No. 21 Duke women's tennis sweeps Clemson before falling to Georgia Tech at home

Graduate Brianna Shvets won her fourth straight doubles match against Clemson.
Graduate Brianna Shvets won her fourth straight doubles match against Clemson.

The weekend was a mixed bag for the Blue Devils. 

No. 21 Duke collected a swift win against Clemson Friday afternoon as it never trailed before going on to win 4-0. However, the victory streak ended at three as Duke struggled to capitalize on opportunities against Georgia Tech Sunday after dropping the doubles point. 

“It was lost because of lost opportunities. We just can’t afford to do that,” head coach Jamie Ashworth said about the match Sunday. 

While the match against the Yellow Jackets had multiple matches go into three sets, Friday moved much quicker. Duke (9-5, 3-3 in the ACC) carried the doubles point in only 22 minutes with Brianna Shvets and Iuliia Bryzgalova winning in 21 minutes and never dropping a game in their 6–0 victory. Emma Jackson and Karolina Berankova also gained a 6-0 win on court 2 to clinch the doubles point. 

Singles was also smooth sailing Friday as Shavit Kimchi clinched the win for the Blue Devils with a 6-1, 7-5 victory. After winning the first set, Kimchi led 3-0 in the second before facing resistance from Daniella Medvedeva, who came back five games to lead 5-3. Kimchi did not back down as she responded by winning four straight games to clinch the match. Jackson, who garnered a 6-2, 6-0 singles win, won her third-straight match. 

A windy Sunday morning did not prove as smooth for Duke as the Blue Devils lost many opportunities. 

Duke started doubles out somewhat strong, as Jackson and Berankova jumped out to a 2-0 lead on court 2 before the Yellow Jackets came back, winning six games in a row. Over on court 1, Georgia Tech never trailed as its 16th-ranked doubles duo clinched the doubles point with their 6-3 victory against Kimchi and sophomore Katie Codd.

While doubles proved to be fairly clear cut, singles were a different story as three out of six matches were pushed to tie-breaking third sets on courts 3, 4 and 6.

“We did a good job fighting to give ourselves a chance there in singles, but even then we had opportunities that we created, and we just need to be better about taking those opportunities,” Ashworth said.

Berankova on court 6 and Bryzgalova on court 3 both dropped their first singles sets. Never trailing in the second, Berankova carried the second set 6-4 before dropping the third set 0-6 to clinch the loss for the Blue Devils, leaving both Bryzgalova and Codd amidst their third sets as well.

“It’s not a question of effort. We get to that point where we can take the lead and I think that’s where we’re a little bit hesitant,” Ashworth said. “And that’s something that we just have to keep working on as coaches with them, and having them play each point the same no matter what the score is.” 

The one win on the day for Duke came from the 97th-ranked Kimchi. After her doubles loss, Kimchi never trailed in her win with a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Alejandra Cruz. 

The wind was blowing Sunday morning, sending water bottles, trash cans and balls across the courts.

“They’ve played in all kinds of weather and we cannot let that be an excuse. It was never an excuse,” Ashworth said. 

The team does not have a long break after the pair of games, as it once again will face Princeton Wednesday at home. Even though the Blue Devils won handily against the Tigers in January, Ashworth warned about the changes that have happened in both teams since then. As of Sunday, Duke has played its sixth-straight match without Ellie Coleman, ranked 99th nationally in singles. 

“We’re a different team than when we played earlier and they’re a different team. We had some different people on the court and lineups will be different,” Ashworth said. “We just have to play each point as an individual entity and not play the score.” 


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