2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championship
No. 13 Duke (5-3) vs. No. 2 UCLA (5-0)
Friday, Feb. 14 l 1 p.m. EST
Houston Texas l Downtown Club at the Met and Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club
DURHAM, N.C. – The 13th-ranked Blue Devils travel to Houston, Texas Friday, Feb. 14 to open play at the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championship. The tournament draw, composed of the 15 teams that advanced out of ITA Kick-Off Weekend as well as host Texas A&M, features 13 of the top 15 teams in the country.
Fifteenth-seeded Duke opens first-round action Friday, Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. EST, facing second-ranked and second-seeded UCLA at the Downtown Club at the Met in Houston.
UCLA Series History
The Blue Devils and UCLA will face off for the 19th time in program history following an NCAA Quarterfinals meeting last spring … The then top-seeded Bruins cut short Duke’s run in the tournament with a 4-0 decision in Urbana, Ill. … The two teams also met at the 2012 ITA National Team Indoor Championships, with the Blue Devils claiming a 4-2 victory in the first round in Charlottesville, Va. … Duke is 2-8 all-time when facing UCLA on neutral courts.
Scouting the Bruins
UCLA (5-0) enters this weekend’s tournament as the second-ranked team in the nation as well as the second-seeded squad in the draw … The Bruins topped No. 4 Georgia by a 4-3 score in the inaugural Pac-12/SEC Challenge Feb. 2 in Los Angeles before a matchup with Stanford over the weekend was suspended due to inclement weather … Four UCLA players were listed in the ITA’s singles poll this week, led by top-ranked Clay Thompson, who is 26-2 on the year and 4-0 in dual match play … Marcos Giron (No. 5), Gage Brymer (No. 26) and Mackenzie McDonald (51) are also ranked nationally … The Bruins’ lineup includes one ranked doubles team in Giron and McDonald (No. 9).
National Team Indoors Field
A stacked lineup of nationally-ranked teams will descend upon Houston this weekend to vie for the ITA National Team Indoors title … The draw includes No. 1 Virginia, No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Southern California, No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 6 Baylor, No. 7 Oklahoma, No. 8 Texas A&M, No. 9 Mississippi State, No. 10 Texas, No. 11 California, No. 12 Florida, No. 14 Tennessee, No. 16 Notre Dame and No. 22 Illinois as well as the 13th-ranked Blue Devils … Virginia won last year’s championship in Seattle, Wash., defeating Southern California by a 4-2 score in the final.
Duke at National Indoors
The Blue Devils reached the quarterfinals at last year’s National Team Indoors, falling to eventual champion Virginia, 4-0 … Duke has advanced to the national tournament each of the past three seasons, advancing to the semifinals in 2011.
Blue Devils in the ITA Rankings
The ITA released its latest national singles and doubles rankings Feb. 11, with four Duke players appearing among the top-125 on the singles list … Sophomore Michael Redlicki continues to lead the way, coming in at No. 34 this week, followed closely by junior Jason Tahir at No. 35 … The No. 35 ranking is the highest of Tahir’s collegiate career … Junior Fred Saba, who is 4-2 in singles dual match play, checked in to the rankings at No. 50 … Sophomore Bruno Semenzato rounds out the Blue Devil contingent at No. 57, moving up 38 spots from his previous ranking … Duke moved up two spots to No. 13 in the team rankings two weeks ago after defeating then-No. 19 Illinois at home Jan. 31.
Last Time Out
The Blue Devils logged their first road trip of the spring last weekend, traveling to No. 14 Tennessee and No. 31 Michigan … The squad fell short in a rally bid in Knoxville, falling to the Volunteers by a 4-2 score … Sophomore Michael Redlicki and junior Jason Tahir posted Duke’s only wins in singles from the No. 1 and No. 3 positions, respectively … The Blue Devils rebounded Sunday, Feb. 9 by sweeping the Wolverines in Ann Arbor … The team won the doubles point for the fifth time on the season and junior Raphael Hemmeler clinched the match from the No. 4 spot in singles with a 6-3, 6-5 (4) victory over Michigan’s Alex Buzzi.
Win Streaks in Singles
Junior Jason Tahir has won five-straight contests in singles heading into National Team Indoors … He collected two wins from the No. 3 position last weekend against No. 14 Tennessee and No. 31 Michigan to bring his season ledger to 11-4 … Freshman TJ Pura has won six consecutive matches dating back to the fall after posting his first win in dual match play against Illinois … The Pacific Palisades, Calif., native clinched that victory over the Fighting Illini and is now 13-5 overall and 2-0 on the spring … As a team, Duke is 30-14 so far this season in dual match singles contests.