MADISON, Wisconsin – No. 9 Texas A&M closed out the ITA National Team Indoor Championship with a 4-0 loss to No. 14 Duke in consolation action this evening at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
“Duke has an excellent team from top to bottom and is a bit under ranked in my opinion,” A&M first-year head coach Mark Weaver said. “All you need to know is their No. 6 player, Christina Makarova, was the No. 1 recruit in the nation in the 2014 recruiting class. Our schedule over the last few weeks has been very challenging to say the least, having played five indoor matches on the road and three of them being against the home team. Our three losses to UNC, Virginia and Duke are without a doubt losses to three of the best indoor teams in the nation.”
The Blue Devils (6-1) narrowly escaped with the doubles point, winning matches on two of three courts. Chalena Scholl and Alyssa Smith cruised to a 6-1 victory over A&M’s Domenica Gonzalez and Saska Gavrilovska at the No. 3 line. Eva Paalma and Rachel Pierson then evened the score, defeating 26th-ranked Beatrice Capra and Ellyse Hamlin, 6-2, at the No. 1 line.
The doubles point came down to the No. 2 line, where Samantha Harris and Kaitlyn McCarthy had jumped out to a 4-1 lead over A&M’s Rutuja Bhosale and Anna Mamalat. The Aggie duo mounted a comeback, tying the score at 4-4. A&M, however, was unable to take the lead, and the Blue Devils went on to win the match, 6-4, to give Duke a 1-0 lead overall.
Duke wasted little time taking a commanding lead in at the start of singles, winning the first set on all six courts. Scholl, ranked 79th in the nation in singles, was first off and gave Duke a 2-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-3 over Bhosale at the No. 3 line.
The Blue Devils took a 3-0 lead as 29th-ranked McCarthy finished off 58th-ranked Pierson, 6-3, 6-0 at No. 2. Harris then completed the shutout for Duke and handed Eva Paalma her first loss of the dual match season with a 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 4.
With the match decided, the remaining three matches went unfinished. Capra, ranked 28th in singles, held a 6-4, 0-1 lead over 53rd-ranked Gavrilovska at No. 1, and Ellyse Hamlin and Gonzalez were tied 3-3 in the second set at No. 5 after Hamlin won the opening set, 6-4.
The closest first set in singles happened at Court 6, where Duke’s Christina Makarova overcame a 5-1 deficit against Mamalat to take the opening frame, 7-5, Makarova had jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set before play was stopped.
After playing the last five matches away from home, the Aggies (4-3) begin a four-match home stand this weekend, hosting Houston on Saturday and Abilene Christian on Sunday. Both matches begin at 1 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center at 1 p.m.
“Our group is definitely looking forward to being home for the next few weeks,” Weaver said. “We have some much needed rest over the next few days and then we have some very valuable time to get better as a group. Come March, I feel that we will be off and running in the tough SEC schedule.”
Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieWTEN or on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/Aggie-Womens-Tennis/143874782434654
#14 Duke 4, #9 Texas A&M 0
Nielson Tennis Stadium
ITA National Team Indoor Championship – Consolation Draw
February 7, 2016
1. #53 Saska Gavrilovska (A&M) vs. #28 Beatrice Capra (DU), 4-6, 1-0 unfinished
2. #29 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. #58 Rachel Pierson (A&M), 6-3, 6-0
3. #79 Chalena Scholl (DU) def. Rutuja Bhosale (A&M), 6-1, 6-3
4. Samantha Harris (DU) def. Eva Paalma (A&M), 6-2, 6-4
5. Domenica Gonzalez (A&M) vs. #70 Ellyse Hamlin (DU), 4-6, 3-3 unfinished
6. Anna Mamalat (A&M) vs. Christina Makarova (DU), 5-7, 0-3 unfinished
Doubles (Duke wins the point)
1. Paalma/Pierson (A&M) def. Capra/Hamlin (DU), 6-2
2. Harris/McCarthy (DU) def. Bhosale/Mamalat (A&M), 6-4
3. Scholl/Alyssa Smith (DU) def. Gavrilovska/Gonzalez (A&M), 6-1
Order of finish
Doubles: 3. 1. 2
Singles: 3, 2, 4
Texas A&M: 4-3