Hurricanes eliminated in ACC quarterfinals with narrow 4-3 loss to No. 10 Virginia

Fifth-year senior Daevenia Achong returns the ball during Miami's double match against Iowa State University on Sunday, Jan. 29 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Photo credit: Alexandra Carnochan

Fifth-seeded Miami women’s tennis dropped a thrilling three-and-a-half-hour match against fourth-seeded Virginia, 4-3, on Friday morning in the ACC quarterfinals in Cary, North Carolina.

A spot in the ACC semifinals came down to Court 4, where junior Audrey Boch-Collins battled No. 77 Annabelle Xu just one day after defeating her third ranked singles opponent as a collegian. Boch-Collins forced a tiebreaker in the second set and staved off a match point but ultimately fell 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).

I just felt like it was extremely lopsided in terms of who showed up and played the type of tennis we needed to play and had the type of emotions we needed to have, and those that clearly didn’t,” head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said.

The 10th-ranked Cavaliers swiftly claimed the doubles point over No. 13 Miami. Xu and Sara Ziodato handled Boch-Collins and Mia Mack, 6-3, before No. 34 Elaine Chervinsky and Natasha Subhash downed Alexa Noel and Isabella Pfennig, together ranked No. 29, by the same score.

On Court 1, No. 44 Daevenia Achong and Maya Tahan were deadlocked with the 13th-ranked doubles pair in the country, Julia Adams and Melodie Collard, 5-5.

Virginia quickly improved its lead to 2-0 after Ziodato dominated Tahan, 6-1, 6-0, but then the Hurricanes showed some resilience.

After losing the first two games, No. 5 Noel won 11 straight to defeat No. 51 Subhash, 6-2, 6-2. Freshman Mack won four consecutive games in the second set against No. 120 Shaikh but lost 0-6, 4-6.

With Miami down 3-1, No. 105 Achong recorded her second-highest-ranked victory of the season over No. 54 Adams, 6-3, 7-5. No. 83 Pfennig tied it up moments later with a 6-1, 7-6 (8-6) victory against Chervinksy. Pfennig trailed 4-6 in the tiebreaker but rattled off four straight points for the win.

Approximately 45 minutes later, Boch-Collins lost, sending the Cavaliers to the ACC semifinals.

“We didn’t get a great start in three of the singles matches,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “It’s tough to beat a team that’s top-10 in the country when you’re losing sets the way we did. We’ve just got to get back on the horse and get ready for NCAAs.”

The Hurricanes’ season is far from over, with Miami poised to make its 27th consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament. Currently, the ‘Canes are in position to host the opening two rounds of the NCAA Team Championship on May 5 and 6 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables for the second year in a row.