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Thursday, April 21, 2011

omen's Tennis Opens ACC Tournament Action on Friday - Routers



Courtesy: Pakihungama Photography

DURHAM, N.C.-Fresh off of capturing its 18th ACC regular season title, the Duke University women's tennis team will being postseason play at the ACC Tournament at the Cary Tennis Park on April 22-24. The top-seeded Blue Devils will be in search of their 17th tournament crown are the top seed and will open with No. 8 seed NC State in the quarterfinal match at 9 a.m. Duke finished the regular season ranked third nationally after posting an impressive 21-3 overall record. Going 10-1 in league play, the Blue Devils won 13 consecutive matches before losing to No. 27 Florida State in the season finale.
The Blue Devils last won the ACC Tournament in 2009 and are an amazing 61-9 all-time in tournament action. Duke is 9-0 against NC State in conference postseason play. Head coach Jamie Ashworth has seven tournament titles to his name to lead all ACC coaches.
Senior Reka Zsilinszka leads the Blue Devils with a 29-5 overall singles record. Ranked 18th nationally, she recently was named to the All-ACC squad for the fourth consecutive year. She recently set the Duke record for ACC career victories with 38 and needs just one more win to break the 30-wins mark for the third time in her career. Against NC State, Zsilinszka went into a tiebreak and emerged with the victory during the regular season.
The top two spots for the Blue Devils are manned by seniors Nadine Fahoum and Ellah Nze, respectively. Both captured All-ACC recognition with Nze doing so for the fourth time in her career. Ranked 36th, Fahoum is 8-11 in dual matches at No. 1 and 21-15 overall in singles play. Nze is 23-14 overall and 6-7 in dual matches from the No. 2 slot. During the regular season Fahoum won her match against the Wolfpack, while Nze suffered a setback.
Senior Elizabeth Plotkin will anchor the middle of the lineup at No. 4 with a 27-6 overall record and 15-2 mark from court four. She went 9-2 in league play, including a straight-set victory over her NC State opponent.
The recently named ACC Freshman of the Year, Rachel Kahan takes in the team's hottest win streak to the tournament. She has won 24 straight matches, last losing in tournament action in September. The Unionville, Conn. native has dropped just four sets versus league foes and is 25-1 overall on the year. She defeated her Wolfpack opponent 6-3, 6-1 during the regular season.
Sophomore Mary Clayton rounds out the lineup at No. 6 with a 26-8 overall record. She posted an 8-2 mark against ACC opponents and is 15-3 from the sixth position. All of her ACC victories have come in straight sets, including a 6-0, 6-1 win over NC State.
In doubles action, Duke is led at No. 1 by Nze and Kahan with a record of 4-6 in dual matches at the top spot. They defeated the pair from NC State 8-4 during the season. Freshman Hanna Mar teams up with Fahoum at No. 2 and Clayton and Monica Gorny are the final pair for the Blue Devils. Mar and Fahoum have won eight straight matches and are 9-2 overall at No. 2. Duke's No. 3 tandem has been equally as successful, winning 12 of the past 13 matches. They have just one loss at No. 3 and are 22-5 overall as a doubles team.
Duke has won the doubles point in 18 matches this season and is 17-1 overall when capturing that crucial first point.
The winner of the quarterfinal match will advance to the semifinal round against the winner of the Virginia/Florida State match on April 23 at 10 a.m.

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