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Jason Tahir
Courtesy: Duke Photography
Jason Tahir
Duke Set for Top-10 Showdown with Virginia
Sunday 03/22/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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DURHAM, N.C. - The sixth-ranked Duke men's tennis team will kick off a four-match homestand this weekend, beginning with a key Atlantic Coast Conference contest against No. 3 Virginia Friday, March 23 at 3 p.m. in Ambler Tennis Stadium. The Blue Devils are also slated to host No. 68 Virginia Tech on Sunday, March 25 at 1 p.m.

Duke (13-2, 2-0 ACC) has won three-straight matches and is off to a 2-0 start in ACC play following a pair of wins last weekend at NC State and Wake Forest. Strong doubles play has highlighted the squad's recent outings, as the Blue Devils have posted a 5-1 ledger in ACC doubles contests and have captured the doubles point in four of out their last five matches. The 62nd-ranked duo of junior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Chris Mengel leads the team with a 2-0 record in ACC play at the No. 1 doubles position.

Third-ranked Cunha has tallied a team-best 26 singles victories on the season, including a 12-1 mark from the top spot in the lineup. Named the ACC Player of the Week for the seventh time on the season earlier this week, Cunha is also 14-4 against nationally-ranked opponents and 2-0 in conference action. No. 18 Mengel has also reached the 20-win mark in singles with an overall record of 24-6. Mengel is 2-0 in ACC contests and has gone 10-2 on the spring in the No. 2 slot. Freshman Jason Tahir enters the weekend on a 10-match win streak, and is an impressive 10-1 in dual match singles play.

Third-ranked Virginia (13-1, 3-0 ACC) has suffered just one loss on the season - a 4-1 decision against Ohio State during the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoor Championships - and heads to Durham on a six-match win streak. The Cavaliers' lineup features four players ranked in singles, including No. 1 Mitchell Frank, No. 7 Jarmere Jenkins, No. 86 Justin Shane and No. 94 Alex Domijan. Drew Courtney and Jenkins comprise the 10th-ranked doubles tandem in the nation, while Philippe Oudshoorn and Shane come in at No. 30 and the duo of Courtney and Julen Uriguen is listed at No. 66.

In last year's regular season meeting in Charlottesville, then top-ranked Virginia handed the Blue Devils their first ACC loss in a 6-1 decision. The two teams also met in the finals of the 2011 ACC Tournament, with the Cavaliers claiming the title in a 4-0 victory. Duke holds a 48-33 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools, while Virginia has won each of the last eight meetings.

Virginia Tech (6-6, 2-1 ACC) will travel to No. 20 North Carolina on Friday before facing the Blue Devils on Sunday. The 68th-ranked Hokies are coming off of a pair of road losses to Louisville (4-3) and Southern California (7-0). No. 84 Luka Somen leads the team with a 7-4 ledger at No. 1 singles, while No. 89 Lucas Oliveira is 5-5 from the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Virginia Tech also has one ranked doubles team in No. 47 Somen and Corrado Delg'Incerti Tocci.

The Blue Devils lead the all-time series with Virginia Tech by a 22-2 margin, and are winners of eight out of the last 10 meetings. Duke claimed a 6-1 victory over Virginia Tech in last year's regular season matchup and defeated the Hokies, 4-0, in the quarterfinals of the 2011 ACC Tournment.

Live scoring, live video and a live blog will be available for this weekend's matches.

-d-u-k-e-


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