DURHAM, N.C. – Playing its first outdoor matches of the spring, the Duke men’s tennis team pushed its winning streak to four matches, sweeping Coastal Carolina 7-0 and downing Charlotte 6-1 on Saturday at Ambler Tennis Stadium. The Blue Devils got clinching points from sophomore Ryan Dickerson and freshman Robert Levine in the contests.
Duke remains undefeated at home at 7-0 this year and improves its overall record to 7-3. The Blue Devils improved to 3-0 against foes from North Carolina this year and are 8-2 since the beginning of the 2016 campaign against in-state rivals.
"It was great to be outside all day," head coach Ramsey Smith said. "You have the elements outside. We had some wind and sun today. Conditions weren't quite as clean as indoors, but I thought we adjusted well. That's really going to help us come the ACC season. I thought we played really well in singles, winning in straight sets in 11 of the 12 matches. The one match we lost was a super tiebreaker. I thought the guys were ready. Our last two weeks of preparation paid off. I thought we got better overall from the first match to the second match so that was good to see. I was happy with how it went."
Individually, freshman Nick Stachowiak won his 12th and 13th straight singles matches Saturday. His 10-match winning streak in dual matches in the longest by a Blue Devil since current senior TJ Pura’s 10 in 2014. The 13 straight overall wins for Stachowiak are also the most by a Duke player since Pura’s 14 from November 1, 2013 – April 25, 2014. Stachowiak and doubles partner Spencer Furman, also a freshman, won their 11th and 12th straight decisions to improve to 12-0 this season. Their winning streak is the longest for a Blue Devil doubles pair since Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler won 16 straight from March 5 – May 16, 2013.
Starting the day against Coastal Carolina, Duke took an early lead with the doubles point, claiming victories on courts one and three. It was Stachowiak and Furman getting the first win, downing Zak Talic and Sebastian Schneider 6-2 on court one. Trailing 2-1, the Duke duo ran off five straight wins to end the match.
The Blue Devils finished the point with a 6-3 victory by sophomores Dickerson and Jason Lapidus over Francesco Migliano and Luiz Faria on court three. Dickerson and Lapidus turned a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 advantage with a hold, break and hold series. Coastal Carolina got within two games at 4-2 and 5-3, but Lapidus served out for the win.
The match on court two was stopped with sophomore Catalin Mateas and Levine tied 4-4 with Vuk Velickovic and Jose Ortega.
Once in singles, Duke made it a 2-0 lead as Mateas pushed past Velickovic 6-2, 6-2 on court one. Mateas led 2-0 in the opening set before Velickovic got a game back. Mateas then won four of the last five to put the first set in the books. The second set had Mateas turn a 1-1 tie into a 3-1 lead. Velickovic got it to a 3-2 deficit, but Mateas took the final three games.
"We had all three days last weekend off," Mateas said. "That was great. Some of us were feeling a little tired or sore. That time off did a lot to get us back and healthy. This week, we had a really good week of practice outdoors, which was good. We played a lot of points this week to get used to being outside. Everyone played really well, so that was good."
Stachowiak pushed the lead to 3-0 from court two, where he downed Faria 6-2, 6-3. In the first set, Stachowiak led 2-1 and captured four of the last five games for the win. In the second set, Stachowiak trailed 2-1 before ripping off four straight wins to go up 5-2. He was broken to make it a 5-3 set, but a break of Faria ended the match.
Tallying the clinching point was Dickerson on court six with a 6-2, 6-0 win versus Ortega. Dickerson was even at 2-2 in the opening set before winning the last 10 games to complete the victory.
Pura provided Duke’s fifth point with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Talic on court five. Pura led 3-2 in the first set and took three of the last four to win. The second set had Pura trail 2-1 and win the last five games for the victory.
The sixth point came from court three, where Levine picked up a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Schneider. Levine was tied 2-2 in the first set before taking a 5-3 lead. Schneider got within one at 5-4, but Levine held on for the win. The second set had Levine turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead. Schneider closed the gap to 3-2, only to see Levine take the last three and win.
Furman netted the last point, fighting past Migliano 6-2, 6-4 on court four. Furman led 3-2 in the opening set and went on a break, hold and break run to finish it. The second set had Furman up 4-0 before Migliano rallied with four straight to even the set. Furman rebounded with consecutive wins to end the match.
Against Charlotte, Duke earned the doubles point with victories from courts one and two. Furman and Stachowiak cruised past Sam Rice and Leonardo Menezes 6-1 on court one.
Mateas and Levine picked up the second doubles win, downing Oriol Puig Forne and Alejandro Garcia Moreno 6-2 on court two. The Duke pair turned a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 lead and held on for the win. Levine and Mateas even their overall record at 4-4 and are 2-0 in dual matches.
Lapidus and Dickerson led Jensen Martin and Max Benaim 5-2 on court three when the match was halted.
