LOS ANGELES – The Duke men’s tennis team played its fifth road match of the year against a top-20 foe and pushed No. 10 UCLA to a trio of three-set matches but ultimately fell 4-3 Thursday at the Sunset Cannyon Tennis Courts. Duke captured the doubles point for the 10th time this season, but the Bruins rallied with the first four singles decisions. Duke then took the last two three-set affairs.
On court one, sophomore Catalin Mateas earned his highest-ranked win of the season with a comeback 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory against No. 11 Gage Brymer. Classmate Ryan Dickerson snapped a personal two-match losing streak with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Austin Rapp on court five.
The Blue Devils (8-6) were facing their third consecutive top-10 foe for the first time since 2013.
Duke trailed early on two of the three doubles courts before coming back for wins at No. 2 and No. 3. Dickerson and sophomore Jason Lapidus led the way in the second slot, taking an early 2-0 lead versus Rapp and Brymer before winning 6-3. The Duke duo led 3-2 and 4-3 before taking the final two games for the victory. Dickerson and Lapidus improve to 3-3, all in dual matches.
Court three finished the point for the Blue Devils as senior TJ Pura and Mateas mounted a comeback for a 6-4 win against Maxime Cressy and Ben Goldberg. The Duke duo trailed 3-0 before taking six of the final seven games for the doubles point. Mateas and Pura lift their overall record to 3-1, all four versus dual foes.
UCLA (10-4) responded in singles with the first four decisions to clinch the match. On court six, Cressy defeated Lapidus 6-4, 6-2 to even the match at 1-1 overall. The first set was knotted at 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4 before Cressy won the final two games. With the second set even at 1-1, Cressy went on a four-game run to go up 5-1 before closing out the match. Lapidus slips to 1-8 overall and 1-4 versus dual opponents.
Seconds later, Zhu topped No. 94 Stachowiak 6-3, 6-1 on court three. Zhu led 3-1 in the first set before Stachowiak got a game back for a 3-2 deficit. From there, Zhu captured nine of the final 11 games to end the match. Stachowiak falls to 25-7 and 11-3 in dual competition.
The Bruins made it a 3-1 advantage with a 7-6 (7), 6-1 win by No. 42 Redlicki against Furman at No. 2. Furman hopped out to 3-1 and 4-2 advantages in the opening set before Redlicki ran off three straight to go up 5-4. Furman answered with a win to even the set at 5-5. With the set tied at 6-6, it went to the tiebreaker, which Redlicki captured. Redlicki led 2-0 in the second set before Furman got a game to make it a 2-1 deficit, but Redlicki won the final four games. Furman dips to 16-5 and 10-4 in dual matches.
Clinching the match for the Bruins was Logan Staggs on court four with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 win versus Pura. After being blanked in the opening set, Pura answered with a 3-1 lead in the second set. Staggs cut the deficit to one game at 3-2, but Pura answered again and led 5-3 before closing out the set. The third set was tied at 1-1, but Staggs turned a 3-2 lead into a 5-2 cushion leading to the clinch. Pura’s three-match winning streak is halted and he drops to 20-9 overall and 9-3 in dual competition.
Duke answered with the final two matches from Dickerson and Mateas. On court five, Dickerson came back to finish off Rapp. The first set had Dickerson tied at 2-2, 3-3 and 5-5 before Rapp rallied with consecutive wins. Dickerson went on a run in the second set, turning a 3-2 lead into a 5-2 advantage before closing it out. Dickerson kept the momentum going in the third set, leading 3-0 and 4-1 en route to the win. Dickerson is now 13-5 and 6-2 versus dual match foes.
Mateas ended the match on court one with a comeback win against No. 11 Brymer. The early portion of the first set had Brymer take leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2. Mateas cut the deficit to one four times but could not force the tie. The second set had Mateas jump ahead 3-0 before Brymer rallied to cut the deficit to one a trio of times at 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4. Mateas took the final game to force the third set, which he breezed through. Mateas bumps up to 17-11 overall and 6-6 against dual match opponents.
Duke returns to conference play next week, starting with a 4 p.m. home tilt against N.C. State on Wednesday. The Blue Devils then welcome Boston College to town for a 12 noon Friday, March 24, contest and travel to No. 3 Virginia on Sunday, March 26, for a 1 p.m. match.
No. 10 UCLA 4, Duke 3
March 16, 2017 at Los Angeles, Calif. (Sunset Canyon Tennis Courts)
1. #26 Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu (UCLA) vs. Nick Stachowiak/Spencer Furman (DU) 5-3, unfinished
2. Ryan Dickerson/Jason Lapidus (DU) def. Austin Rapp/Gage Brymer (UCLA) 6-3
3. Catalin Mateas/TJ Pura (DU) def. Maxime Cressy/Ben Goldberg (UCLA) 6-4
1. Catalin Mateas (DU) def. #11 Gage Brymer (UCLA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
2. #42 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. Spencer Furman (DU) 7-6 (9-7), 6-1
3. Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. #94 Nick Stachowiak (DU) 6-3, 6-1
4. Logan Staggs (UCLA) def. TJ Pura (DU) 6-0, 4-6, 6-3
5. Ryan Dickerson (DU) def. Austin Rapp (UCLA) 5-7, 6-2, 6-1
6. Maxime Cressy (UCLA) def. Jason Lapidus (DU) 6-4, 6-2
UCLA 10-4; National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (6,3,2,4,5,1)