Richardson and Achong advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Doubles Championship

Fifth-year senior Eden Richardson and fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong celebrate a point over Sycracuse on Friday April 15, 2022 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
Fifth-year senior Eden Richardson and fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong celebrate a point over Sycracuse on Friday April 15, 2022 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Photo credit: Alex Carnochan

After losing their respective singles matches the previous day, fifth-year senior Eden Richardson and fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong bounced back in the NCAA Doubles Championship on Tuesday night at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Urbana, Ill.

Miami’s thirteenth-ranked duo downed Furman’s No. 34-ranked pair of Julia Adams and Ellie Schoppe, 6-2, 7-5, to secure a place in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2014. The victory marked their eighth win against a ranked opponent this year.

“I thought we started out really strong. We made very few unforced errors,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “I think that Furman made some adjustments and we kind of reverted back to doing some things that we were talking about not doing in the first set. Once we brought the hype back into the match and we took some angles out of the match, I think it turned around. To be down two breaks in the second set and pull it off is a great effort.”

Miami faced adversity early in the first set, as they dropped the initial four points of the match. Achong and Richardson soon found their groove, though, and took the next four games. Adams and Schoppe fought back in the sixth to narrow the gap to 4-2 and went up 40-0 in the seventh. The Hurricanes fended off four game points to break Furman’s serve and go up 5-2. They handily won the next game to take the first set, 6-2.

Furman quickly shifted momentum in the second, winning the opening four games of the set. However, the Canes turned the tides once more, rattling off victories in two straight games. Richardson and Achong dropped the next one, though, and went down 5-2.

But they wouldn’t lose another the rest of the way.

Once again, Miami took two straight games to stay alive. Still up 5-4, Furman jumped out to a 40-0 lead in the tenth game. Facing four set points, Richardson and Achong staved them all off to equalize, 5-5. The Canes took the next two games, which ended in a volley from Richardson at the net to clinch the match, 6-2, 7-5.

“I think they’ve been playing great doubles all year. So, I think that this is just about continuing to do what they’ve done the entire season,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “They work very well together and they’re both very established doubles players, as everybody is in this tournament. I think the energy they bring, [along with the] strategy, the good mindset, the volleys and the aggressive play, I think that they could do some damage.”

With the victory, Richardson, who won the 2018 NCAA Doubles Championship while at LSU, and Achong became the first pair of Canes to reach the Sweet 16 since Monique Albuquerque and Clementina Riobueno made the Elite Eight in 2014.

Miami’s dynamic duo returns to action on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET, when they will face second-ranked and second-seeded Fiona Crawley and Elizabeth Scotty of North Carolina for a spot in the Elite Eight.