In singles, Stachowiak was quickly off court two with a 6-1, 6-2 victory against Menezes to give Duke a 2-0 lead. Stachowiak improves to 24-4 overall and 10-0 in dual matches.
Extending the Blue Devil advantage to 3-0 was Dickerson at No. 6 as he topped Martin 6-0, 6-1. Dickerson lifts his record to 11-3 and 4-0 in dual matches.
Clinching his first career match was Levine on court three as he topped Garcia Moreno 6-2, 6-3. Levine was even at 2-2 in the opening set and won the last four games. In the second set, he converted a 2-2 tie into a 5-2 lead before securing the match. Levine is now 17-11 this year and 5-4 in dual matches.
Duke upped its lead to 5-0 on court one, where Mateas defeated Rice 7-6 (4), 6-1. Mateas trailed 3-1 in the first set and rallied to even it at 3-3. The set was tied at points four, five and six and went to the tiebreaker, where Mateas jumped out to a 5-1 lead and held off Rice. With Mateas up 2-0 in the second set, Rice got a game, but Mateas won the last four to capture the match. Mateas ups his record to 15-9 and evens it at 4-4 in dual matches.
"It was really windy in the first set," Mateas said. "It wasn't even in one direction, but just swirling around. Definitely neither of us played at our best. I got down early in that set. He had four set points on his serve and I just tried to put the ball on the court. That paid off and then I played a good second set."
The sixth point for Duke came at No. 4, as Furman downed Puig Forne 6-4, 7-5. Furman triled 4-2 in the opening set before taking the final four games of the set. The second set was even at points one through three before Furman took a 5-3 lead. Puig Forne rallied with consecutive wins to knot the set at 5-5. Furman answered with the final two victories to take the match. Furman is now 14-3 this year and 8-2 in dual matches.
Charlotte tallied the final point of the match as Benaim defeated Pura 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (5) on court five. Pura was behind 3-1 and 4-2 in the first set and fought back to take a 5-4 lead. Benaim evened the set at 5-5, but Pura won the last two games. In the second set, Benaim took a 1-1 tie and went ahead 3-1. Pura got within a game three times but could not even the set. With the overall match already determined, the teams played a best-to-10 tiebreaker of the third set. Benaim dropped the first point and then went ahead 5-1. Pura got it within one at 5-4, but Benaim answered to take a 9-4 lead and hold on for the win. Pura dips to 17-8 overall and 6-2 in dual matches.
Duke heads into ACC action next Saturday, traveling to Virginia Tech for a 1 p.m. first serve.
Duke 7, Coastal Carolina 0
February 25, 2017 at Durham, N.C. (Ambler Tennis Stadium)
- Nick Stachowiak/Spencer Furman (DU) def. Talic, Zak/Schneider, Sebastian (COASTAL) 6-2
- Catalin Mateas/Robert Levine (DU) vs. Velickovic, Vuk/Ortega, Jose (COASTAL) 4-4, unfinished
- Jason Lapidus/Ryan Dickerson (DU) def. Migliano, Francesco/Faria, Luiz (COASTAL) 6-3
Singles competition 1. Catalin Mateas (DU) def. Velickovic, Vuk (COASTAL) 6-2, 6-2
- Nick Stachowiak (DU) def. Faria, Luiz (COASTAL) 6-2, 6-3
- Robert Levine (DU) def. Schneider, Sebastian (COASTAL) 6-4, 6-2
- Spencer Furman (DU) def. Migliano, Francesco (COASTAL) 6-2, 6-4
- TJ Pura (DU) def. Talic, Zak (COASTAL) 6-3, 6-2
- Ryan Dickerson (DU) def. Ortega, Jose (COASTAL) 6-2, 6-0
Coastal Carolina 4-5
Duke 6-3; National ranking #36
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,2,6,5,3,4)
Official: Rod Realon T-2:10 A-105
Duke 6, Charlotte 1
February 23, 2017 at Durham, N.C. (Ambler Tennis Stadium)
- Spencer Furman/Nick Stachowiak (DU) def. Sam Rice/Leonardo Menezes (CHA) 6-1
- Catalin Mateas/Robert Levine (DU) def. Oriol Puig Forne/A. Garcia Moreno (CHA) 6-2
- Jason Lapidus/Ryan Dickerson (DU) vs. Jensen Martin/Max Benaim (CHA) 5-2, unfinished
- Catalin Mateas (DU) def. Sam Rice (CHA) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1
- Nick Stachowiak (DU) def. Leonardo Menezes (CHA) 6-1, 6-2
- Robert Levine (DU) def. A. Garcia Moreno (CHA) 6-2, 6-3
- Spencer Furman (DU) def. Oriol Puig Forne (CHA) 6-4, 7-5
- Max Benaim (CHA) def. TJ Pura (DU) 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (10-5)
- Ryan Dickerson (DU) def. Jensen Martin (CHA) 6-0, 6-1
Duke 7-3; National ranking #36
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (2,6,3,1,4,5)
Official: Russell Parmele T-2:26 A-105