CLEMSON, S.C. - No. 11 Duke won all nine matches on Sunday in a 7-0 victory over No. 58 Clemson at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center in Clemson, S.C.
The Blue Devils have won three straight matches and are now 7-1 in ACC play and 16-7 overall. Clemson falls to 15-9 on the year and has a 2-7 league record. In each of Duke's seven conference victories the Blue Devils have won either 7-0 or 6-1. During league play they have won 19 of the 24 doubles contests and 40 of the 48 singles matches.
"It is really huge for us to win on the road because every ACC road match is tough," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "I have been happy with our consistency, bringing a lot of energy and intensity to every match. We competed really well in doubles which was big for momentum and after winning first sets in singles we didn't let matches get away from us and were able to finish them off."
The doubles point was never in doubt as the Blue Devils rolled at the No. 1 and 2 positions. No. 6 Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha were even with Yannick Maden and Zachary Rigsby at 2-2 in the top spot of the order but rattled off six straight games for the 8-2 win. David Holland and Chris Mengel won the first six games of their match at No. 2 and went on to claim an 8-1 victory to clinch the point.
"We put everything together today and got off to a good start," said junior David Holland. "We have been improving and working hard to be more aggressive on returns. When we get off to a good start we do well. When we got up 6-0 it set the tone for the other teams."
The victory for Carleton and Cunha was their 30th of the year. It is just the fourth time in school history a double team has won 30 or more matches in a season. The two Blue Devils also did it last year with a school-record 41 wins. Carleton also moved passed Jordan Wile into third on Duke's career doubles wins list as he recorded his 109th career victory.
All six singles matches were tight midway through the first set with a 4-3 score on each court at different times. Duke then went on a big run, winning 14 of the next 17 games in first sets to take all six matches. Luke Marchese was the only Blue Devil who trailed 4-3 but took three straight games for the first set win.
"We did a really good job breaking away at the end of the first sets," said Smith. "It started with getting a break on one court and spread throughout. When that happens it breaks a team's spirits and we were able to carry it on throughout the rest of the match."
Fred Saba was the first player to win in singles, defeating Gerardo Meza 6-3, 6-4. After a win by Cunha at the No. 1 spot, Marchese closed out his match with a 6-2 second-set victory to clinch the match victory for the Blue Devils.
Carleton followed with a win at the No. 2 slot while Wietoska also won in straight sets at the No. 5 position. The only match to go three sets was at No. 3 as No. 123 Chris Mengel played a super tiebreaker against Kevin Galloway. Mengel trailed 4-0 but would battle back and secure a 10-8 win to give Duke the sweep.
Cunha, Marchese and Mengel are all 7-1 in ACC matches following today's results while Carleton is 6-1. Marchese is now 26-4 in his career during conference play, moving into a tie for fourth all-time at Duke with 26 career ACC wins. The wins for Carleton and Cunha have them tied for the team lead with 29 this season.
Duke heads into the final week of the regular season with three remaining ACC matches. The Blue Devils wrap up a five-match road streak on Wednesday when they go just down the road to Chapel Hill for a 3 p.m. match against rival North Carolina. Duke will host Florida State on Friday and Miami on Sunday to conclude conference play.
Tennis Match Results
Duke vs Clemson
Apr. 10, 2011 at Clemson, S.C.
#11 Duke 7, #58 Clemson 0
1. #6 Reid Carleton/Henrique Cunha (Duke) def. Yannick Maden/Zachary Rigsby (Clemson) 8-2
2. David Holland/Chris Mengel (Duke) def. Derek DiFazio/Robert Pietrucha (Clemson) 8-1
3. Cale Hammond/Torsten Wietoska (Duke) def. Juan Bolona/Moritz Dettinger (Clemson) 8-5
1. #6 Henrique Cunha (Duke) def. Derek DiFazio (Clemson) 6-3, 6-2
2. #8 Reid Carleton (Duke) def. Yannick Maden (Clemson) 6-4, 6-2
3. #123 Chris Mengel (Duke) def. Kevin Galloway (Clemson) 6-3, 2-6, 1-0
4. Fred Saba (Duke) def. Gerardo Meza (Clemson) 6-3, 6-4
5. Torsten Wietoska (Duke) def. Zachary Rigsby (Clemson) 7-5, 6-4
6. Luke Marchese (Duke) def. Cal Hilsman (Clemson) 6-4, 6-2
Duke 16-7, 7-1ACC; National ranking #11
Clemson 15-9, 2-7 ACC; National ranking #58
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (4,1,6,2,5,3)