In a battle of the only two remaining ACC teams with perfect conference records, Duke dominated North Carolina from start to finish.
The No. 3 Blue Devils (20-2, 9-0 in the ACC) rode a momentum-shifting upset in doubles to sweep the No. 5 Tar Heels (19-4, 8-1) 4-0 Thursday afternoon at Ambler Stadium, reaching 20 wins for the fifth straight year.
“We came out with a lot of energy, a lot of emotion,” head coach Jamie Ashworth told GoDuke.com. “It is, by far, one of the most complete matches we’ve played. They were really focused. They played with a lot of confidence.”
After Hanna Mar and Annie Mulholland beat Caroline Price and Gina Suarez-Malaguti 8-2 to give Duke an early doubles lead, the 27th ranked tandem of Mary Clayton and Ester Goldfeld notched the biggest upset of the afternoon, beating North Carolina’s Shinann Featherston and Lauren McHale—the nation’s No. 2 ranked pair—8-4. Featherston and McHale had lost just twice all season and entered the match on a 10-match win streak.
With the doubles point in hand, the Blue Devils never looked back, dropping just seven games in three singles victories. Monica Turewicz finished her 6-0, 6-2 win over Tessa Lyons to give Duke a 2-0 lead. In the No. 1 singles matchup, No. 2 ranked Beatrice Capra decimated No. 34 McHale 6-0, 6-1 to stay unbeaten in ACC singles play this season. Mar, ranked No. 51 nationwide, clinched the sweep with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Suarez-Malaguti.
“I’m really, really proud of the team and how we did today,” Mar told GoDuke.com. “I think we stepped up to the plate and we brought some of our best tennis.”
Duke returns to the court Saturday for a home matchup with Boston College.