DURHAM, N.C. - No. 10 Duke defeated Florida State, 4-3, on Friday at Ambler Tennis Stadium to get off to a good start in the final weekend of the regular season.
The Blue Devils improved to 17-8 on the year and 8-2 in the ACC while dropping the Seminoles to 9-12 this season and 4-6 in conference play.
"I was really impressed with doubles and thought this was the best that we have played at the No. 2 and 3 positions," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "We put Fred (Saba) and Jared (Pinsky) in at the No. 3 spot and they were solid. Florida State is pretty good at all three spots so I was happy to get that point."
Both the No. 2 and 3 doubles teams came storming out of the gate and made quick work of their opponents to make the doubles point never in doubt. Playing for the first time since March 25, Jared Pinsky and Fred Saba cruised to an 8-3 win in the No. 3 slot for the duo's 14th win. David Holland and Chris Mengel clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 win at No. 2, improving to 17-12 this season.
No. 7 Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha were up a break at the top doubles spot but No. 13 Vahid Mirzadeh and Connor Smith came back to win in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (5), to hand the two Blue Devils just their second ACC loss of the year.
Carleton and Cunha would not let the loss in doubles get them down as they both put together impressive singles performances to record their 30th wins of the season. With Duke leading 2-1 Carleton defeated No. 108 Clint Bowles 6-4, 6-3 to improve to 30-8. Cunha then clinched the match for the Blue Devils with a 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 23 Mirzadeh. Cunha is now 30-7 overall and 8-2 in ACC play.
"I am really proud of how our captains (Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha) bounced back, both from losses on Wednesday and a tough doubles match today," said Smith. "I was extremely happy with how both came out and took care of tough players, the top two guys for Florida State. They are great competitors and really good tennis players and we needed them badly today since the score ended up 4-3."
Chris Mengel continued his strong freshman season with a quick 6-1, 6-0 victory over Blake Davis. Mengel has won five straight matches and only has one ACC loss at 9-1. He is now 28-10 overall in his first year.
The Blue Devils will finish the regular season on Sunday with a 12 noon contest against No. 25 Miami in Ambler Tennis Stadium. Duke will honor its three seniors, Carleton, Alain Michel and Jared Pinsky prior to the start of the match.
Duke Sophomore Henrique Cunha Postmatch Interview
Tennis Match Results
Florida State vs Duke
Apr. 15, 2011 at Durham, N.C.
#10 Duke 4, #41 Florida State 3
1. #13 Vahid Mirzadeh/Connor Smith (FSU) def. #7 Reid Carleton/Henrique Cunha (Duke) 9-8 (7-5)
2. David Holland/Chris Mengel (Duke) def. Andres Bucaro/Anderson Reed (FSU) 8-4
3. Jared Pinsky/Fred Saba (Duke) def. Blake Davis/Jordan Kelly-Houston (FSU) 8-3
1. #6 Henrique Cunha (Duke) def. #23 Vahid Mirzadeh (FSU) 6-4, 6-2
2. #9 Reid Carleton (Duke) def. #108 Clint Bowles (FSU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Chris Mengel (Duke) def. Blake Davis (FSU) 6-1, 6-0
4. Connor Smith (FSU) def. Fred Saba (Duke) 6-3, 6-3
5. Jordan Kelly-Houston (FSU) def. Torsten Wietoska (Duke) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
6. Anderson Reed (FSU) def. Luke Marchese (Duke) 6-2, 1-6, 6-4
Florida State 9-12, 4-6 ACC; National ranking #41
Duke 17-8, 8-2 ACC; National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (3,4,2,1,5,6)