Miami women’s tennis wins fifth straight, downs Clemson 6-1

Third-year sophomore Diana Khodan returns the ball during the third game of her singles match versus Clemson sophomore Samantha Buykx at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Feb. 27, 2022.
Third-year sophomore Diana Khodan returns the ball during the third game of her singles match versus Clemson sophomore Samantha Buykx at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Feb. 27, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

As Miami walked onto the courts Sunday afternoon, something was noticeably different about its uniforms. In a moving gesture, the whole team wore shirts emblazoned with the outline of Ukraine, filled in with the country’s colors of blue and yellow, in solidarity with fellow teammate Diana Khodan, a native Ukrainian.

Feeling a strong bond amongst themselves, the Canes worked together to beat Clemson, 6-1, at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center, continuing their ACC dominance. With the victory, No. 15 Miami (7-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) now has a 21-match winning streak over the Tigers (6-4, 0-2 ACC), dating back to 2001.

“I saw us making some changes from Friday night that we needed to make,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We’re staying really calm in pressure situations. Whenever you have any ACC match, it’s a pressure situation.”

“I just think that the girls are staying calm and being coachable,” Yaroshuk-Tews continued. “They’re talking on changeovers; they’re making adjustments and they’re being super mature.”

In doubles play, the Hurricanes quickly earned their first point.

Fifth-year senior Eden Richardson kneels while waiting for partner fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong to serve during the sixth game of a doubles match versus Clemson at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Feb. 27, 2022.
Fifth-year senior Eden Richardson kneels while waiting for partner fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong to serve during the sixth game of a doubles match versus Clemson at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Feb. 27, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

UM’s No. 38-ranked pair of Diana Khodan and Maya Tahan easily took their match, 6-2. Moments later, fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong and fifth-year senior Eden Richardson, ranked No. 40, followed suit, comfortably winning 6-3.

Up 1-0, the Hurricanes turned their attention to singles, where they only dropped one match.

First, Khodan rolled past sophomore Samantha Buyckx, losing only one game en route to a 6-1, 6-0 victory.

On Court 2, No. 67 Achong topped No. 123 Eleni Louka, 6-3, 6-0. With three points, Tahan then bested Ali DeSpain, 6-0, 6-2, to clinch the match for Miami.

Fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong returns the ball during the fourth game of her singles match versus Clemson junior Eleni Louka at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Feb. 27, 2022.
Fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong returns the ball during the fourth game of her singles match versus Clemson junior Eleni Louka at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Feb. 27, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

The remaining matches were played out, and sophomore Audrey Boch-Collins wrapped up first, extending UM’s lead to five with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Medvedeva.

UM’s lone loss came at the hands of sophomore Jenna Thompson, who upset No. 85 Isabella Pfennig, 6-4, 6-4.

Sophomore Isabella Pfennig returns the ball during the third game of the first set of her singles match versus Clemson sophomore Jenna Thompson at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Feb. 27, 2022.
Sophomore Isabella Pfennig returns the ball during the third game of the first set of her singles match versus Clemson sophomore Jenna Thompson at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Feb. 27, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

To finish the day, it took two tiebreaker sets for No. 81 Richardson to overcome No. 109 Cristina Mayorova, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-2), giving the Canes a 6-1 final score.

Fifth-year senior Eden Richardson returns the ball during the third game of the first set of her singles match versus Clemson sophomore Cristina Mayorova at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Feb. 27, 2022.
Fifth-year senior Eden Richardson returns the ball during the third game of the first set of her singles match versus Clemson sophomore Cristina Mayorova at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Feb. 27, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

“I’m really happy for [Richardson],” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “She was a little upset after her match Friday night. She has been playing some tight matches and has not been coming out on the right side of them. We had a good conversation Saturday. She came out here and played with a clear head.”

With the conclusion of its four-match homestand, Miami travels to Winston-Salem, North Carolina for a top-20 matchup against No. 18 Wake Forest on Friday at 5 p.m.