Tallahassee, Fla. - Four Duke records fell on Sunday as the 14th-ranked Blue Devils won five of six singles to defeat No. 27 Florida State, 5-2, to cap off the regular season and finish second in the ACC standings.
"It was another ACC battle out there today," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "Florida State is a great team, so it is nice to see our guys leave it all on the court and pull out a big win. We have shown toughness and resilience all year and it was no different today. We talked about finishing the regular season strong and I was really proud of our team performance. This will give us a lot of confidence heading into the ACC tournament as the 2nd seed."
Duke ended the regular season with a 16-7 record and 9-2 mark in the ACC. They finished in second place in the standings behind Virginia. The nine ACC wins match the most ever by a Duke squad. It is the highest finish for the Blue Devils since 2006 when they were tied for first, also with a 9-2 record.
Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha matched the school record for doubles wins in a single season, winning a tiebreaker 9-8 (13-11) against No. 57 Vahid Merzadeh and Connor Smith to improve to 35-5 overall on the year. The 35 wins tie Doug Root and Jordan Wile's mark set in 1996-97. Carleton and Cunha are the No. 1 duo in the country and have gone 18-2 in dual match play with an 8-1 conference record. Duke did, however, lose the doubles point against Florida State, losing at the No. 2 and 3 spots.
Carleton also broke the record for most doubles victories by an individual in one season, recording his 38th win to pass Jonathan Stokke's 37 wins in 2003-04.
Luke Marchese helped the Blue Devils overcome an early 1-0 deficit with one of the five singles victories on the day. Marchese's 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Smith at No. 6 made him 10-1 in ACC play. He became the first player in school history with 10 ACC victories in one season, breaking the school record of nine held by himself last year and Peter Rodrigues twice. Marchese has a career 19-3 record in conference play and is 19-7 this season.
Cunha continued his impressive run in singles, winning his 15th straight match to finish the regular season 30-5. The 30 wins makes him just the eighth freshman in school history to win 30 or more matches. He earned a 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 27 Jean-Yves Aubone for his 18th win over a ranked opponent. Cunha went undefeated in ACC play with an 8-0 record.
Jared Pinsky also finished undefeated in league play, posting his sixth straight win to go 6-0 against conference opponents. He won a third set tiebreaker 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (3) for his 16th win of the year. Torsten Wietoska won in straight sets but it took two narrow tiebreakers to do it as he downed Andres Bucaro 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (10-8). Dylan Arnould clinched the match for Duke with a 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over No. 69 Clint Bowles at the No. 3 spot.
"Dylan has been struggling the last few weeks but he came through in the clutch today when we needed him," said Smith. "Henrique finished the regular season undefeated in the ACC at the #1 spot which is an extraordinary accomplishment, particularly for a freshman. He had been such a huge part our success this year. Jared continued his steller play and toughed out a big win today and Luke bounced back from losing the first set and played his best tennis in the third."
The Blue Devils will receive a bye in the first round of the ACC Tournament and will play their first match on Friday, April 23 at 12 noon at the Cary Tennis Center in Cary, N.C.
Tennis Match Results
Duke vs Florida State
April 18, 2010 at Tallahassee, Fla.
#14 Duke 5, #27 Florida State 2
1. #1 Reid Carleton/Henrique Cunha (Duke) def. #57 Vahid Mirzadeh/Connor Smith (FSU) 9-8 (13-11)
2. #42 Jean-Yves Aubone/Clint Bowles (FSU) def. #64 Dylan Arnould/David Holland (Duke) 9-7
3. Jordan Kelly-Houston/Anderson Reed (FSU) def. Alain Michel/Torsten Wietoska (Duke) 8-5
1. #3 Henrique Cunha (Duke) def. #27 Jean-Yves Aubone (FSU) 6-3, 6-2
2. #48 Vahid Mirzadeh (FSU) def. #86 Reid Carleton (Duke) 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
3. #104 Dylan Arnould (Duke) def. #69 Clint Bowles (FSU) 1-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4
4. Torsten Wietoska (Duke) def. Andres Bucaro (FSU) 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (10-8)
5. Jared Pinsky (Duke) def. Jordan Kelly-Houston (FSU) 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3)
6. Luke Marchese (Duke) def. Connor Smith (FSU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Duke 16-7, 9-2 ACC; National ranking #14
Florida State 13-8, 6-5 ACC; National ranking #27
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (1,2,4,6,3,5)