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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Nicolas Alvarez
Three Blue Devils in Oracle/ITA Preseason Rankings
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 09/12/2017
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DURHAM, N.C. – The preseason Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) singles and doubles rankings came out Tuesday with Duke represented by redshirt junior Nicolas Alvarez, at No. 34, sophomore Spencer Furman, at No. 44, and junior Catalin Mateas, at No. 61. Furman appears with classmate Nick Stachowiak at No. 12 in the doubles rankings while Mateas and freshman Sean Sculley check in at No. 52 on the doubles ledger.

Alvarez missed the entire 2017 dual match campaign due to a wrist injury and received a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA on June 22, 2017. Alvarez finished the 2016 fall season with a trophy, capturing the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship consolation championship, winning his final four matches of the fall. A native of Lima, Peru, Alvarez has been an All-ACC first team selection in 2015 and 2016 as well as the ITA Carolina Region Player to Watch in 2015.

Furman was a second team All-ACC honoree in 2017, when he went from playing on courts four and five to ending the season on the top court. Furman finished the year ranked No. 77 in singles in the Oracle/ITA poll. The Seattle, Wash., product played to a 20-13 singles record, 14-12 dual match mark and 5-7 ledger in ACC matches. He recorded highest-ranked win of career against No. 5 Skander Mansouri of Wake Forest, coming back for a 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (6) victory on court three.

Mateas earned third team All-ACC accolades and finished the campaign with a 24-13 record, 13-8 dual match mark and 8-3 ledger in league contests. A native of Braintree, Mass., Mateas ended the year ranked No. 106 in the Oracle/ITA ledger. Mateas rotated among singles courts one, two and three, going 5-5 in the top position and 5-3 in the second slot while earning a 3-0 record on the third court. Last spring, Mateas earned the highest-ranked win of career at No. 10 UCLA, downing No. 11 Gage Brymer 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 on court one.

Furman and Stachowiak earned an NCAA Doubles Tournament selection and ended the campaign ranked No. 23 in the Oracle/ITA ledger. The duo posted a 19-5 record and 6-3 league record, tied for the ninth most ACC doubles wins by a freshman in program history. Furman and Stachowiak turned in a .792 winning percentage, the ninth highest in a career in program history. 

In doubles in 2017, Mateas went 21-13 with a 6-3 record in league matches. Sculley was a blue chip prospect who owned a 13.43 Universal Tennis Ranking upon arriving in Durham. In his final junior competition, Sculley advanced to the quarterfinals of the USTA Boys’ 18 National Championship in Kalamzaoo during August of 2017. In the summer of 2016, Sculley paired with Stachowiak and advanced to the doubles quarterfinals of the US Open Junior Championships.

Selections for the 2017 ITA Men’s All-American Championships were also announced earlier this month, with Alvarez earning a spot in the main singles draw. Furman is the top alternate to the main draw while he and Stachowiak earned a doubles main draw invitation. Furman, Mateas and Stachowiak are qualifying singles selections while Mateas and Sculley are a qualifying doubles pair. Alvarez and junior Ryan Dickerson are the No. 2 alternate for the qualifying doubles draw. Sophomore Robert Levine, Dickerson and Sculley were tabbed pre-qualifiers for the singles portion of the tournament.

The Blue Devils open their fall slate Friday by hosting the Duke Bonk Invitational at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C.

The first team rankings of the 2017-18 season will be released by the ITA on January 3, 2018.