Richardson shines on Senior Day as Miami women’s tennis secures third straight sweep to close out regular season

Fifth-year senior Eden Richardson rallies a ball during her doubles matchup against Syracuse on Friday April 15, 2022 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
Fifth-year senior Eden Richardson rallies a ball during her doubles matchup against Syracuse on Friday April 15, 2022 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Photo credit: Alex Carnochan

As fifth-year senior Eden Richardson walked onto the courts with Sebastian the Ibis on Senior Day, she was met with rounds of applause. The Bath, England native joined the Hurricanes this season after a four-year tenure at LSU and quickly left a lasting mark on the program.

“She’s a great tennis player, but she’s a great person,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said of Richardson. “I think she’s brought a lightness to the team and an attitude that we really didn’t have … She’s added a lot.”

On Sunday, in her last regular season match as a collegian, Richardson helped the Canes tally their third consecutive sweep over an opponent for the first time since 2015, as they defeated Boston College, 7-0, at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. After losing to No. 44 Notre Dame last week, the Hurricanes have been on another level. For the third straight contest, No. 14 Miami (16-4, 10-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) did not drop a single set.

“A lot of question marks going into the season, having lost the most dominant player in college tennis. The fact that these girls have stepped up the way they have … I think says so much about them and the strength of this program,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “It’s a nice feeling to have as a coach to sit back and see a group of girls that care about each other work hard for one another.”

Once again, UM quickly secured the doubles point against the Eagles (8-12, 3-10 ACC).

Richardson and fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong, together ranked No. 28, got the ball rolling, quickly defeating No. 37 Marice Aguiar and Laura Lopez, 6-2, in a top-40 face-off.

On Court 2, third-year sophomore Maya Tahan and freshman Tatyana Nikolenko strengthened their chemistry by beating Sophia Edwards and Hailey Wilcox, 6-3, to clinch the doubles point.

The last match was left unfinished, with sophomores Audrey Boch-Collins and Isabella Pfennig leading Plobrung Pilpuech and Stephanie Sanchez, 4-3.

In singles, No. 31 Achong and Nikolenko led the way, as they both registered 6-0, 6-1 decisions against Lopez and Wilcox, respectively, to put Miami up 3-0.

Tahan then clinched the match, besting Sanchez, 6-2, 6-2. Seconds later, No. 80 Pfennig extended the Canes’ lead to five by thumping Plipuech, 6-2, 6-1.

In No. 1 singles, No. 50 Richardson won on Senior Day, recording a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Aguiar to wrap up her fantastic season.

“Honestly, it’s been amazing,” Richardson said about her time as a Hurricane. “I haven’t been here that long, but it feels like I’ve been here much longer. These are people that I will keep in touch with forever.”

Boch-Collins sealed the sweep, but it wasn’t easy. After taking the first set, she trailed 5-4 in the second and was behind 30-0 in the tenth game. Then, when it seemed like a third set was inevitable, Miami associate head coach Alex Santos told her to “take it one point at a time.”

From there, Boch-Collins rallied, winning four straight points to take the game and level the score. She ended with a 6-4, 7-5 triumph over Edwards to make Miami’s final margin of victory 7-0.

With the regular season finished, the Canes travel to Rome, Georgia, where they will enjoy a double-bye as the third seed in the ACC Championships, before facing a to-be-determined opponent at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College on Friday at 6 p.m.