Since the 1996-97 season, No. 7 Duke had not lost a team point to N.C. State. In 38 meetings, the Blue Devils had never lost to the Wolfpack.
And Wednesday afternoon at both the Ambler Tennis Stadium and the Sheffield Tennis Center, Duke kept its streak alive in the Blue Devils' first ACC matchup.
The Blue Devils (11-3, 1-0 in the ACC) outlasted the Wolfpack, 7-0, after a grueling win over No. 5 Texas four days ago, a change of venue due to rain and a meeting with last year's doubles champion Florida only two days away.
"I think that they directed everything toward Florida a little bit too much," coach Jamie Ashworth said. "I think the doubles was sloppy in the beginning because they were thinking a little bit ahead of themselves."
Freshman Kelly McCain clinched the win with her No. 1 victory over State's Katrina Gildemeister. Fourth-ranked nationally, McCain had an answer for all of Gildemeister's volleys, including a beautiful drop shot to end the match.
It was junior Julie DeRoo, though, who struggled the most against the Wolfpack's Kristen Nicholls in the longest match of the evening. In just her third match back from a back injury, the 18th-ranked DeRoo went down, 0-3, in the first set when she outplayed Nicholls in the beginning and middle of each point, but failed to put the Roswell, Ga., native away.
"It was hard to play well because we just played Texas," DeRoo said. "We know we need to play much better against Florida, but it was hard to do everything on the court today."
DeRoo finally battled back into the first set to take it, 6-4, before going down 2-3 in the second. With the rest of the team cheering her on, the junior from Ecully, France, broke serve to go up 4-3 and did not look back from there.
Duke won its sixth consecutive doubles point on the strength of a new lineup in which DeRoo dropped from No. 1 doubles to No. 2 with sophomore Amanda Johnson. The duo are 4-0 at the second position and ranked 60th nationally.
On the singles side, Katie Granson rolled over State's Loni Worsley, followed by Saras Arasu's win over Jennifer Jassawalla of the Wolfpack to set McCain up to take the match.
"We just need to continue what we're doing," Arasu said. "We're doing a really good job with our doubles now, with high energy, high intensity. And our singles are pretty solid as well."
The Duke women's tennis team returns to action for three matches this weekend, beginning with Florida at the Ambler Tennis Stadium Friday at 3 p.m.
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