Blue Devils roll to first round win against Wake Forest in ACC Championship
Duke bounced back from a rough weekend and opened the ACC Championship in style, dominating Wake Forest to advance to the quarterfinals.
The sixth-ranked Blue Devils recovered from last week's road losses at Clemson and Georgia Tech by sweeping the Demon Deacons at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C. Duke cruised to a 4-0 victory and was winning every singles matches but one when the match was called.
“I thought it was a really good match today. Wake is always really tough to play, but I think overall, as a team, we came out with a lot of energy,” sophomore Beatrice Capra said. “We played really well. We were fired up, so it was really good on everyone’s part today. “
Unlike last week, when Duke lost the doubles point against the Tigers and Yellow Jackets, the Blue Devils (22-3, 12-3 in the ACC) came out strong in doubles, taking the top two matches in less than an hour.
The top-ranked doubles team of Capra and senior Hanna Mar was first off the court with a 8-3 victory against Kasey Gardiner and Xue Zhang. They were followed shortly after by a No. 2 doubles victory from junior Ester Goldfeld and freshman Alyssa Smith. The duo dispatched Samantha Asch and Luisa Fernandez 8-2.
The third-ranked doubles team of junior Annie Mulholland and freshman Chalena Scholl was stopped when it was winning 7-4, as Duke had already clinched the doubles point.
“The doubles was really good. We had a lot of energy, and I thought that we were all really supportive on all three courts,” Capra said. “I could hear Annie and Chalena on the bottom court and Ester next to me, so it was good communication throughout everybody today.”
The Blue Devils kept up their momentum in singles, taking the early lead in almost every singles match. Duke dominated Wake Forest (12-13, 3-12) at the first, fourth and sixth singles spots to clinch the win.
“We played more aggressive. We weren’t playing with something to protect or something to defend,” head coach Jamie Ashworth said. “We have to get out there and just play that way. Take some chances and be the one setting the tempo and not reacting to what the other team is doing, but them reacting to what were doing.”
First off the court was freshman Chalena Scholl with a 6-2, 6-0 victory against Asch in No. 4 singles. Senior Marianne Jodoin was off minutes after defeating Zhang 6-3, 6-1. Jodoin took a decisive 5-0 lead early in the match, but faltered, losing three games before closing out the first set. The Fresno State transfer then did not lose another game until she was up 5-0 in the second set.
“Singles was pretty good. We got a couple quick sets. Chalena struggled last weekend a little bit last week, so for her to get a quick win that kind of set the tone the rest of the way,” Ashworth said. “If we win that doubles point then get a quick singles win we can build off of that.”
The Blue Devils' top singles player, No. 7 Capra, clinched the match by defeating Andrea Retolaza Andrade 6-3, 6-1.
Duke will take on No. 19 Clemson Friday at 9 a.m. in the quarterfinals looking for revenge after squandering multiple match points against the Tigers last weekend.
“I thought we played pretty well. Our goal today was to get off the court as fast as we could with the possibility of playing four matches in four days,” Ashworth said. “We had to get back to some simple things with our doubles, and I thought we were able to do that.”