CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The 10th-ranked University of Miami women’s tennis team won its first ACC Championship on Sunday, after defeating 30th-ranked and rival Florida State, 4-1, at the North Carolina’s Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
“My players are starting to learn things about themselves that they never knew existed,” said UM head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews. “For a coach, that is really cool. “I am so happy for them and this institution. Conference titles are huge for everyone!”
Sophomore Lina Lileikite was named the tournament’s most outstanding performer after claiming her second win in as many days from her No. 3 position. Her 6-2, 6-2 victory over the Seminoles’ Mia Vriens gave the Canes a 3-1 lead before junior Melissa Bolivar clinched the team’s first title.
Against second-ranked North Carolina on Saturday, Lileikite won a three-set match over the Tar Heels’ 36th-ranked Whitney Kay, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. Combined with her win over Vriens, that was more than enough to earn the heralded award.
After capturing yet another doubles point, Monique Albuquerque extended the Canes lead to 2-0 with her brisk, 6-4, 6-1, win over FSU’s Kerrie Cartwright at the No. 5 position.
The Seminoles’ Amy Sargeant gave her team their only point, downing Clementina Riobueno, 6-2, 6-1, before Lileikite won her match.
Bolivar’s 6-3, 6-4 straight-set victory over Kristina Schleich was all that Miami would need to clinch the win. Both Stephanie Wagner and Kelsey Laurente will still competing on Courts 1 and 2, respectively, when the match came to a victorious end.
After rain halted doubles play just 30 minutes into the match at the Cary Tennis Center, both teams made their way to the nearby Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center on the University of North Carolina’s campus.
The young Hurricanes, ranked 10th in the nation have been a story all season long. Four collegiate newcomers make up the majority of Miami’s roster and each has played a huge role in helping the Canes earn their first conference title since joining the league in 2004.
“This team was just so tough throughout the tournament,” said Yaroshuk-Tews. To be so young and come away with this win is amazing.”
Two of the newcomers helped set the tone for Miami in earning the interrupted doubles point. Albuquerque and Riobueno sealed the early point with an 8-5 win over the Noles’ Francesca Segarelli and Daneika Brothwick.
Bolivar and Laurente were the first to get on the board in doubles with an 8-5 win of their own on Court 2.
Up next for the Hurricanes will be the Division One Women’s Tennis Selection Show on April 30. The show will be aired on NCAA.com at 5:30 p.m. and will reveal who the Canes will face in the upcoming NCAA tournament.
1. Monique Albuquerque/Clementina Riobueno (UM) def. Francesca Segarelli/Daneika Borthwick (FSU) 8-5
2. Melissa Bolivar/Kelsey Laurente (UM) def. Mia Vriens/Amy Sargeant (FSU) 8-5
3. Stephanie Wagner/Brittany Dubins (UM) vs. Kerrie Cartwright/Kristina Schleich (FSU) unfinished
1. #60 Stephanie Wagner (UM) vs. #57 Daneika Borthwick (FSU) unfinished
2. #91 Kelsey Laurente (UM) vs. #96 Francesca Segarelli (FSU) unfinished
3. Lina Lileikite (UM) def. Mia Vriens (FSU) 6-2, 6-2
4. Amy Sargeant (FSU) def. Clementina Riobueno (UM) 6-2, 6-1
5. Monique Albuquerque (UM) def. Kerrie Cartwright (FSU) 6-4, 6-1
6. Melissa Bolivar (UM) def. Kristina Schleich (FSU) 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish:
Doubles (2,1); Singles (5,4,3,6)