RALEIGH, N.C. - The Blue Devils won their fifth straight match and improved to 3-0 in ACC play with a 6-1 victory over N.C. State in Raleigh on Wednesday afternoon.
"I felt really good about the match," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "We played some great singles, particularly in the second sets. I thought we finished strong and had several players step up in the lineup. We have built momentum with five straight wins and are in a good place heading into a tough weekend in the ACC."
No. 27 Duke improved to 10-5 on the season by earning the doubles point and wins in five of the six singles contests. The Wolfpack dropped to 13-7 on the year and 1-4 in league play.
All six of the singles matches ended in straight sets. The Blue Devils were without their top performer in singles on Wednesday as Henrique Cunha did not compete in singles. However, without the 11th-ranked player in the country, Duke received strong performances from the rest of the team.
Junior Reid Carleton stepped into the No. 1 spot in the lineup and led the charge with a 6-1, 6-3 win over the reigning ACC Player of the Week, No. 70 Jaime Pulgar. It was Carleton's fourth victory over a ranked opponent this year and 13th overall win. Sophomore Luke Marchese won his fifth straight singles match, 6-3, 6-2 against Rafael Paez and sophomore Torsten Wietoska earned his fourth straight victory, 6-4, 6-0 over Dave Thomson at No. 3.
"We came out a little flat and narrowly won the doubles points," said Carleton. "Our coaches got us fired up for singles. One of the things this team is known for is how well they compete so we wanted to get off to a good start. Starting with the Southern California match, we have been playing really well over the last couple of weeks."
Despite the sluggish start, Duke did claim the doubles point. The No. 3 duo in the country, Carleton and Cunha, won 8-6 over Dominic Hodgson and Rob Lowe at the top spot. The win was the 10th straight for the Duke pair, who improve to 28-4 overall. Making their debut in the rankings, No. 80 Dylan Arnould and David Holland also won 8-6.
The Blue Devils will have two home ACC matches this weekend. They take on Virginia Tech at 1 p.m. on Friday and No. 1 Virginia at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Tennis Match Results
Duke vs N.C. State
March 31, 2010 at Raleigh, N.C.
#27 Duke 6, #46 N.C. State 1
1. #3 Carleton/Cunha (Duke) def. Dominic Hodgson/Rob Lowe (NCSU) 8-6
2. #80 Arnould/Holland (Duke) def. Fernando Banos/Frideric Prandecki (NCSU) 8-6
3. Jaime Pulgar/Dave Thomson (NCSU) def. #63 Michel/Wietoska (Duke) 8-1
1. Reid Carleton (Duke) def. #70 Jaime Pulgar (NCSU) 6-1, 6-3
2. Dominic Hodgson (NCSU) def. #87 Dylan Arnould (Duke) 6-3, 6-3
3. Torsten Wietoska (Duke) def. Dave Thomson (NCSU) 6-4, 6-0
4. David Holland (Duke) def. Rob Lowe (NCSU) 6-2, 6-2
5. Luke Marchese (Duke) def. Rafael Paez (NCSU) 6-3, 6-2
6. Jared Pinsky (Duke) def. Fernando Banos (NCSU) 6-4, 6-0
Duke 10-5, 3-0 ACC; National ranking #27
N.C. State 13-7, 1-4 ACC; National ranking #46
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (3,6,4,2,5,1)