On the strength of sophomore Saras Arasu's 6-4, 7-6 victory at No. 3 singles, the No. 4 women's tennis team continued its dominance of ranked opponents with a 4-3 squeaker over No. 10 Tennessee Sunday. The win marks the Blue Devils' ninth consecutive victory over the Volunteers, dating back to 1990.
Duke (16-1) fell behind early in Ambler Tennis Stadium, dropping its first doubles point of the season. But the Blue Devils stormed back in singles play, reaping the benefits of having five ranked singles players in their lineup.
"I knew things would be tough after the doubles," Tennessee head coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick said. "Winning three matches against a team as deep and talented as Duke is very difficult."
Junior Amanda Johnson, ranked twenty-seventh in the country, led the Blue Devil recovery with an easy 6-0, 6-1 win at second singles. Julie DeRoo followed suit with a straight set victory at the fifth slot.
The match was also highlighted by a possible national championship singles matchup, as Blue Devil Kelly McCain, ranked No. 2, squared off against Tennessee's No. 3 Vilmarie Castellvi. McCain was defeated, however, 6-3, 6-1, improving Castellvi's season record to 33-4.
In the end, however, Arasu proved too much on the third court. After pulling out the first set by a 6-4 ledger, Arasu held on in the tiebreak to secure the Blue Devil victory.
Duke faces another significant test today as the team travels to No. 5 Florida (16-2), a team Duke has struggled with historically - he Gators hold a 24-3 all-time advantage. But the last time the Blue Devils traveled to Florida, Duke won 4-1.
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