Duke trio advances to NCAA women's tennis semifinals

May. 24, 2014 @ 08:57 PM

Duke junior Ester Goldfeld extended her season Saturday, advancing to today’s semifinal round of the NCAA Singles Championship. In the NCAA Doubles Championship competition, the Duke pair of sophomore Beatrice Capra and senior Hanna Mar also moved into the semifinals.

Goldfeld, the 27th-ranked singles player in the nation, defeated UCLA’s 13th-ranked Chanelle Van Nguyen for the second time this season to advance to the semifinal round with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.

Goldfeld trailed 1-4 in the first set before falling 3-6. In the second set, Goldfeld caught her rhythm, taking a 5-2 lead en route to a 6-3 second set victory. Goldfeld carried the momentum into the thirdset, winning four consecutive games. Van Nguyen battled back, bringing the contest to 5-4 before Goldfeld served out for the match.

“[Ester] cut her errors way down after the first set,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “I think she was a little nervous. She served better and played better early in the points. She opened the court a little more and played a little more aggressive. It was good for her, especially because she got off to a rough start. Even though she lost the first set she never lost any confidence.”

The fifth-ranked tandem of Capra and Mar moved on in the NCAA Doubles Championship after upending UNC’s 13th-ranked duo of Whitney Kay and Caroline Price, 7-5, 6-2 and becoming the 12th doubles pair in Duke history to win at least 23 doubles matches in a season.

The two doubles teams were tied at 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5 in the first set before a Capra and Mar break and hold allowed the Duke pair to win the first set 7-5. Capra and Mar asserted themselves in the second set, winning three straight games with the set at 3-2 to close out the match with a second set score of 6-2. All three of Mar and Goldfeld’s wins in this year’s NCAA Doubles Championship have come in straight sets.

“[Hanna and Beatrice] played much more aggressively the second set,” Ashworth said. “I think they did a good job of being more aggressive on serve returns and they followed them in and came in to put pressure on the team from UNC as much as they could.”

Earlier in the day, the seventh-ranked Capra fell to Georgia State’s 22nd-ranked Abigail Tere-Apisah, 6-4, 3-6, 1-6. Capra and Tere-Apisah proved evenly matched in the first set, with neither extending an advantage beyond two games. Capra, a product of Ellicott City, Md., served out for the first set after owning a 5-4 lead. In the second set, Capra trailed early, 2-4, and was unable to respond, falling 3-6. After Capra held serve in the first game of the third set, Tere-Apisah won six straight games to move on to the semifinal round of the tournament. Capra concludes her season with an overall singles record of 30-10.

Goldfeld is scheduled to face 32nd-ranked Danielle Collins from Virginia Sunday, in the semifinal round at noon today. Mar and Capra are scheduled to face the eighth-ranked team of Monique Albuquerque and Clementina Riobueno of Miami at 4 p.m.