Blue Devils dethrone Monarchs

The Blue Devils beat Old Dominion 6-1 on Friday night.
The Blue Devils beat Old Dominion 6-1 on Friday night.

Despite sporting a roster filled with six players from outside the U.S, Old Dominion’s  international appeal proved no match for the No.1 Blue Devils Friday night at Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. After sweeping the Monarchs (1-1) in the doubles competition, the Blue Devils (2-0) dropped one match in singles to win 6-1 in their second straight victory.

Head coach Jamie Ashworth attributed the win to a strong emphasis on doubles and an increased focus through the singles matches.

“We really talked all week about having more energy and more enthusiasm in our doubles and I think we did a really good job of that,” Ashworth said. “We got off to a really good start…. With singles, we told [our players] after doubles that win or lose, we have to get out there and play a good singles. We have to do that all year no matter who we play.”

The only loss of the match came when No. 20 ranked Reka Zsilinszka retired due to illness. After Zsilinszka exhausted her medical timeouts, it was decided she was not fit to play the rest of the match. But despite her illness, her performance was very impressive considering she remained level with the No. 21 player in the country, Nadine Fahoum, through nearly one complete set.

“She was not feeling well, and still, five-all speaks a lot about her,” junior Ellah Nze said.

Nze, ranked No. 91, played another close match, beating Joanna Dobrowolska, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5). Yet aside from that, most of the matches were fairly lopsided, as all doubles matches were won by a margin of at least seven games. As for singles, both senior Amanda Granson and freshman Mary Clayton finished their matches unusually quickly, and senior Elizabeth Plotkin and freshman Jessica Stiles weren’t far behind. Collectively, they lost just seven out of the 48 games played.

The most important matches of the early season are yet to come. Next week, the Blue Devils will compete in the National Team Indoors, considered by most to be an even harder competition than the NCAA tournament in May. It could be a good barometer as to just how good the No. 1 ranked Blue Devils actually are—the event consists of the top 64 teams in the country, as opposed to the NCAA tournament, which includes only conference champions.

“Next week is a big weekend for us,” Ashworth said. ”It’ll be our first matches against decent teams that have had good results, and we have to take advantage of opportunities if we want to win.”


Share and discuss “Blue Devils dethrone Monarchs” on social media.