Whereas the ladies’s tennis crew’s season ended with its loss to North Carolina within the Elite Eight final week, six Blue Devils have been in a position to compete within the NCAA Particular person Championship.
Kelly Chen and Georgia Drummy each made it to the Candy 16 of the person match whereas sophomore Chloe Beck and the doubles duo of Meible Chi and Margaryta Bilokin misplaced within the first spherical of their respective tournaments. Beck additionally performed alongside doubles accomplice Karolina Berankova within the doubles match, with the tandem falling in within the second spherical.
The autumn is stuffed with particular person tournaments for the crew, the place the crew members can concentrate on themselves and develop their very own abilities, moderately than enjoying for the crew as they do within the spring season. As soon as the spring season begins, although, the crew mindset takes over, giving the Blue Devils a 4 to 5 month break from particular person play.
“The primary day or two of the person match is the toughest,” head coach Jamie Ashworth mentioned. “You’re so used to your teammates being there, you’re so used to having that inbuilt help system. You nearly should change into egocentric in that you simply’re on the market for your self. It’s a very totally different mindset, it’s a very totally different animal.”
Through the first day of the match, Beck, making her first-ever look within the particular person match, proved Ashworth’s ideas to be true when she fell in the course of the Spherical of 64. Nonetheless, Chen and Drummy have been victorious within the first spherical, regardless of each dropping their first units.
“My mother used to say that the match isn’t over till I shake palms with my opponent. I attempt to have a mentality of not giving up even when I’m down a set 5-0. It’s not over till I hit the ball out or she hits a winner,” Chen mentioned.
Drummy got here again sturdy after dropping her first set and received 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to maneuver on to the Spherical of 32 whereas Chen had a a lot nearer second set, profitable in a 7-1 tiebreaker. The latter then received a better third set 7-5, securing her third journey to the person spherical of 32.
Chen and Drumy continued to win Monday, transferring themselves into the Candy 16 and securing All-American standing. In every of their second matches of the match, they received in straight units.
“This season wasn’t the season I hoped I’d get, simply when it comes to how I wished to play, however both means I used to be actually pleased to get the All-American standing and make it to the Spherical of 16,” Chen mentioned.
That very same day, Chi and Bilokin fell to Wake Forest’s Carolyn Campana and Eliza Omirou, the primary ACC matchup of the person doubles match for the Blue Devils. Beck and Berankova, additionally making her debut within the particular person match, received a detailed match in opposition to South Carolina’s duo of Mia Horvit and Megan Davies 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8).
“It’s refreshing, whereas we did find yourself enjoying a doubles crew from Wake [Forest] and a doubles crew from N.C. State, it’s refreshing to look throughout the web and have that problem of attempting to determine the sport type, as gamers and as coaches,” Ashworth mentioned. “There have been lots of gamers we hadn’t seen. At that time we actually simply concentrate on ourselves, and know and believe that once we go on the market, if we play our sport and keep true to who we’re as tennis gamers, the outcomes will handle themselves.”
On Tuesday, the unknowns obtained the most effective of the Duke gamers that had made it that far. Regardless of profitable the primary set, Chen was bested by Vanderbilt’s Christina Rosca 6-4, 4-6, 2-6 and Drummy dropped two fast units in opposition to Oregon’s Janice Tjen to lose 2-6, 4-6.
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Beck and Berankova, then again, confronted N.C. State’s Alana Smith and Anna Rogers, who they didn’t play in the course of the common season, however have been acquainted with from ACC play. The primary set was a detailed nailbiter that they took all the way in which to a 6-6 tiebreaker earlier than profitable 7-5. Smith and Rogers took the second set 4-6 and took the third after happening a 3-0 run to win 7-10 after the 7-7 tie.
“I’m happy with this group. The ultimate rankings got here out and we completed eighth, which was an enchancment from the place we began the 12 months. [The team] got here collectively. All we will ask out of any group is to be enjoying their finest tennis on the finish of the 12 months and we actually did that,” Ashworth mentioned. “We actually confirmed our aggressive nature on the finish of the 12 months.”
Whereas the season could also be over, there’s a complete new season to construct on beginning in lower than a 12 months.
“We’ve a terrific group coming again and three new [players] coming in,” Ashworth mentioned. “We’re excited in regards to the future…they have been pleased with the place we’re however there’s undoubtedly no sense of being happy. For the primary time in a very long time, nearly each single one in all them talked about what their tennis plans have been for the summer season. As a gaggle, they’re hungry to attain extra.”