ATLANTA, Ga. - In a match between two teams with only one loss in conference play, No. 11 Duke came away with a big road win over No. 18 Georgia Tech, defeating the Yellow Jackets, 6-1, at the Bill Moore Tennis Center in Atlanta.
Duke improved to 15-7 overall and 6-1 in the ACC while Georgia Tech fell to 15-3 overall and 6-2 in league play.
"I am extremely proud of all eight guys that battled out there today," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "It was a heck of a team effort and we showed a lot of heart coming back in several of the singles matches. We beat a really good Georgia Tech team and this should give our guys a lot of confidence down the stretch of the ACC season."
The Blue Devils came through in the clutch every chance they got, winning all three tie-breakers in singles along with a tie-breaker to clinch the doubles point.
David Holland and Chris Mengel edged Eliot Potvin and Ryan Smith at the No. 2 doubles position, 9-8 (8-6) to give Duke the first point of the match. The two Blue Devils fought off match point in the tiebreaker to come back and win.
Right before the victory at No. 2, Georgia Tech had won a tiebreaker at the No. 3 spot to even up doubles, but only after Cale Hammond and Torsten Wietoska had ralled from a 6-1 deficit to force a tiebreaker. No. 6 Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha won at the top spot for the Blue Devils, defeating No. 14 Kevin King and Juan Spir, 8-6, to improve to 29-4 overall on the year. It was their 10th win over a ranked opponent.
The Blue Devils continued to fight through deficits in singles. No. 8 Reid Carleton fought off three set points in his first set and wound up winning in a tiebreaker 7-6 (8-6). He would go on to win a close second set as well, 7-5, to put Duke in front 2-0. His victory over No. 67 Juan Spir gives him 17 wins over ranked foes as he is now 28-7 overall on the year.
Freshman Fred Saba broke serve when his opponent, Eliot Potvin, was serving for the first set up 6-5. Saba broke and would cruise to a 7-6 (1) tiebreaker win. Like Carleton, Saba came through in another tight second set, winning 7-5 to clinch the victory for the Blue Devils.
Fellow freshman Chris Mengel had to fight off three match points in the second set. He had lost the first set, 6-2, and trailed 6-5 in the second. He came through on all three match points and would force a tiebreaker that he would win 7-6 (4). In the third set, Mengel jumped out to a 3-0 lead before King retired. The win is the 25th of the season for Mengel.
Duke also received victories at the No. 5 and 6 positions as Torsten Wietoska and Luke Marchese each won in straight sets. Wietoska is now 3-1 in conference matches while Marchese is 6-1 in league play.
The only Blue Devil defeated in singles was No. 6 Henrique Cunha. He faced No. 16 Guillermo Gomez and fell in three sets for his first career loss in ACC competition. He had won his previous 14 league matches.
Duke will head to Clemson on Sunday for their fourth straight road contest. The match is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
Tennis Match Results
Duke vs Georgia Tech
Apr. 8, 2011 at Atlanta, Ga.
#11 Duke 6, #18 Georgia Tech 1
1. #6 Reid Carleton/Henrique Cunha (Duke) def. #14 Kevin King/Juan Spir (GT) 8-6
2. David Holland/Chris Mengel (Duke) def. Eliot Potvin/Ryan Smith (GT) 9-8 (8-6)
3. Guillermo Gomez/Dean O'Brien (GT) def. Cale Hammond/Torsten Wietoska (Duke) 9-8 (7-5)
1. #16 Guillermo Gomez (GT) def. #6 Henrique Cunha (Duke) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
2. #8 Reid Carleton (Duke) def. #67 Juan Spir (GT) 7-6 (8-6), 7-5
3. #123 Chris Mengel (Duke) def. Kevin King (GT) 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 3-0, retired
4. Fred Saba (Duke) def. Eliot Potvin (GT) 7-6 (7-1), 7-5
5. Torsten Wietoska (Duke) def. Magin Ortiga (GT) 6-3, 7-5
6. Luke Marchese (Duke) def. Dean O'Brien (GT) 6-4, 6-3
Duke 14-7, 5-1 ACC; National ranking #11
Georgia Tech 15-2, 6-1 ACC; National ranking #18
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,6,1,4,3,5)