DURHAM, N.C. – The home stretch of the season kicks off this weekend for the No. 18 Duke men’s tennis team. The Blue Devils have six remaining regular season matches, played on Fridays and Sundays for the next three weeks. Duke (13-8, 4-2 ACC) travels to No. 30 Notre Dame (12-11, 3-4 ACC) for Friday’s contest and hosts No. 40 Louisville (14-6, 4-3 ACC) on Sunday morning.
The start time for Friday’s match at Notre Dame will be determined by the weather. If the match takes place outdoors, first serve will be at 3:30 p.m. If weather forces the contest indoors, it will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m., following the conclusion of the Fighting Irish’s women’s match.
All regular season Duke men’s tennis home events at Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center and Ambler Tennis Stadium are free to the public. General public parking is available in the Blue Zone parking lot off Duke University Road.
Notre Dame Series History
The Blue Devils own a 24-10 lead in the all-time series, which began in 1954 … The squads have met every year since 1994 … Duke has won eight of the last 10 matches and 12 of the last 17 contests … In South Bend, Duke has posted an 8-4 ledger against the Fighting Irish … Duke has won the last two contests by 4-3 scores after dropping two matches to Notre Dame in 2016, in the regular season (5-2) and the second round of the ACC Championship (4-1) … In February at the ITA Indoor Team Championship, Duke netted a 4-3 victory after trailing 3-0 … In their dual match singles careers versus the Fighting Irish, Nick Stachowiak is 2-0, Jason Lapidus is 1-0, Catalin Mateas is 3-1, Ryan Dickerson is 1-1, Nicolas Alvarez is 1-2 and Spencer Furman, Robert Levine and Sean Sculley are 0-1.
Scouting the Fighting Irish
Notre Dame is led by Alex Lebedev, who is 14-13 overall and 6-8 in dual matches, all at the No. 1 position … Lebedev is ranked No. 55 in the latest Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll and owns a 7-9 mark against nationally ranked opponents in addition to a 2-2 ACC ledger … Guillermo Cabrera (3-6), Richard Ciamarra (1-5) and Matt Gamble (1-3) have all spent time on court two … The third court has also been occupied by the trio with Cabrera 3-4, Ciamarra 6-1 and Gamble 0-2 … Tristan McCormick has played on courts one through five, spending the most time at No. 3 (3-1) and No. 4 (3-6) … In doubles, Brendon Kempin and McCormick have been the top pairing, going 6-11, all in dual matches on court one … Ciamarra and Gamble are 3-5 on court two and 4-2 on court three while William Howells and Lebedev are 2-3 in the second slot.
Earlier This Season Versus Notre Dame
The No. 20 Duke men’s tennis team was down to match point against No. 22 Notre Dame, trailing 3-0 to the Fighting Irish in the ITA Team Indoor Championship at the Seattle Tennis Club … Four singles matches later, the Blue Devils came away with a 4-3 win to cap the indoor portion of the season … The match began with Notre Dame capturing the doubles point, winning on courts one and two … Ciamarra and Gamble scored the first victory, taking a 6-3 decision on court two against redshirt junior Alvarez and junior Mateas … On court one, Kempin and McCormick held off sophomore Stachowiak and freshman Sculley, 6-4 … The Fighting Irish pushed their advantage to 2-0 with the first decision in singles with Gamble topping junior Dickerson, 6-0, 6-1, on court five … Notre Dame tacked on another point from court four to go up 3-0 as Ciamarra downed Sculley, 6-2, 6-2 … The comeback began on court six with Lapidus, a junior, defeating Grayson Broadus 6-0, 2-6, 7-6 (6) … The three-set march continued on court three with Stachowiak holding off McCormick 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 … Court one had No. 53 Alvarez come back to defeat No. 28 Lebedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to even the match at 3-3 overall … Mateas provided the final point, topping No. 118 Cabrera 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (4) on court two.
Louisville Series History
Duke has played Louisville in just four dual matches, winning all four … The Blue Devils have claimed a 5-2 victory April 17, 2015, in Louisville’s first season in the ACC, a 5-2 decision March 27, 2016, a 4-3 triumph on April 21, 2017, to finish the regular season and a 4-2 win on January 27, 2018, in Fort Worth, Texas, as part of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend … In their dual match singles careers against the Cardinals, Dickerson leads the way with a 3-0 mark while Mateas is 2-0, Sculley is 1-0, Alvarez and Stachowiak are 1-1, Levine and Lapidus are 0-1 and Furman is 0-2.
Scouting the Cardinals
The Cardinals have been anchored at the top of the singles lineup by No. 61 Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff, who is 17-7 overall, 11-2 in dual matches and 5-1 in ACC action … Morin-Kougoucheff owns a 10-2 record on court one, has won seven consecutive matches and is 5-0 versus ranked foes this season … Holding the No. 2 position is No. 120 Parker Wynn, who is 24-7 overall, 14-2 in dual competition and 11-1 on court two … The third slot has rotated between Federico Gomez (5-3) and Nicolas Rouanet (4-4) … The two have also played in the fourth position with Gomez 7-3 there and Rouanet 2-3 … In doubles, Morin-Kougoucheff and Wynn are the No. 17 tandem in the country and are 26-9 overall, 5-1 in ACC play and 14-4 on court one … Gomez and Brandon Lancaster have been the most frequent option on the second court, going 6-3, with George Hedley and Rouanet 4-1 at No. 3.
