afternoon was in doubles, as Diana Khodan and Maya Tahan fell 6-2 in their collective set. But UM took the doubles point anyway by virtue of wins from Estela Perez-Somarriba and Isabella Pfennig (7-5) and Daevenia Achong and Florencia Urrutia (6-4).

Sophomore Diana Khodan pumps her fist after scoring a point in her match on Sunday March 21 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Khodan won her singles match 6-0, 6-1.
Sophomore Diana Khodan pumps her fist after scoring a point in her match on Sunday, March 21 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Khodan won her singles match 6-0, 6-1. No. 35 ranked Miami beat Louisville 6-1 on Sunday afternoon. Photo credit: Josh Halper

The Canes then were perfect in singles play against the Irish. Perez-Somarriba, ranked No. 2 nationally in singles, defeated the Irish’s Cameron Corse 6-1, 6-1. Pfennig took down Notre Dame’s Page Freeman 6-2, 6-1 on the second court, Achong prevailed over Ally Bojczuk 6-0, 6-1, Tahan beat Julia Andreach 6-3, 6-2 and Khodan triumphed over ND’s Yashna Yellayi 6-1, 6-2. The closest individual match of the afternoon took place on the No. 4 court, where Urrutia prevailed over Julia Lilien 2-6, 6-4 and 10-7 in the match tiebreaker.

Miami was nearly as efficient Sunday afternoon against Louisville at home. Once again, the Canes took the doubles point 2 sets to 1.

Sophomore Maya Tahan serves during her doubles match on Sunday March 21 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Tahan and her parter, sophomore, Diana Khodan, lost their doubles match, but Miami was able to win their other two doubles matches to secure the doubles point.
Sophomore Maya Tahan serves during her doubles match on Sunday, March 21 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Tahan and her parter, sophomore, Diana Khodan, lost their doubles match, but Miami was able to win their other two doubles matches to secure the doubles point. Photo credit: Josh Halper

In singles, Perez-Somarriba picked up right where she left off to days prior as she won 6-1, 3-1. Her opponent, Louisville’s Nikolina Jovic, retired in the second set.

Achong took down Raven Neely 6-4, 6-3, Khodan beat Rhea Verma 6-0, 6-1 and Tahan defeated the Cardinals’ Dina Chaika 6-2, 6-4.

Two singles matches Sunday went to a match tiebreak. Pfennig dispatched Andrea DiPalma 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, [10-4]. Urrutia meanwhile fell to UL’s Chelsea Sawyer 6-3, 4-6, [10-3].

Sophomore Maya Tahan serves during her doubles match on Sunday March 21 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Tahan and her parter, sophomore, Diana Khodan, lost their doubles match, but Miami was able to win their other two doubles matches to secure the doubles point.
Sophomore Maya Tahan serves during her doubles match on Sunday, March 21 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Tahan and her parter, sophomore, Diana Khodan, lost their doubles match, but Miami was able to win their other two doubles matches to secure the doubles point. Photo credit: Josh Halper

“With wins, you always gain confidence. I think we’re gaining confidence, but we have to be humble … and know what we have moving forward,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said in a post-match Miami Athletics release. “I do think that we’re playing better tennis. I think that we’re playing on our terms on a consistent basis at more spots. I think that when you do it for this many matches, it’s just going to continue into this coming weekend. I think that we’ll use this momentum that we’ve grabbed and we’ll just bring it forward.”

Freshman Isabella Pfennig follows through on a return during a rally in her singles match win on Sunday March 21 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Pfennig lost her first set, but won the match in a tiebreaker set going 6-7 (5-7),6-4,1-0 (10-4). Pfennig also won her doubles match earlier in the afternoon with partner, redshirt senior, Estela Perez-Somarriba with a score of 6-4.
Freshman Isabella Pfennig follows through on a return during a rally in her singles match win on Sunday, March 21 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Pfennig lost her first set, but won the match in a tiebreaker set going 6-7 (5-7),6-4,1-0 (10-4). Pfennig also won her doubles match earlier in the afternoon with partner Estela Perez-Somarriba with a score of 6-4. Photo credit: Josh Halper

The program now sits at 8-5 overall and 5-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, having now won five team matches in succession.

The men’s team escaped a five-match slide Saturday with a 4-3 team win over No. 29 South Florida.

In doubles, Franco Aubone and Benjamin Hannestad won 6-3, and Adria Soriano Barrera and Oren Vasser were victorious by the same scoreline. Bojan Jankulovski and Stephen Madonia were trailing 5-4 when their doubles match was suspended with the Hurricanes having clinched the doubles point.

The doubles point would prove decisive as the sides would evenly split the singles matches. Vasser was the first Hurricanes to complete his single duel, beating USF’s Rithvik Bollipalli 6-1, 6-1. Soriano Barrera was the next to finish as he wrapped up a 6-2, 6-4 win over Chase Ferguson.

The Bulls’ Jakub Wojcik defeated Jankulovski 6-3, 6-2 but the Canes responded as Stefan Milicevic triumphed over Pierre Luquet, 6-3, 6-3.

South Florida did win a pair of singles matches even as the Hurricanes clinched the overall win. Sergio Gomez Montesa beat Aubone 7-6, 4-6, [10-5], while Ivan Yatsuk took down Hannestad in three sets, 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6).

“We have believed in our team from the beginning, but this is one of those years where we are continuing to grow and learn as a team each week,” Piric said per Miami Athletics. “We haven’t had a lot of time to prepare for this season and we are making some adjustments as the season progresses. We have seen a lot of growth, even with the recent hits we have taken, in this team and how they are competing.”

With the win, UM improved to 4-7 overall while holding on to a 2-4 ACC mark.

The women’s team is in action next with a pair of weekend matches against Wake Forest and North Carolina State on March 26 and 28 in Coral Gables. The men’s team meanwhile hosts Louisville and Notre Dame on those same dates in a pair of men/women doubleheaders.

Junio Daevenia Achong returns a serve from her opponent in her doubles win with parter, sophomore, Florencia Urrutia on Sunday March 21 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Achong and Urrutia helped Maimi secure their first point of the day winning their match 6-2.
Junior Daevenia Achong returns a serve from her opponent in her doubles win with parter Florencia Urrutia on Sunday, March 21 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Achong and Urrutia helped Miami secure its first point of the day, winning the match 6-2. Photo credit: Josh Halper