#12 Women’s Tennis Falls At Fifth-Ranked Duke, 6-1

#12 Women’s Tennis Falls At Fifth-Ranked Duke, 6-1

April 10, 2009

DURHAM, NC – The 12th-ranked Clemson women’s tennis team suffered a 6-1 defeat to #5 Duke on Friday afternoon at the Ambler Tennis Stadium in Durham, NC. Play forced inside shortly after the match began due to rain in the area. Four singles matches were forced into third sets in the battle between two of the ACC’s top teams.

With the loss, the Tigers fell to 16-6 overall and 8-2 against conference opponents and will take on North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Saturday in the regular season finale. Clemson, the 2008 champion, has secured one of the top four seeds and a first-round bye for next week’s ACC tournament. The Blue Devils improved to 19-3 on the year with a 9-1 record in league matches.

The Tigers trailed going into doubles play for just the fourth time this year while the Duke’s rookie sensation Mallory Cecil handed #1-ranked Ani Mijacika only her third loss of the dual season.

Ellah Nze and Reke Zsilinkszka claimed the first doubles match for the Blue Devils as they posted an 8-2 victory over Estefania Balda and Alexandra Luc. The Tigers’ top tandem and eighth-ranked team nationally of Mijacka and Keri Wong then downed Amanda Granson and Melissa Mang by an 8-2 margin to give each school a doubles win.

The point then came down to the flight two match-up between Clemson’s team of Ina Hadziselimovic and Mallory Cecil and Jessi Robinson of Duke. The teams were tied at five games apiece before the Blue Devils won the next two for the 7-5 lead. The Tiger duo battled back to knot the match at seven, but they could not hold off Cecil and Robinson and fell, 9-7, to give the 1-0 lead to Duke.

The Blue Devils jumped out to a 3-0 advantage as Granson and Mang picked up straight set wins over Wong and Balda, respectively, at the third and fourth positions.

Cecil upset Mijacika at the top flight with a come-from-behind victory to score Duke’s fourth point of the day and clinch the mach. The Tiger junior won the first set by a 6-3 margin before Cecil rebounded for a 6-2 win in the second. The Blue Devil then edged Mijacika, 6-4, in the third for the win.

Luc also fell in a three-set battle after posting the win in the opening set at flight six. Luc eked out the 7-6 victory over Jessi Robinson before Robinson rallied in sets two and three to score Duke’s fifth point of the day. Clemson’s Hadziselimovic forced a third set at the third position after dropping a first-set tie break to Zsilinkszk. Hadziselimovic defeated Zsilinkszka in the second set, 6-4, but fell in the super set.

Bek managed the win over Nze at flight two for the Tigers’ lone score of the day. Nze claimed the first set by a 6-4 margin before Bek forced a third set with her own 6-4 win in the second set. The two then battled in the decisive set with Bek coming out on top, 6-4, for her 29th victory of the season.

#5 Duke def. #12 Clemson, 6-1

Doubles 1. #8 Mijacika/Wong (CU) def. #18 Granson/Mang (DU) – 8-2 2. Cecil/Robinson (DU) def. #27 Bek/Hadziselimovic (CU) – 9-7 3. Nze/Zsilinkszka (DU) def. Balda/Luc (CU) – 8-2 Order of Finish – 3, 1, 2

Singles 1. #31 Mallory Cecil (DU) def. #1 Ani Mijacika (CU) – 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 2. #12 Josipa Bek (CU) def. #28 Ellah Nze (DU) – 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 3. #40 Reka Zsilinszka (DU) def. #120 Ina Hadziselimovic (CU) – 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 4. #75 Amanda Granson (DU) def. #102 Keri Wong (CU) – 6-1, 6-4 5. Melissa Mang (DU) def. #101 Estefania Balda (CU) – 6-1, 6-4 6. Jessi Robinson (DU) def. Alexandra Luc (CU) 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 Order of Finish – 5, 4, 1, 6, 3, 2

Records – Duke: 19-3, 9-1 ACC; Clemson: 16-6, 8-2 ACC