Canes fall in third-set tie-breaker, lose 4-3 in ACC final

Despite its No. 3 ranking in the country, the Duke Blue Devils came into Sunday’s ACC Championships in Cary, N.C., as the second seed after losing to No. 6 Miami 5-2 on March 22 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

It was the girls from Durham, N.C., however, who got the last laugh in a five-hour 4-3 victory to snap the Hurricanes’ 12-match winning streak, which dated back to March 7 when UM lost at Georgia Tech.

Sophomore Bianca Eichkorn, ranked No. 30, dropped a three-set tie-breaker, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), to No. 39 Reka Zsilinszka in the third position for the deciding point. The loss put an end to Eichkorn’s 11 consecutive singles wins.

Fourth-ranked sophomore Julia Cohen lost to No. 16 Mallory Cecil in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1, suffering her first loss in 16 matches. Junior Laura Vallverdu, on the other hand, won her ninth in a row, while sophomore Michaela Kissell won her 13th straight match.

The Blue Devils (23-3) took the all-important doubles point for an early 1-0 lead by upsetting both of Miami’s ranked doubles team.

Miami (23-4) will now prepare for the NCAA regionals which take place May 8-10. The Canes have hosted a regional every year since 2005, and hope to do so this year when the tournament pairings are announced April 28.


Singles competition
1. #16 Mallory Cecil (DU) def. #4 Julia Cohen (UM) 6-4, 6-1
2. #25 Laura Vallverdu (UM) def. #33 Ellah Nze (DU) 6-2, 6-2
3. #39 Reka Zsilinszka (DU) def. #30 Bianca Eichkorn (UM) 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
4. #50 Michaela Kissell (UM) def. #74 Amanda Granson (DU) 6-2, 6-0
5. #115 Melissa Mang (DU) def. Gabriela Mejia (UM) 6-1, 7-5
6. Claudia Wasilewski (UM) def. Jessi Robinson (DU) 7-6, 0-6, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. #16 Granson/Mang (DU) def. #13 Kissell/Vallverdu (UM) 8-6
2. #73 Cecil/Robinson (DU) def. #52 Cohen/Eichkorn (UM) 8-5
3. Mejia/Wasilewski (UM) vs. Ellah Nze/Zsilinszka (DU) unfinished

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (4,2,5,1,6,3)