DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 38 Duke men’s tennis team closes the regular season Friday with a 3:30 p.m. match at No. 39 Louisville. Friday’s match will play a large part in determining the Blue Devils’ seed for the ACC Tournament, which takes place next week in Rome, Ga.
Duke enters the final weekend of play with a 7-4 league ledger and holding on to fifth in the ACC standings, but Louisville is right behind with a 6-4 ACC record.
Louisville Series History
Duke has played Louisville in just two dual matches, claiming a 5-2 victory in 2015, Louisville’s first in the ACC, and a 5-2 win March 27, 2016 … Duke is 1-0 in Louisville, winning there in 2015 … In their dual match singles careers against the Cardinals, Nicolas Alvarez and TJ Pura are 1-1 and Catalin Mateas and Ryan Dickerson are 1-0 … This fall at the Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic, Mateas fell 6-3, 6-3 to Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff.
Scouting the Cardinals
Louisville’s successful season has been led by sophomore Morin-Kougoucheff, who is 10-8 on court one, 21-13 overall, 5-4 in ACC action and ranked No. 114 in this week’s Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll … Freshman Parker Wynn has been the primary option in the second spot with a 13-1 ledger there and 36-10 overall record … Four players have rotated through the third position with junior Nicolas Rouanet earning the majority of ACC action there … Rouanet is 5-4 on court three, 24-14 overall and 3-7 in league play … The top doubles team of senior Sean Donohue and Wynn, ranked No. 47, has gone 15-6 there and 21-6 overall while the No. 2 team of junior Ciro Lampasas and Morin-Kougoucheff is 5-5 overall and 4-4 on court two.
“Louisville is a very good team,” head coach Ramsey Smith said. “Louisville has had a great season. They’re extremely tough at home. It’s going to be their senior day. They’re going to be gunning for us. We’re definitely the healthiest we’ve been all year. The guys have stayed together through some tough times. It has come together. We’re playing good tennis now, the best we’ve played all season. Our singles stood out this past weekend, particularly the bottom half of the lineup.”
Pura Sets Duke’s ACC Single-Season Consecutive Wins Mark
Pura, a senior, enters Friday’s match riding a 10-match winning streak in ACC competition, the longest in a single season in program history … Pura picked up the record-setting victory with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph against Nile Clark of Miami on Saturday … Pura’s 10-straight ACC wins in a single season surpassed the previous record of nine in a year, set by Raphael Hemmeler in 2015 … The overall Duke record for consecutive league wins is 15 by Fred Saba from 2012-13.
Pura Tied for Seventh in Duke’s ACC Wins Club
Pura’s 10 ACC wins this year are one shy of Jason Tahir’s Duke record for league wins in a season with 11 in 2013 … Pura owns 29 career league singles wins, tied with Peter Rodrigues (2004-07/29) and Chris Mengel (2011-15/29) for sixth on the Duke all-time chart.
Stachowiak Gets Singles Win No. 30 …
Freshman Nick Stachowiak picked up his 30th singles win of the year Saturday against Miami with a 6-2, 6-4 triumph against Jesse Flores on court four … Stachowiak’s 30 wins are tied with Peter Ayers (1992-93) and Alberto Brause (1996-97) for the 10th most by a Duke freshman … Stachowiak is the first Blue Devil rookie to get 30 in a year since Alvarez tallied 31 during the 2014-15 season.
… And Reaches 26 Victories in Doubles
Stachowiak also added to his doubles win total Saturday when he teamed with freshman Spencer Furman for a 6-4 triumph against Max Andrews and Flores on court one … Stachowiak is up to 26 doubles wins this year, tied with Ayers for the sixth most by a Blue Devil freshman … Next up is Phillip King (2000-01) with 27 doubles triumphs.
Two Ranked Doubles Wins
Stachowiak and Furman rolled to two wins against ranked doubles teams last weekend, topping No. 40 Andrews and Flores of Miami 6-4 on Saturday a day after defeating No. 19 Josh Hagar and Eddy Covalschi of Notre Dame 6-2 ... Stachowiak and Furman have won three of their last four matches against ranked teams, adding a 6-4 victory against No. 71 Aziz Dougaz and Guy Iradukunda of Florida State … Stachowiak and Furman, who earned their highest ranking of the year this week at No. 22, have six ACC doubles wins, tied for the ninth most by a Duke rookie in a year … The pair is Duke’s first duo with three or more ranked wins in a year since Alvarez and Hemmeler had five in 2014-15 … Stachowiak and Furman are 18-2 overall this year (.900 winning percentage), which would be the sixth highest winning percentage for a Blue Devil pair in a year, and third for a Duke freshman duo.
“They’ve been amazing,” Smith added. “They’ve lost two matches in the spring. They have played a huge chunk of that at No. 1. They finally got rewarded in the rankings. They’ve been playing at that level for a while now. The biggest thing for them is trying to find ways to hold a little bit easier because they break almost every single match, usually multiple times. We’ve gotten creative with what we’re trying to do strategically on our service games. They’ve been great.”
Mateas Finds His Groove
Sophomore Mateas has found his comfort zone late in the season, winning his last six matches, all in straight sets, and going 7-3 in ACC play … Of his last six wins, he has lost two or fewer games in seven of the 12 sets … Mateas has clinched two of Duke’s last three wins, at Clemson and against Miami … A year ago, Mateas was 4-6 in league competition.
Three with 20 or More Wins
With two wins last weekend, sophomore Dickerson became the fourth member of Duke’s 20-win club this season (20), joining Stachowiak (30), Pura (27) and Mateas (23) ... A year ago, the Blue Devils had just three reach the 15-win plateau and one capture 20 or more wins … During the 2014-15 campaign, Duke had five total 20 or more singles triumphs … The Blue Devils are close to adding two more members to this year’s club as Furman has registered 19 victories and freshman Robert Levine owns 18 singles triumphs.
Duke Advances in ITA Poll and Three Appear in Singles Rankings
The Blue Devils made an eight-spot leap in the this week’s Oracle/ITA poll, moving up to No. 38 … Duke keeps three ranked singles players, led by junior Alvarez at No. 37 ... Furman is No. 87 this week while Mateas stays at No. 100 … The doubles pair of Furman and Stachowiak make a 39-spot rocket up the chart to No. 22 after standing at No. 61 last week.
Last Time Out
The Blue Devils capped their home schedule with a 6-1 victory against Miami … Duke got off to a quick start in doubles, taking the point with wins on courts one and two … Sophomores Jason Lapidus and Dickerson picked up the first victory, 6-2 against Piotr Lomacki and Clark on court two … The second ranked win of the weekend for Stachowiak and Furman gave the Blue Devils the point as the No. 61 team topped No. 40 Andrews and Flores 6-4 on court one … Pura pushed the lead to 2-0 with a 6-3, 6-1 victory against Clark on court five … Seconds later, Stachowiak made it a 3-0 lead as he defeated Flores 6-2, 6-4 on court four … Clinching his second match in the last three contests was Mateas, who topped Christian Langmo 6-4, 6-2 on court two … Dickerson made it a 5-0 advantage with a 6-3, 6-2 win versus Dane Dunlap on court six … Duke tallied its sixth point from Levine, who earned his first career ACC win with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph on court three against Andrews … For the second straight match, the final point was determined on court one, where No. 46 Lomacki downed No. 89 Furman 6-7 (3), 6-1, 1-0 (7).
The ACC Championship in Rome, Ga., beings on Wednesday, April 26.