Duke continued its momentum from its dominant performance against Louisville.
Playing against Notre Dame on the road Sunday in South Bend, Ind., the No. 8 Blue Devils won decisively, outscoring the Fighting Irish 5-2.
In the first doubles match, Georgia Drummy and Karolina Berankova faced a tough matchup in Page Freeman and Maria Olivia Castedo. The Blue Devil pair fell 6-2, giving Duke an early deficit.
But in the second doubles match, Duke bounced back. Chloe Beck and Margaryta Bilokin handily defeated their Fighting Irish counterparts in a 6-3 victory, tying the total doubles match.
The final doubles match was a dynamic thriller, as Duke’s Ellie Coleman and Eliza Omirou took on Nibedita Ghosh and Julia Andreach. The doubles pairs battled point for point, all the way until they were tied 6-6.
That tiebreaker was heavily contested as well, but composed play from the Blue Devils gave Coleman and Omirou a 7-5 win to take the set. As a result, Duke captured the doubles point.
“There are so many even teams and to have that doubles point is a difference-maker,” Duke head coach Jamie Ashworth pointed out.
The rest of the day, Duke was anchored by three dominant singles performances, with challenging games for the rest. In the first set, Drummy, Beck, Kelly Chen and Emma Jackson started strong, as they all won their first two games.
It was all gas no brakes for those four in that opening set, with each winning 6-2.
However, in the second set, Notre Dame got off to a faster start. Drummy, Chen and Jackson lost the first two points.
Despite that, Chen and Beck continued their impressive play, defeating their opponents 6-2 and 6-0, respectively. Both players looked poised and clean in the two sets they played.
“They do such a good job of staying focused and helping the team be the best that they can be. Both of them went out there and set a great example for the rest of the team” Ashworth said of Chen and Beck’s performances.
Coleman may have bounced back from her first set loss with a close 6-4 win, but the most stirring matchup was between Jackson and Notre Dame’s Castedo. The two exchanged games until they were tied 6-6, and the tiebreak was equally as intense.
Eventually, Jackson edged out Castedo with a 9-7 win in the tiebreak, giving Duke the 4-1 lead in singles.
In the final sets, Duke struggled, but still came away with a strong victory in the overall match. A strong first set from Drummy was followed by losing the final two sets to her Fighting Irish counterpart, and despite a great bounce-back second set from Coleman, she too fell flat in the final set.
In contrast, though, Bilokin bounced back from a challenging first set with a 6-2 win in the second set and a tightly contested 6-4 victory in the final set. That gave the senior a victory against the Fighting Irish's Nibedita Ghosh.
Duke’s doubles win, combined with the four singles victories, gave it enough of a spur for the 5-2 win.
Next, the Blue Devils look to continue their recent success into another ACC matchup against No. 9 Virginia.
“As we look [to] the next game, we have to have an aggressive offensive mindset and stay emotionally invested against a strong Virginia team,” Ashworth said.
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