Canes rebound, win consolation bracket over No. 5 Stanford

After falling to top-ranked Northwestern in the first round of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Women’s Team Indoor Championships on Friday, the 15th-ranked Hurricanes quickly got back on track.

Miami (8-1) shocked fifth-ranked Stanford, 5-1, in the consolation final Sunday afternoon in Madison, Wis.

Sophomores Michaela Kissell and Bianca Eichkorn took a break from their 14th-ranked tandem to pair up with freshmen Alessa Waibel and Gabriela Mejia, respectively, to clinch the doubles point.

“We decided to make the change at doubles during warm-ups,” head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We shook it up a bit, and the girls really believed and responded in the change. They played aggressive tennis, and they started off the match with good momentum.”

With an early 1-0 lead, the Canes took five of six singles matches from the Cardinals (4-2). The lone loss came from the racket of 26th-ranked sophomore Hilary Barte, who upset eighth-ranked Julia Cohen, 6-0, 6-2.

Kissell, who is ranked No. 50, improved to a perfect 8-0 in the spring with a win in the second position.

“We felt that Kissell matched up well with [Jessica] Nguyen, and decided to give her a shot at No. 2 singles. She played her to a tee,'” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “Michaela was really important here as a freshman, and as a sophomore, I think she’s having one of the more successful years that we’ve had in her class.”

The Hurricanes defeated host Wisconsin 7-0 to open the consolation bracket Saturday morning by picking up straight-sets victories across the board in singles matches and capturing two-of-three in doubles.

A day after their first setback of the season, Eichkorn and Kissell easily picked up an 8-2 win, while junior Laura Vallverdu and Cohen won by the same score in the first position.

“I thought the team bounced back well today, and it’s never easy going from the No. 1 team in the nation to the 68th-ranked team in the country overnight,” Yaroshuk-Tews said.

The Badgers (2-5) couldn’t handle the Canes as the match was clinched with consecutive victories in the second, fourth and sixth positions.

In their 6-1 win on Friday morning against Miami, the top-ranked and top-seeded Wildcats (5-0) swept all three doubles matches and won all but one in singles.

Vallverdu and Cohen each lost their first matches of the spring, while Kissell upset 28th-ranked junior Samantha Murray, 6-2, 6-2.

“We still have a long road ahead of us,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “I told the girls that this was our toughest stretch of the year, and we’ve got to weather the storm. We have to keep our game face on and keep the success going.”