BLACKSBURG, Va. - No. 10 Duke bounced back from its first ACC loss of the season in fine fashion with a 6-1 win at No. 36 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. on Sunday.
"We stressed how important this match was and treated it like it was the finals of the ACC Tournament," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "There is always a chance of a natural let up after losing to a team like Virginia, but we came out with a ton of energy and competed well on every court. In the past we haven't bounced back from losses as well. We are pleased to get a win on the road."
The Blue Devils were impressive on every court in both singles and doubles on the way to improving to 5-1 in the ACC and 14-7 overall. Virgina Tech fell to 11-8 on the year and 3-4 in conference play after losing just their second home match of the year. Entering the weekend the Hokies were undefeated at 8-0 on their home courts before losing to Duke and North Carolina.
Duke swept the three doubles matches, including an impressive come-from-behind win at the No. 3 spot. Cale Hammond and Torsten Wietoska trailed 6-1 before clawing their way back for a tiebreaker win 8-7 (4). Hammond is a perfect 5-0 in doubles during dual match play, including a 2-0 mark with Wietoska.
"They (Hammond and Wietoska) played really well all weekend," said sophomore Henrique Cunha. "It was their first time playing together in these two matches and the way they played was great for the team. We need to be more consistent in doubles and they showed they can do that."
No. 6 Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha claimed their ninth victory over a ranked opponent, downing No. 66 Will Beck and Pedro Graber by an 8-4 score. The Duke pair is now 28-4 overall with a 4-1 mark in the ACC. David Holland and Chris Mengel also won 8-4 at the No. 2 position.
The top half of the Duke singles lineup rolled to straight set victories to seal the victory early on. No. 8 Reid Carleton was the first to finish at the No. 2 spot, earning his 27th win of the year with a 6-2, 6-4 victory.
No. 6 Henrique Cunha stayed undefeated in ACC matches during his career and is now 14-0 in two seasons with a 6-0 mark this year. He took down No. 50 Luka Somen, 6-4, 6-3 and is now 28-5 in singles this year.
"I had three straight losses earlier in the season and the key for me was to stay positive and eventually I started playing better," said Cunha. "I have a lot of confidence now the way I am playing. I played one of my better matches of my career and beat a great player on Friday and played well again today. I just need to keep working hard."
Freshman Chris Mengel clinched the match with a tight 7-6 (4), 7-5 win over Graber at the No. 3 spot. Mengel is 5-1 against ACC opponents and has 24 total singles wins.
Wietoska and Marchese each won three-set matches to close out the 6-1 victory. Wietoska competed on the No. 5 court and pulled out a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 match to notch his second win of the year. Marchese improved to 5-1 in league play after his 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win.
Duke will be on the road again next weekend with a match at Georgia Tech on Friday at 3 p.m. and then a 1 p.m. contest at Clemson on Sunday. They are in the midst of a five-match streak on the road.
2010-11 Duke Men's Tennis
Duke vs Virginia Tech (Apr. 3, 2011)
Apr. 3, 2011 at Blacksburg, Va. (Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center)
#10 Duke 6, #36 Virginia Tech 1
1. #6 Reid Carleton/Henrique Cunha (DU) def. #66 Will Beck/Pedro Graber (VT) 8-4
2. David Holland/Chris Mengel (DU) def. Luka Somen/Corado Tocci (VT) 8-4
3. Cale Hammond/Torsten Wietoska (DU) def. Patrick Daciek/Trpimir Kujundzic (VT) 8-7 (7-4)
1. #6 Henrique Cunha (DU) def. #50 Luka Somen (VT) 6-4, 6-3
2. #8 Reid Carleton (DU) def. Patrick Daciek (VT) 6-2, 6-4
3. #123 Chris Mengel (DU) def. Pedro Graber (VT) 7-6 (7-4), 7-5
4. Will Beck (VT) def. Fred Saba (DU) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
5. Torsten Wietoska (DU) def. Trpimir Kujundzic (VT) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
6. Luke Marchese (DU) def. Lucas Oliveira (VT) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
Duke 14-7, 5-1 ACC; National ranking #10
Virginia Tech 11-8, 3-4 ACC; National ranking #36
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,1,3,5,4,6)