Durham, N.C. Ė The No. 16 Duke men’s tennis team started the 2008 season with a 6-1 victory over No. 53 Elon on Saturday at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.
The three doubles combinations got the Blue Devils off to a fast start with a sweep to start the day. All three matches were dead even until the end when Duke closed strong to pull away. At the No. 1 position David Goulet and Christopher Price were the first to finish as they defeated Damon Gooch and Philip Nemec 8-5. The duke pair are now 6-3 overall this season.
Dylan Arnould and Alex Stone clinched the doubles point for the Blue Devils with an 8-5 victory over Alberto Rojas and Cody Stauffer MacDowell in the third spot. At No. 2 Duke’s Reid Carleton and Kiril Dimitrov closed out the sweep with an 8-6 win against Oscar Podlewski and Mason Schermerhorn.
Duke had three freshmen who competed in their first career dual match. Price and Carleton each picked up wins in doubles while Carleton and Jared Pinsky also won in straight sets in singles. Pinsky was the first to finish as he easily defeated Kevin Beard 6-0, 6-2 in the No. 6 match. Carleton clinched the Duke victory with his team-high 11th victory of the season. He earned a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Schermerhorn in the No. 3 slot. Carleton has now won four straight singles matches and is 11-4 overall.
Goulet, a senior from Quebec, Canada, also won in straight sets. Playing at the No. 2 position, he defeated Podlewski 7-6 (4), 6-3 to improve to 5-1 on the year in singles.
Arnould and Dimitrov each added singles victories to Duke’s total. Both players suffered 6-1 setbacks in the first set to their opponents but rallied for the win. Arnould fired back to take the next two sets 6-3, 6-2 and claim the win at No. 4 over Rojas. Dimitrov played in the top singles spot and won his second set easily, defeating No. 72 Damon Gooch, 6-2, to force a third set. The third set went down to the wire with Dimitrov winning the tiebreaker 7-3 for his fourth straight win and third victory over a ranked opponent. He is now 9-5 on the season in singles.
Philip Nemec gave the Phoenix its only point on the night. He claimed a three-set 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over Stone at the No. 5 spot. With the loss Elon begins the season 0-1 while the Blue Devils start out 1-0.
The Blue Devils will continue its streak of four straight matches at home in an eight-day stretch Tuesday when they welcome No. 71 Princeton to town. The match is schedule to begin at 6 p.m. Following that match they will host No. 8 Illinois at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1 and No. 12 Notre Dame at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3.
Final Results: Duke 6, Elon 1
No. 1: David Goulet/Christopher Price (Duke) def. Damon Gooch/Philip Nemec (Elon) 8-5
No. 2: Reid Carleton/Kiril Dimitrov (Duke) def. Oscar Podlewski/Mason Schermerhorn (Elon) 8-6
No. 3: Dylan Arnould/Alex Stone (Duke) def. Alberto Rojas/Cody Stauffer MacDowell (Elon) 8-5*
* Clinched doubles point
No. 1: Kiril Dimitrov (Duke) def. Damon Gooch (Elon) 1-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)
No. 2: David Goulet (Duke) def. Oscar Podlewski (Elon) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3*
No. 3: Reid Carleton (Duke) def. Mason Schermerhorn (Elon) 6-4, 6-3
No. 4: Dylan Arnould (Duke) def. Alberto Rojas (Elon) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2
No. 5: Philip Nemec (Elon) def. Alex Stone (Duke) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
No. 6: Jared Pinsky (Duke) def. Kevin Beard (Elon) 6-0, 6-2
*Clinched match for Duke