DURHAM, N.C. – Down 3-0 and facing match point, Duke mounted a comeback that head coach Ramsey Smith called one of the most memorable throughout his years at Duke. In the end, the Blue Devils prevailed, winning 4-3 against No. 24 Arizona State on Friday inside the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.
“It was a great college tennis match,” said Smith. “Regardless of how the last couple points went. I thought we fought to the very end and it was an unbelievable comeback. Down 3-0 with four three setters, we had to win all of them, I felt like we really grabbed momentum and started getting belief in the last half hour. I am just really proud of the guys.”
With the Sun Devils needing just one point to clinch the match, senior Vincent Lin fought back down 5-3 in set three and tied the set at five all. Lin then took the lead (6-5), and used the crowd noise to his advantage, sealing the court six victory 5-7, 6-1, 7-5, against Benjamin Hannestad. Junior Nick Stachowiak took set one from Dominik Kellovsky at number one singles, 7-5, before dropping his second set 6-4. Stachowiak was down 3-2 in the third set, then tied it at three. Both players traded games (4-4), but Stachowiak took the last two, winning set number three, 6-4.
The Blue Devils trailed 3-2 overall with two matches to play.
Sophomore Sean Sculley dropped his first set to Andrea Bolla at the number three spot, but rattled off two-straight 6-3 set victories to even the match at three. Junior Spencer Furman was the last man standing for the Blue Devils, and like Sculley, dropped his first set 7-5. Furman fought back against Justin Roberts to take set two, 6-4, and led 5-3 before winning 6-4, giving Duke the 4-3 victory.
“It was huge momentum for us,” said Furman.” Knowing that Lin was in the third set, Sean and Nick were in the third set and myself, it was huge for our team to come through like that at the end. This is why you come to Duke. For a match like this, for fans like this. It is huge that everyone stayed out until the end.”
The Sun Devils got out to a 3-0 lead after winning two of the three doubles matches and singles at number four and five.
Duke next travels to the University of Kentucky on Monday. Match time is slated for 12 noon.
Duke 4, #24 Arizona State 3
January 18, 2019 at Durham, N.C. (Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center)
1. Nick Stachowiak/Spencer Furman (DU) vs. Dominik Kellovsky/William Kirkman (ASU) 4-4, unfinished
2. Makey Rakotomalala/Justin Roberts (ASU) def. Sean Sculley/Jason Lapidus (DU) 6-3
3. #22 Andrea Bolla/Tim Ruehl (ASU) def. Vincent Lin/Catalin Mateas (DU) 6-1
1. Nick Stachowiak (DU) def. Dominik Kellovsky (ASU) 7-5, 4-6, 6-4
2. Spencer Furman (DU) def. Justin Roberts (ASU) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
3. Sean Sculley (DU) def. Andrea Bolla (ASU) 5-7, 6-3, 6-3
4. Tim Ruehl (ASU) def. Catalin Mateas (DU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
5. Makey Rakotomalala (ASU) def. Robert Levine (DU) 6-4, 6-2
6. Vincent Lin (DU) def. Benjamin Hannestad (ASU) 5-7, 6-1, 7-5
Arizona State 0-1; National ranking #24
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,4,6,1,3,2)