Duke enters the weekend with a ledger of 3-0 in dual match play after earning one of 16 bids to the ITA National Indoor Championships Feb. 17-20 in Charlottesville, Va. The squad blanked VCU, 6-0, and Washington, 4-0, in a pair of ITA Kick-Off Weekend matches last weekend in Durham.
Seventh-ranked Henrique Cunha posted two victories from the No. 1 singles position, including a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Washington's 15th-ranked Kyle McMorrow in Sunday's championship match, to earn ACC Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week. No. 17 Chris Mengel and No. 110 Fred Saba also tallied two singles wins each, playing at the No. 2 and 4 spots, respectively. The Blue Devils were also solid in doubles play, capturing the doubles point in both matches.
Nineteenth-ranked Illinois heads to Durham with a 4-1 record this spring. The Fighting Illini fell to North Carolina, 4-2, in the opening round of their ITA Kick-Off Weekend regional in Atlanta, Ga., but came back to defeat Georgia Tech in the consolation match, 4-3. The squad is led by senior Dennis Nevolo, who is ranked second nationally in singles and was named the Big Ten Tennis Athlete of the Week after defeating a pair of nationally-ranked opponents last weekend. Fellow senior Roy Kalmanovich is also ranked in singles, coming in at No. 24 in the ITA's most recent poll.
Duke and Illinois will meet for the 18th time in program history, with the Illini leading the series, 13-4. Illinois has won the last 10 matches between the two schools, including a 4-2 victory last season in Champaign. The last win for the Blue Devils was a 5-2 decision at home on March 3, 2002.
The 30th-ranked Fighting Irish have played six matches this spring for an overall record of 4-2. In its last outing, the team edged Cornell, 4-2, in the consolation match of their ITA Kick-Off Weekend regional in Columbus, Ohio. Notre Dame's lineup includes one ranked singles player in senior Sam Keeton, who is listed at No. 74 in the latest poll. Duke holds an 18-8 advantage in the series between the two programs after notching a 5-2 victory in South Bend last season. The Fighting Irish travel to Winston-Salem on Friday evening to face No. 39 Wake Forest before heading to Durham for Sunday's contest.
NC Central is set to play its first dual match of the season on Sunday when the squad makes the short trip to Duke. The Blue Devils are 6-0 all-time against the Eagles following a 7-0 victory in last year's meeting.
Live scoring, live video and a live blog will be available for each of the three matches this weekend.