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For first time in 16 years, Duke loses ACC road match

For the first time since George H.W. Bush was in office, No. 12 Duke lost a conference road match Wednesday, falling to No. 36 Wake Forest, 6-1.

The Blue Devils(12-6, 3-2 in the ACC) loss, which ended a 55-match ACC road winning streak dating back to 1989, was the first such defeat during head coach Jamie Ashworth’s nine-year tenure.

“We didn’t play very well today,” Ashworth said. “It is too bad that the streak had to end the way it did. If we’re going to get beat, I’d rather get beat than lose because of lack of discipline.”

After splitting the first two doubles matches, the first point of the day came down to the matchup of Wake Forest’s Danielle Schwartz and Blakely Offutt against Duke’s tandem of Clelia Deltour and Lauren Archer. The Wake Forest duo escaped with a victory and the doubles point, winning the rubber match 9-7.

Jackie Carleton and Katie Blaszak were the only Duke tandem to take home a doubles match.

“We lost the doubles point, and we never recovered mentally or emotionally,” Ashworth said. “We are not a talented enough team to just show up and win a match. We cannot afford to do that.”

On the Demon Deacons’ Senior Day, all three Wake Forest (10-8, 3-4) seniors came out firing, winning their first set. At first singles, No. 27 Karin Coetzee continued her domination, beating Jackie Carleton 6-3, 6-0. Katie Martzolf cruised as well, downing Duke’s Saras Arasu 6-4, 6-2, to end her career at home on a high note.

Schwartz, Wake Forest’s third senior, could not capitalize on her first set tiebreaker victory. After Kristin Cargill won the second set easily 6-2, she escaped in a thrilling third-set tiebreaker 11-9 for Duke’s only singles victory of the day.

“Kristin did a good job coming back after the first set,” Ashworth said. “Everyone was losing and she could have easily folded, but she did a good job fighting and getting herself back into her match.”

No. 44 Blaszak, who competed at second singles, also played a match that came down to the wire. After losing the first set 7-5, the senior smoked her opponent 6-1 in the second. But in the deciding set’s tiebreaker, Blaszak could not pull out the victory, losing 10-8.

Ashworth was disappointed with the team’s performance, and emblematic of the Duke’s effort, or lack thereof, was the matchup of the four seeds. Wake Forest’s Alex Hirsch fought her way to a 7-5 win in the first set against Deltour. In the second set, however, Deltour collapsed, losing 6-0.

“We played with a total lack of effort and discipline,” Ashworth said. “We’re better than we’re playing.... As a team, we really needed to compete better.”

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