DURHAM, N.C. - Duke men's tennis jumped out to an early lead and did not let up, sweeping Elon at the Sheffield Tennis Center tonight in the first home match of the season, 7-0.
"It was a perfect start to the season," head coach Ramsey Smith said. "I couldn't have really asked anything more from the guys. We just looked great one through six. The guys were awesome."
In his first match of the season, 17th-ranked Henrique Cunha recorded a 6-1, 6-2 win over Elon's Philip Nemec in the No. 1 singles match.
At No. 2 singles, Reid Carleton had a strong performance against Elon's Chase Helpingstine, nearly recording a double bagel with a 6-0, 6-1 win. Carleton broke serve in the final game to win the match and in turn, dropped only one game.
Dylan Arnould, ranked No. 62 nationally, won a 6-2, 6-4 match over No. 3 singles Eric Tuner from Elon.
Finishing almost simultaneously on court four was 77th-ranked Torsten Wietoska, who earned a 6-4, 7-5 win over Alberto Rojas.
Playing No. 5 singles, Jared Pinsky had the quickest singles match of the night, winning his two sets 6-0, 6-1 against Elon's Carlos Arboleda in 40 minutes.
On court six, Duke's Luke Marchese cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Thomas Darling in No. 6 singles.
"I talked to the guys after the [doubles] and really stressed coming out strong and taking care of business and playing real tight, nothing loose," Smith added. "The guys came out and did exactly that."
Pinksy and Alain Michel were the first doubles pair to finish play in the third position, dispatching the Phoenix duo of Clark Howell and Darling in an 8-0 sweep that lasted just under 30 minutes.
In No. 2 doubles play, Arnould and Wietoska broke Elon twice in the last three games to win their match against Turner and Rojas, 8-5. The match was tied 4-4 and again at 5-5 before Duke went ahead 6-5 and didn't look back.
The eighth-ranked doubles team in the nation was tested by the Elon pair of Nemec and Helpingstine, but ultimately Cunha and Carleton won their first doubles match of the season, 8-6. The Blue Devils were up 5-3, but the Phoenix fought back to get within one game at 5-4 and later at 6-5. Duke put away Elon quickly in the final game to take the 8-6 victory in a little under one hour.
"I'm really excited about the team this year because I don't feel like we have any holes in our lineup," Smith said. "I think one through six we are solid. It is a good confidence builder going into next weekend."
Duke will return to the court on Jan. 30 against Auburn in the ITA Kick-off Weekend in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
|1. #17 Henrique Cunha (DU) def. Philip Nemec (ELON) 6-1, 6-2|
|2. Reid Carleton (DU) def. Eric Turner (ELON) 6-0, 6-1|
|3. #62 Dylan Arnould (DU) def. Chase Helpingstine (ELON) 6-2, 6-4|
|4. #77 Torsten Wietoska (DU) def. Alberto Rojas (ELON) 6-4, 7-5|
|5. Jared Pinksy (DU) def. Carlos Arboleda (ELON) 6-1, 6-0|
|6. Luke Marchese (DU) def. Thomas Darling (ELON) 6-1, 6-1|
|1. #8 Henrique Cunha/Reid Carleton (DU) def. Philip Nemec/Chase Helpingstine (ELON) 8-6|
|2. Dylan Arnould/Torsten Wietoska (DU) def. Eric Turner/Alberto Rojas (ELON) 8-5|
|3. Jared Pinksy/Alain Michel (DU) def. Clark Howell/Thomas Darling (ELON) 8-0|
|Elon 0-1; National ranking #70|
|Duke 1-0; National ranking #19|
|Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,2,1,6,3,4)|