No. 43 Duke (8-3, 1-0 ACC) at No. 6 North Carolina (11-1, 0-0 ACC)
Tuesday, March 7 l 3 p.m.
Chapel Hill, N.C. l Cone-Kenfield Tennis Stadium
DURHAM, N.C. – The annual battle for bragging rights on the tennis courts between North Carolina and Duke will take place at 3 p.m. Tuesday, when the Blue Devils (8-3, 1-0 ACC) visit the Tar Heels (11-1, 0-0 ACC).
This will serve as North Carolina’s ACC opener, while Duke began the conference campaign Saturday with a 6-1 win at Virginia Tech.
North Carolina Series History
In a series that dates back to 1912, the Tar Heels own an 88-40 advantage … The programs have, however, split the last eight matches … The two squads have met at least once a year since 1937 … The Tar Heels won 58 of 61 matches from 1928 to 1977 … The Blue Devils have responded more recently, going 20-8 against UNC since 1997 … North Carolina is the only ACC foe that owns an all-time series lead against the Blue Devils … In the last meeting in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels captured a 5-2 victory April 9, 2015 … In singles during their dual match careers, Nicolas Alvarez is 1-1 and TJ Pura is 2-3 versus the Tar Heels.
Scouting the Tar Heels
North Carolina features three ranked singles players and one ranked doubles team, helping the Tar Heels to near the top of the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings and the semifinals of the 2017 ITA National Team Indoor Championship … Senior Ronnie Schneider, ranked No. 15 this week, has been the team’s top player, going 7-1 in the No. 1 position and 2-0 at No. 2 … Freshman William Blumberg has filled in twice on the top court, going 1-1 … Blumberg is 5-1 at No. 2 and ranked No. 107 this week … Junior Robert Kelly is unbeaten in dual matches and ranked No. 67 this week … He is 2-0 at No. 2 and No. 3 and 4-0 at No. 4 … Senior Jack Murray has also been a versatile piece in the middle of the order, playing to a 4-0 mark on court three, 1-0 on court four and 5-1 on court five … In doubles, Blumberg and Kelly are ranked No. 16 and have gone 7-2 on court one … Murray and Schneider are 12-5 overall and 6-3 on court two.
Starting with the Doubles Point
In nine of Duke’s 11 matches this season, the Blue Devils have taken a 1-0 lead thanks to the doubles point … After dropping two of three doubles matches to Elon in the season opener, Duke has lost the doubles point in just one other match, at No. 9 Northwestern on February 5 … The top two courts have especially been positions of strength, combining for a 7-2 mark at No. 1 and 8-0 ledger at No. 2 … Freshmen Spencer Furman and Nick Stachowiak have been critical to Duke’s doubles success, going 8-0 in dual matches on courts one and two … the doubles pair of sophomores Jason Lapidus and Ryan Dickerson have also won their last three decisions.
Points from Positions 4-6
Duke has gone 10-1 at No. 4 singles, 8-2 at No. 5 and 8-2 at No. 6 … Furman is 4-1 in the fourth slot while Stachowiak is 4-0 and Pura 2-0 … Leading the way at No. 5 is Furman at 3-1 with Stachowiak 2-0, Dickerson 2-0 and Pura 1-1 … Dickerson is 3-0 at No. 6, Pura 4-1 and Lapidus 1-1 … Since the beginning of the 2012 spring campaign, the Blue Devils are a combined 106-34 (.757 winning percentage) at No. 4, 107-36 (.748 winning percentage) at No. 5 and 106-35 (.752 winning percentage) at No. 6 … Duke owns a winning percentage of .600 or better at all six singles positions this season.
Nearly Matching His Freshman Year in Singles Already
Dickerson has nearly matched his production in singles from his freshman year already this season … During the 2015-16 campaign, Dickerson finished with a 12-8 singles mark and is up to 12-3 already this year … Dickerson owns three match-clinching victories this year and had three a year ago … As a freshman in doubles, he finished with a 10-10 mark and is already 8-4 this season.
The Streaks Continue
Stachowiak has begun his career with 11 consecutive dual match wins, the longest by a rookie since Henrique Cunha ripped off 24 consecutive from February 5 – May 29, 2010 … Overall, Stachowiak’s 14 match winning streak is the longest for the Blue Devils since Pura’s run of 14 consecutive decisions from November 1, 2013 – April 25, 2014 … Stachowiak and Furman have been strong in doubles, posting a 13-0 record and 8-0 mark in dual matches … The duo’s 13-match winning streak is the longest for a Duke pair since Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler won 16 straight from March 5 – May 16, 2013 … Furman (six), Dickerson (seven) and Stachowiak all enter Tuesday’s action with singles winning streaks of six or more matches.
Stachowiak Nearing the Duke Record Charts
Stachowiak owns 21 overall doubles wins this season, two shy of a spot on the Duke freshman top-10 chart … Stachowiak’s 25 singles wins are five away from a place on the Blue Devil freshman top-10 list.
Blue Devils in the ITA Rankings
The Oracle/ITA rankings did not have an update in singles and doubles, leaving Alvarez as the Blue Devils’ lone representative, checking in at No. 14 in singles … Duke is No. 43 in the team rankings after being 36th last week.
Last Time Out
Duke opened the ACC season with a 6-1 victory at Virginia Tech … The Blue Devils began with a 1-0 lead Saturday by capturing the doubles point for the fifth straight match … Sophomore Catalin Mateas and Pura picked up the first triumph, downing Henrik Korsgaard and Jason Kros 6-4 on court three … Stachowiak and Furman finished the point, defeating Adam Asaba and Jai Corbett 6-4 on court one … Virginia Tech responded with the first singles win as Freddy Mesmer defeated Lapidus 6-4, 7-6 (3) on court six … Duke started its march of five straight singles wins on court three, where Furman defeated Mitch Harper 7-5, 6-4 … Making it a 3-1 Duke lead was Mateas on court two, where he downed Alex Ribeiro 6-2, 6-4 … Pura provided the clinching point on court four with his 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory versus No. 97 Korsgaard … The fifth point was provided by Stachowiak, who also picked up the highest ranked win of his career, topping No. 49 Corbett 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 on court one … Dickerson finished the day for Duke, defeating Kros 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) on court five.
Duke returns home for a 1 p.m. Sunday match against No. 3 Wake Forest.