No. 6 Duke women's tennis edges No. 7 N.C. State on Senior Day to complete season undefeated at home

Graduate student Georgia Drummy clinched Duke's top-10 win against N.C. State on Senior Day.
Graduate student Georgia Drummy clinched Duke's top-10 win against N.C. State on Senior Day.

Come rain or shine, the Blue Devils battle on. 

Despite the adverse weather outside, No. 6 Duke stayed dry Saturday morning as it honored its seniors and finished the regular season undefeated at home. With defeats of No. 24 Wake Forest and No. 7 N.C. State in their final homestand, the Blue Devils set a new school record with 15 home wins in a single season.

After Friday’s quick 4-0 defeat of the Demon Deacons, Duke battled Saturday against the Wolfpack, with everyone chipping into the 4-3 win inside Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. 

“It’s so hard for teams to win points against us and when they do, it takes a good two hours to do,” head coach Jamie Ashworth said after the win. “I think that’s the mark of a team that really is out there competing really well. I love it.”

In her final regular-season home match, graduate student Georgia Drummy clinched the win for the Blue Devils with a three-set victory against Abigail Rencheli (6-1, 1-6, 6-3). With the key win by Drummy, Duke (22-1, 11-1 in the ACC) finished its schedule 15-0 at home. The program had previously reached 14 home wins four times, with the most recent instance coming in the 2018-19 season. 

“We really tried to make this one of the toughest places in the country to play. And it’s shown,” Ashworth said. “A good, undefeated year at home in the regular season and now we have to take advantage of that.”

The rain outside reflected the bittersweet nature inside Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center Saturday afternoon, as Duke honored graduate students Drummy and Cameron Morra for Senior Day. 

Drummy not only clinched Saturday’s win for the Blue Devils but registered her 13th-straight victory alongside Iuliia Bryzagalova (6-4) to secure the doubles point.

“They both mean a lot to our program, but it's always bittersweet. It’s great that we got to win today. It’s great that Georgia was able to get that win, but they both have been such an instrumental part of everything we’ve done,” Ashworth said.

With Duke leading the match 3-0 during singles and trailing on the remaining four courts, Drummy stepped up to clinch the match on her Senior Day. The Dublin native credited all the key moments and strength to her teammates’ support. 

“I had a bit more nerves today, obviously Senior Day, last ACC match at home, but all I was thinking was I have a great team behind me and we’re all just looking to each other. They’re really supporting me to try and get me through that match,” Drummy said. 

Senior Chloe Beck, ranked No. 5 nationally in singles, notably was not honored Saturday morning. She has opted into her fifth year of eligibility, Ashworth confirmed after the match. Beck, who recorded her 100th-career singles win March 24 at Syracuse, has been a key part of the program for the past four years. 

“There isn’t a program in the country that wouldn’t take Chloe,” said Ashworth. “She just works so hard every morning. She doesn’t take points off. She doesn’t take things off. It’s great that we’re going to have her for another year and great that she’s going to put herself out there.” 

Duke won both doubles points across the weekend despite its tough battle against the Wolfpack (17-4, 8-3). With both courts one and two facing ranked doubles teams Saturday, irregular doubles pairings stepped up. 

“Our doubles have been kind of plug-and-play the last couple weeks and see who we can put in there,” Ashworth said. “I think if you have good doubles, you can do that. If everyone understands what they’re doing in practice and where they need to hit the ball, where they need to be. It’s great to see them come out and play with that kind of energy at the start of a match like this and not really have any nerves.”

Despite the injuries and tough schedule that the Blue Devils have endured the past few weeks, the doubles play has not faltered. Beck and sophomore Ellie Coleman, despite playing together for just the second time this season, did not let the switch phase them, winning their doubles match 6-4 on court one.

“I’m just proud of our doubles effort all around. We’ve done a really good job of not giving teams free points and not letting teams put points on the board,” Ashworth said.  

After injuring her ankle Wednesday, Morra did not play in Thursday’s match against Wake Forest (14-11, 4-7) before playing singles Saturday. 

Battling a highly ranked opponent in No. 13 Alana Smith, Morra won the first set 7-6. After Drummy clinched the match for Duke on court four, Morra opted to retire while trailing 1-0 in the second set. 

“We put it on her a little bit. She came out this morning and was out here at seven this morning hitting balls, making sure she could be a viable option for us,” Ashworth said on Morra’s decision to play singles Saturday. “I just felt that with how we played on Thursday with [Wake Forest] that we were in a good spot with our doubles. So let her concentrate on singles today.” 

The Blue Devils have one more challenge to overcome before the postseason Friday when they travel to No. 1 North Carolina with an ACC title on the line.

“We put ourselves in a good position and have to take advantage,” Ashworth said. “We’re excited for that opportunity and I love where we’re at. I love our team. I love how they’re working and how they’re competing.”


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