RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State women’s tennis team suffered its second Atlantic Coast Conference loss of the season, a 4-1 setback Saturday afternoon against Duke at the Curtis and Jacqueline Dail Outdoor Tennis Stadium.
“We made a few more errors than them,” said head coach Hans Olsen. “They played every point all the way through a little better than we did.”
Duke (10-3, 1-1 ACC) jumped out to an early advantage in the match in doubles play after its duo of Annie Mulholland and Hanna Mar defeated the Wolfpack’s sophomore tandem of Elisha Hande and Nicole Martinez, 8-4, in the No. 2 spot.
NC State’s (10-3, 1-2 ACC) No. 1 doubles pair of senior Tatiana Illova and Joelle Kissell fell behind 4-0 in the early going, against the Blue Devils’ 11th-ranked unit comprised of Mary Clayton and Ester Goldfeld, but responded and took the subsequent four games to tie the match. Duke went on to take four of the next six games, win the match, 8-6, and take a 1-0 lead in the overall match heading into singles.
The Wolfpack chewed its way back into the match when junior Christy Sipes defeated Nicole Lipp, 6-3, 6-0, at the No. 6 spot. The win tied the overall match, 1-1, and improved her mark to 2-0 in dual singles matches this season.
The Blue Devils refused to allow NC State to use that momentum however, as they collected three more singles victories to put the match away.
Goldfeld, ranked 35th nationally in singles, outlasted Illova, 6-3, 6-0, in the No. 2 spot, the 88th-ranked Clayton defeated freshman Rachael James-Baker, 6-4, 6-3, at the No. 3 spot and Mulholland clinched the overall match with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Smith at the No. 4 spot in the lineup.
“It was a good match and a good effort from our team,” said Olsen. “We have some things to sharpen up, but we’ll learn from this and move on.”
NC State will return to action next Thursday, Mar. 28, when it travels to Coral Gables, Fla., to take on Miami.
Tennis Match Results
#7 Duke 4, #40 NC State 1
1. #63 Joelle Kissell (NCSU) vs. #16 Hanna Mar (DUKE) 5-7, 2-1, unfinished
2. #35 Ester Goldfeld (DUKE) def. Tatiana Illova (NCSU) 6-3, 6-0
3. #88 Mary Clayton (DUKE) def. Rachael James-Baker (NCSU) 6-4, 6-3
4. Annie Mulholland (DUKE) def. Chloe Smith (NCSU) 6-1, 7-5
5. Elisha Hande (NCSU) vs. #84 Marianne Jodoin (DUKE) 4-6, 3-3, unfinished
6. Christy Sipes (NCSU) def. Nicole Lipp (DUKE) 6-3, 6-0
1. #11 Ester Goldfeld/Mary Clayton (DUKE) def. Joelle Kissell/Tatiana Illova (NCSU) 8-6
2. Hanna Mar/Annie Mulholland (DUKE) def. Elisha Hande/Nicole Martinez (NCSU) 8-4
3. Chloe Smith/Sophie Nelson (NCSU) vs. Marianne Jodoin/Nicole Lipp (DUKE) 7-8, unfinished
Duke 10-3, 1-0 ACC; National ranking #7
NC State 10-3, 1-2 ACC; National ranking #40
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (6,2,3,4)