After over two weeks without a match, No. 21 Miami women’s tennis wasted no time in defeating No. 19 Central Florida, 5-0, at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Canes have now beaten their second straight top-20 opponent, previously downing No. 17 Old Dominion in a tight contest, 4-3, on Feb. 5.
“Honestly, our girls are just being tough,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We’ve been focusing more on toughness than tennis, and that’s what we’ve got to do moving forward … This is a huge out-of-conference win.”
Despite 15 days of rest, Miami looked sharp from the beginning. Sophomores Isabella Pfennig and Audrey Boch-Collins set the tone, routing Anique Kattenberg and Noel Saidenova, 6-0. On Court 2, third-year sophomores Maya Tahan and Diana Khodan, ranked No. 50, stormed back from an early 2-0 deficit, giving Miami the doubles point with a 6-3 victory.
UM dominated in singles as well.
Fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong made quick work of Saidenova, 6-1, 6-2, to tack on another point. 15 minutes later, Khodan finished Kattenberg in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3.
Up 3-0, Miami only needed one more point to secure the win. The four other matches taking place were incredibly close.
After taking the first set, 6-4, in their respective matches, Miami’s Eden Richardson, ranked No. 89, and Boch-Collins were amid tough battles in the second one.
In the end, it was Tahan who clinched the match, winning four consecutive points in the tiebreaker to beat Sharma, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5).
Shortly after, No. 92 Pfennig completed the comeback over No. 121 Mattel, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
“I think [Pfennig] did an unbelievable job today,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “She made some changes there, being down one set against a veteran player. To win the second and third sets, two and two, was big.”
All other matches were suspended.
Miami (5-1) avoided a three-game skid to the Golden Knights (4-3) with the win, who they had gone 11-0 against before dropping its last two matches to them. In their most recent meeting, UCF eliminated the Canes from the 2021 NCAA Tournament in the Round of 32.
Next up, UM looks to carry its momentum back to the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Friday when it faces Georgia Tech at 5 p.m.