After a two-game road stretch in North Carolina last weekend – where the Canes beat No. 15 Wake Forest and narrowly lost to No. 2 NC State – Miami moved up two spots in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll to No. 12; its highest position since 2017.
UM showed why it deserved that ranking on Friday afternoon, comfortably defeating in-state rival No. 61 Florida State, 6-1, at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables.
The Seminoles started the day at a grave disadvantage, with only five players available for action. As a result, sophomores Audrey-Boch Collins and Isabella Pfennig automatically won their doubles match by walkover.
Needing one more win to clinch the doubles point, third-year sophomores Diana Khodan and Maya Tahan, ranked No. 72, finished the job, throttling Victoria Allen and Kianah Motosono, 6-2.
The next match was played out, as the Canes’ best doubles pair of fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong and fifth-year senior Eden Richardson, ranked No. 16, bested Anna Arkadianou and Petra Hule, 6-4.
“[Our doubles’ teams] have been gelling well,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “Against the better teams, we need to come out a little bit faster, but teams have been gelling well, complimenting each other well, and coming away with mostly wins.”
In singles, the Hurricanes dropped just three sets en route to a dominating performance.
First, freshman Tatyana Nikolenko won by walkover to put UM up 2-0.
On Court 3, No. 112 Pfennig made quick work of Olympe Lancelot, downing her, 6-2, 6-2. Moments, later Miami sealed the match thanks to Diana Khodan, who hollered “Let’s Go Canes” after recording a 6-1, 6-4 decision over Motosono to put Miami up 4-0.
Though the match was clinched, both teams decided to play out the remaining contests.
Miami’s highest-ranked player, No. 56 Achong, registered a sensational come-from-behind victory on Court 2, taking down Allen, 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-3), in a match decided by a third-set tiebreaker to 10.
No. 58 Richardson, who moved up 23 spots in the ITA singles rankings this week, valiantly fought No. 16 Petra Hule before eventually losing 6-4, 7-5, to give Florida State its lone point of the day.
Finishing things off, Boch-Collins defeated Arkadianou, 6-3, 7-5, to make the final score, 6-1.
“FSU is a tough team; I don’t care if they are 6-5,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “They are good at the top of their lineup … so I think to get out there and take care of business, especially [on Courts 2 and 3] today, was big for us.”
“Obviously, there’s an in-state rivalry, so there’s a lot of fire, there’s a lot of energy coming from the opponent,” Yaroshuk-Tews continued. “You saw that today a little bit, but I thought we managed it well.”
With the victory, Miami (9-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) now moves to 37-9 all-time versus the Seminoles (6-6, 1-4 ACC), including 16-2 at home.
Back in the win column, the Canes travel to Blacksburg, where they will face Virginia Tech on Friday as part of their two-game Virginia road stretch. The match begins at 3:00 p.m.