No. 13 Duke vs. No. 49 Virginia Tech
Friday, March 21 l 3 p.m.
Durham, N.C. l Ambler Tennis Stadium
No. 13 Duke vs. No. 7 Virginia
Sunday, March 23 l 3 p.m.
Durham, N.C. l Ambler Tennis Stadium
DURHAM, N.C. – Coming off of a two-match road swing to San Diego, the 13th-ranked Blue Devils (9-4, 1-0 ACC) return home for a pair of important ACC contests. The squad hosts No. 49 Virginia Tech Friday afternoon before taking on No. 7 Virginia Sunday on ESPN3. Sunday’s match will be the second of a USTA College MatchDay doubleheader at Duke as the Blue Devil women welcome Florida State at 11 a.m.
#CollegeMatchDay Visits Duke Sunday
The Duke men’s and women’s tennis programs will welcome the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) College MatchDay series to Durham Sunday, March 23 for a pair of exciting ACC contests … In addition to the ESPN3 coverage, College MatchDay’s 53-foot, interactive Fan Experience trailer will also be on site Sunday in the Card Gym Lot off Towerview Road … The trailer will allow fans to engage in a number of activities before, during and after the match, including giveaways, a Wii station and a photo booth … As part of the College MatchDay series, Sunday’s contests will feature a unique, experimental format, as proposed by an advisory group of NCAA Division I athletic directors: all six singles matches will be played first, best of three tiebreak sets, with each singles match worth one point toward the team total (four points are required to win the team match) … In the case of a 3-3 tie after the singles matches, three doubles matches – played using 10-point super tiebreakers – will be used to determine the winner in what amounts to college tennis’ version of “overtime.”
Virginia Tech Series History
Duke and the Hokies have squared off 26 times in program history, with the Blue Devils leading the series, 24-2 … Duke has claimed each of the past five contests between the two teams … The Blue Devils are 15-2 all-time when facing Virginia Tech in Durham.
Last Time We Met
The Blue Devils completed a 7-0 sweep of Virginia Tech March 24, 2013 in Blacksburg … Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler edged the Hokies’ Andreas Bjerrehus and Amerigo Contini, 9-8 (2), at the No. 1 position to secure the doubles point … Hemmeler clinched the match in singles with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Trpimir Kujundzic in the No. 5 position.
Scouting the Hokies
Virginia Tech enters the weekend of ACC action with an 8-5 ledger overall and a 1-1 mark in the conference … The squad is coming off of a 4-3 loss at then-No. 19 Boise State last Saturday … The Hokies are 2-5 in road contests this spring … No. 24 Amerigo Contini leads the lineup with a 10-2 record at the No. 1 spot in singles … Andreas Bjerrehus and Hunter Koontz have gone 6-1 at the No. 1 position in doubles.
Virginia Series History
Sunday’s match will mark the 86th all-time meeting between Duke and the Cavaliers … The Blue Devils lead the series, 49-36.
Last Time We Met
Fred Saba gave Duke a 3-2 team advantage with a 7-5, 7-5 win over No. 1 Alex Domijan, but the Blue Devils fell short in an upset bid of the top-ranked Cavaliers March 22, 2013 in Charlottesville … Virginia took a 2-0 lead in the match before Duke responded with three-straight wins in singles by Raphael Hemmeler, Henrique Cunha and Saba … The Cavaliers won the final two matches on courts four and six to win by a close 4-3 score.
Scouting the Cavaliers
Virginia is 10-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play entering a Friday afternoon contest at No. 6 North Carolina … The seventh-ranked Cavaliers defeated Loyola Marymount by a 6-1 score in their last outing March 7 … The squad advanced to the semifinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship last month before falling in a 4-3 decision to eventual champion Ohio State … Mitchell Frank, the sixth-ranked player in the ITA singles poll, has compiled a 3-3 record at the No. 1 spot in the lineup … No. 33 Alex Domijan and No. 45 Ryan Shane have also seen time at the No. 1 position … Mac Styslinger (66), Jordan Daigle (77) and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski are also ranked for the Cavaliers … The 42nd-ranked tandem of Domijan and Shane has posted an 8-2 mark at the No. 1 slot in doubles … Frank and Styslinger are ranked 50th in the country while Styslinger is also listed 60th with Luca Cortinteli.
Scouting the Blue Devils
Duke collected a 7-0 sweep over San Diego State and dropped a tough 4-3 decision to then-No. 2 Oklahoma last week in San Diego to move to 9-4 overall … The Blue Devils slipped three spots in this week’s ITA poll to No. 13 … Sophomore Michael Redlicki, the 30th-ranked player in the nation, leads the team from the No. 1 position with a 6-2 dual match ledger … No. 40 Jason Tahir has compiled a 9-3 record this spring while No. 58 Fred Saba has gone 8-2 at the No. 2 and 3 spots in the lineup … Sophomore Bruno Semenzato, the 92nd-ranked player on the ITA list, is 7-2 from the No. 4 slot … Redlicki and Tahir combine to form the nation’s 28th-ranked doubles pair and have teamed up to go 4-2 in dual matches.
Win Streaks in Singles
Senior Fred Saba has won five consecutive singles matches heading into the meeting with Virginia Tech Friday … Freshman TJ Pura has notched seven-straight wins dating back to the fall and collected his first victory in dual match play against Illinois Jan. 31 … As a team, Duke is 55-17 in dual match singles contests this season for a .764 winning percentage.
Saba Approaching 100-Win Mark
Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native Fred Saba is nearing the 100-win milestone in singles in his fourth year with the program … He owns a career record of 94-44 in singles contests and is 82-47 in doubles play … Saba has won at least 26 singles matches in each of his previous three seasons.
"There are a lot of positives we can take from the last five weeks, even from that loss [to Oklahoma]," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "There are definitely a couple things we need to clean up and work on, but obviously getting into ACC season here - it's an exciting time of the year and we've got a big weekend coming up."