After traveling across the country for the weekend, Duke fell just short of returning to Durham with some hardware to show for it.
Seniors Samantha Harris and junior Kaitlyn McCarthy competed in the Oracle ITA Masters from Thursday to Saturday in the singles and mixed doubles competitions at the Malibu Racquet Club and Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. Neither advanced to the semifinals of the 32-player tournament in singles, but Harris played in the mixed doubles championship with Johannes Schretter of Baylor before falling to UCLA's Ena Shibahara and Southern California's Brandon Holt Saturday night.
Harris, No. 54 in singles, cruised past Jackson State's Tyler Smith 6-3, 6-2 in the Round of 32 Thursday morning and dispatched No. 33 Anna Sanford of Ohio State 6-4, 7-5 the next day. Harris' win foiled a potential sibling rivalry matchup between the Buckeye and Alexandra Sanford of North Carolina, who avenged her sister's defeat by eliminating Harris 6-3, 6-3 Friday afternoon. The unranked Tar Heel freshman went on to win the championship, upsetting top-ranked Shibahara in the final.
No. 57 McCarthy dropped just one game in her first-round victory against Northern Kentucky's Margita Sunjic before her 25-match singles winning streak was snapped Friday morning. No. 25 Jessica Livianu out of St. John's beat her in straight sets 6-1, 7-5.
McCarthy also had a hand in knocking her North Carolina rival out of the mixed doubles competition, teaming up with Southern California's Tanner Smith to knock Sanford and California's Billy Griffith out in the quarterfinals. But a win away from facing Harris' team in the championship, McCarthy and Smith lost to Shibahara and Holt 6-4.
The next event on tap for the Blue Devils' top players will be the nine-day ITA All-American tournament, which begins Saturday in Pacific Palisades, Calif.