The Miami Hurricanes Men’s and Women’s teams went up against their ACC rivals from North Carolina this week, with the men hosting Duke and North Carolina while the women traveled up to visit North Carolina and Duke. And both teams came out of the weekend looking for answers.
The Men’s team hosted #13 Duke on Friday and were completely overpowered, losing 7-0 and failing to win a doubles match or a set in the singles matches despite Aly returning to the lineup. On Sunday, No. 9 North Carolina came into town and the Canes surprised everyone with the match they gave the Tar Heels. Aly and Wilfredo Gonzales finally gave the Canes a win in the doubles, but they dropped the other two matches to lose the doubles point. What happened next was unexpected. The Canes came out fighting in the singles matches, and after winning four of five first sets and Daniel Shebshayevich in a first set-tiebreaker, the Canes looked like they were getting ready to pull off another ACC shocker. Diego Soto won his match easily but the Tar Heels were starting to come back. Henrique Tsukamoto and Shebshayevich lost in straight sets and the Canes had no room for error. Aly was hanging in there but Flores and Gonzales finally lost in three sets to give UNC the win. On a positive note, Aly defeated No. 25 Ronnie Schneider. This should help his ranking go up from No. 92 when the rankings come out on Tuesday.
The guys are now down to their last three matches of the regular season; at No. 12 Notre Dame on April 11, at Boston College on April 13, and finally vs. No. 30 Florida State at home on April 19. They should beat Boston College easily. They desperately need a win against either the Irish or the ‘Noles to have a chance to be selected for the NCAA tournament in May.
The women’s team also went down against two higher rankings ACC rivals this past weekend. They visited No. 6 North Carolina on Saturday but after dropping a doubles match they should have won, they managed only two singles wins to go down 5-2 and end their 10-match winning streak. On Sunday, they went over to play No. 1 Duke and played a much better match, but went down 6-1. The doubles match was very close and the Canes led for a while but the Blue Devils pulled it out to take the lead. In the singles, Monique Albuquerque got a win, and Stephanie Wagner also upset No. 5 Beatrice Capra, but the other matches were straight set losses. The No. 14Canes continue their road trip with a visit to Tallahassee to fight rival Florida State on April 11. They are not in danger of losing their spot in the NCAA tournament but they need to finish the regular season strongly to make sure they will be able to host the NCAA regional rounds.
It was a tough weekend for the Canes, but these Canes have some fight in them and it will be interesting to see how they bounce back in the remainder of the season. Go Canes!