Miami, Duke Set to Meet For ACC Women's Tennis Championship
April 18, 2009
CARY. N.C. – The top two seeds in the 2009 ACC Women’s Tennis Championship have played their way into the title round, and a showdown between nationally top-10 ranked teams is set for Sunday at 11 a.m.
No. 1-seeded and sixth-ranked Miami (23-3) faces No. 2-seeded and third-ranked Duke (22-3) in a showcase of two of the nation’s best at Cary Tennis Park. The teams shared the ACC regular-season title with 10-1 conference marks. The Hurricanes handed Duke its only conference loss, a 5-2 decision at Coral Gables on March 22.
Miami reached Sunday’s title game with a 4-0 shutout of fifth-seeded Florida State on Saturday. Duke defeated neighbor and rival North Carolina, 4-2, in the second semifinal contest.
Miami is in the women’s championship match for the fourth time in five years since joining the ACC prior to the 2005 season, but will be seeking its first title on Sunday. The Hurricanes fell to Georgia Tech in the championship match in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Duke is going after its 16th title and first since 2003. Six of the Blue Devils’ ACC Championships have come under current head coach Jamie Ashworth, including the last five of 14 straight from 1988 through 2001. Duke reached the finals of last year’s tournament before falling to Clemson, 4-3.
The Hurricanes carry a 12-match winning streak into Sunday’s meeting with the Blue Devils. Duke has won 11 straight since last month’s loss to Miami.
After a hard-fought battle to win Saturday’s doubles point vs. Florida State, the Hurricanes put the semifinal match away with three straight-set singles victories.
The All-ACC tandem of Julia Cohen and Bianca Eichkorn prevailed for Miami in the deciding doubles match, scrapping for a 9-8 (3) win over Florida State’s Bonny Davidson and Jessica Sucupira at No. 2.
It was all Miami in singles play, as Laura Vallverdu, Eichkorn and Michaela Kissell delivered the straight-set knockout blows at No. 2, 3 and No. 4.
The loss snapped a nine-match winning streak by 17th-ranked Florida State, which slipped to 16-7 on the year.
Wins in the top three singles spots proved the ultimate difference for Duke in its match-up with North Carolina.
ACC Freshman of the Year Mallory Cecil defeated fellow All-ACC performer Sanaz Marand 6-4, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. Ellah Nze also won in straight sets at No. 2 and Reka Zslininszka at No. 3 to seal the verdict for the Blue Devils.
The three singles wins came after Duke had captured the doubles point via wins by Cecil and Jessi Robison at No. 1 and Nze and Zsiliniszka at No. 3.
North Carolina, No. 21 in the latest ITA national rankings, slipped to 18-10 with the loss.
Please see the attached files for complete scoring from Saturday semiffinal matches and an updated bracket. Follow all the action of the 2009 ACC Women’s Tennis Championship at: