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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
TJ Pura
Blue Devils Fall at No. 5 North Carolina, 6-1
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/07/2017
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Duke men’s tennis team faced its highest-ranked opponent of the season at No. 5 North Carolina on Tuesday and suffered a 6-1 setback at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. The No. 43 Blue Devils got their point from senior TJ Pura, who earned his second-straight ACC win, topping Jack Murray in straight sets on court four.

The loss snapped Duke’s five-match winning streak as the Blue Devils are now 8-4 overall and 1-1 in ACC action. North Carolina improves to 12-1 and 1-0 in league matches.

Duke dropped the doubles point for just the third time this season, falling on courts two and three. UNC earned the first victory on court two, where William Blumberg and Blaine Boyden topped sophomores Ryan Dickerson and Jason Lapidus, 6-2. After the set was tied 2-2, North Carolina got a break and raced to the final four games. Dickerson and Lapidus fall to 3-1 overall, all in dual matches.

The Tar Heels finished the point on court three with a 6-3 victory by Anu Kodali and Ronnie Schneider against sophomore Catalin Mateas and Pura. North Carolina hopped out to a 4-1 advantage at the start. Duke could get no closer than two games the rest of the way, trailing 4-2 and 5-3 before the Tar Heels served out for the victory. Mateas and Pura dip to 1-1, both in dual competition.

On court one, freshmen Spencer Furman and Nick Stachowiak were even at 4-4 in their match with Murray and Simon Soendergaard before it was halted.

In singles, North Carolina pushed the lead to 2-0 as No. 94 Stachowiak suffered his first loss of the dual match season, falling 6-4, 6-3 to No. 61 Blumberg on court two. Stachowiak got behind 3-1 in the opening set and cut the deficit to one game three times, but could never force a tie. In the second set, Blumberg jumped out to a 4-1 advantage. Stachowiak rallied with consecutive wins to make the lead just 4-3, but Blumberg captured the final two games for the win. Stachowiak falls to 25-5 overall and 11-1 in dual matches.

Extending the Tar Heel advantage to 3-0 was Arturo Schmidt at No. 6 as he topped Lapidus 7-5, 6-0. Lapidus led 5-2 in the opening set before Schmidt ran off the final 11 games of the match. Lapidus drops to 1-6 overall and 1-2 against dual competition.

Duke got its point on court four from Pura, who downed Murray 6-3, 6-3. Pura took early leads of 3-0 and 4-1 and held on for the first set win. In the second set, the two were even at each of the first three points before Pura got a break, hold and break series to end the match. Pura ups his overall record to 19-8 and 8-2 in dual matches.

North Carolina clinched the match on court one, where No. 19 Schneider downed Mateas 6-3, 6-4. Mateas got out to a 2-0 lead in the opening set before Schneider picked up four consecutive wins to take a 4-2 advantage. Mateas got a game back to make it a 4-3 set, but Schneider won the final two games. The second set was even at points one through four before Schneider broke and held to end the match. Mateas slips to 16-10 overall and 5-5 versus dual foes.

The Tar Heels added a fifth point on court three, where Soendergaard fought off Furman 7-6 (3), 2-6, 1-0 (8). With a 2-2 tie in the first set, Furman earned consecutive wins to go up 4-2. Soendergaard got it to one game at 4-3 and 5-4 before breaking and holding to go up 6-5. Furman held on his serve and pushed to the tiebreaker, which Soendergaard led early 4-1. Furman rallied to get the tiebreaker to 4-3, but Soendergaard took the final three points. In the second set, Furman turned a 2-2 tie into four straight wins to force a first-to-10 tiebreaker of a third set. In the tiebreaker, Soendergaard was ahead by as many as three points twice, at 5-2 and 7-4, but Furman fought back to force an 8-8 tie. Soendergaard rebounded with the final two points. Furman slips to 15-4 overall and 9-3 in dual competition.

North Carolina tacked on its sixth point, and last of the match, from Boyden, who downed Dickerson 7-6 (5), 5-7, 1-0 (2) on court five. The two were even at every point in the opening set and headed to the tiebreaker, which Boyden picked up. The second set had Boyden go ahead 4-1, but Dickerson stormed back with four-straight wins to go up 5-4. Boyden forced a 5-5 tie before Dickerson bounced back with the final two games to create another first-to-10 tiebreaker of a third set. It was Boyden’s turn to reply, cruising through the tiebreaker for the victory. Dickerson’s seven-match winning streak is snapped and he falls to 12-4 overall and 5-1 in dual matches.

Duke plays its first home match of the month Sunday with a 1 p.m. first serve against No. 2 Wake Forest.


No. 5 North Carolina 6, No. 43 Duke 1
March 7, 2017 at Chapel Hill, N.C. (Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center)

Doubles competition
1. Nick Stachowiak/Spencer Furman (DU) vs. Jack Murray/Simon Soendergaard (UNC) 4-4, unfinished
2. William Blumberg/Blaine Boyden (UNC) def. Ryan Dickerson/Jason Lapidus (DU) 6-2
3. Ronnie Schneider/Anu Kodali (UNC) def. Catalin Mateas/TJ Pura (DU) 6-3

Singles competition
1. #19 Ronnie Schneider (UNC) def. Catalin Mateas (DU) 6-3, 6-4
2. #61 William Blumberg (UNC) def. #94 Nick Stachowiak (DU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Simon Soendergaard (UNC) def. Spencer Furman (DU) 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 1-0 (10-8)
4. TJ Pura (DU) def. Jack Murray (UNC) 6-3, 6-3
5. Blaine Boyden (UNC) def. Ryan Dickerson (DU) 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 1-0 (10-2)
6. Arturo Schmidt (UNC) def. Jason Lapidus (DU) 7-5, 6-0

Match Notes:
North Carolina 12-1, 1-0 ACC; National ranking #5
Duke 8-4, 1-1 ACC; National ranking #43
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (2,6,4,1,3,5)