Earlier This Season Versus Louisville
A tight doubles point that went in favor of the Duke men’s tennis team and a double winning day for Dickerson helped push the Blue Devils to a 4-2 victory against Louisville and into the ITA Kick-Off Weekend championship match … Dickerson and Lapidus earned a 6-2 win versus Rouanet and Gomez on court two … Louisville evened the doubles action from court one, where the No. 6 team of Wynn and Morin-Kougoucheff defeated Stachowiak and Sculley, 6-3 … The Blue Devils answered with the winning point from court three with Mateas and sophomore Furman topping Ciro Lampasas and Hedley, 7-5 … Once in singles, the Cardinals tied the match at 1-1 with a 6-1, 6-3 victory by Hedley against Lapidus on court six … Louisville then took the lead at 2-1 overall as No. 115 Wynn fought past No. 81 Furman, 6-3, 6-2, on court two … The comeback trail began on court four with Sculley picking up a 6-3, 6-2 win against Gomez … Stachowiak gave Duke the lead back at 3-2 when he downed Rouanet 6-4, 6-2 on court three … In the match-ending contest, Dickerson came from behind to top Lancaster 1-6, 6-2, 6-0 and clinch his first match of the year.
“We have two good challenges this weekend,” head coach Ramsey Smith said. “We have played both of these teams already this year, which is kind of unique. We played Notre Dame at the national indoors in a pretty incredible 4-3 match. We played Louisville in the qualifier for indoors at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. We’re familiar with both. These will be tough matches.”
Trying to Remain Above .500 in the ACC
The Blue Devils sit at 4-2 in ACC play for their best six-match mark in league play since going 4-2 in 2015 … Duke was 6-2 through eight ACC matches in 2015 and 4-4 in 2016 and 2017.
Two Walk-Off Winners
Duke has captured two 4-3 victories this season, both coming in walk-off fashion … Against Notre Dame during the ITA Indoor Team Championship, the Blue Devils stormed back from a 3-0 deficit for the 4-3 win … Mateas registered the final point to secure the win … Last Friday against Virginia, Duke trailed 3-2 before two three-set wins gave the Blue Devils the victory … Sculley secured the winning point with a 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4) victory against Kyrylo Tsygura on court six.
One More to 50 for Mateas
Mateas is on the verge of capturing 50 career singles victories, heading into the weekend with 49 … One more victory and Mateas would join Alvarez (68), Stachowiak (54) and Dickerson (50) as current Blue Devils with 50 or more career singles wins.
Eight with Double-Digit Wins
With last Friday’s results against the Cavaliers, every member of the Duke team has reached double-digit win totals in singles … The eight Blue Devils with 10 or more wins are the most for the program in a season since the 2013-14 squad had nine.
Duke Up to No. 18 in Oracle/ITA Poll with Two in ITA Singles Rankings
Following last week’s victory against No. 37 Virginia, the Blue Devils moved up to No. 18 in this week’s Oracle/ITA rankings … The singles rankings were updated with Duke’s Alvarez remaining at No. 17 and Mateas making the jump to No. 99 after sitting at No. 113.
Last Time Out
It took three third sets and more than four hours, but it was worth the wait as the No. 21 Duke men’s tennis team came back for a 4-3 victory versus No. 37 Virginia on Friday evening inside Ambler Tennis Stadium … The Blue Devils took the early edge in doubles with a 6-3 victory on court three by Dickerson and Furman against Ammar Alhaqbani and Spencer Bozsik … Seconds later Virginia responded with a 6-4 win by Carl Soderlund and Matthew Lord on court two against Lapidus and Mateas … All eyes turned to court one, where Sculley and Stachowiak fought off three set points to defeat Aswin Lizen and Gianni Ross, 7-6 (7) … In singles, Virginia quickly answered and evened the match at 1-1 overall as Lord defeated Furman 6-4, 6-2 on court four … The Cavaliers then took a 2-1 lead with a win on court two, where No. 32 Lizen defeated No. 113 Mateas 7-5, 6-3 … Duke evened the score at 2-2 when sophomore Levine defeated Alhaqbani 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 on court five … Virginia regained the lead at 3-2 overall with a 6-1, 6-7 (2), 6-3 win by No. 120 Ross against Stachowiak on court three … Seconds later No. 17 Alvarez evened the match at 3-3 as he downed No. 38 Soderlund 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 on court one … Sculley’s final point came from the win versus Tsygura.
Duke plays its final two home matches of the season next weekend, hosting Clemson for a 5 p.m. match Friday, April 13, and Georgia Tech at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 15.