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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Jason Lapidus
Duke Travels to UNC for ITA Kick-Off Weekend
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/24/2019
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Match 4
Duke vs. Middle Tennessee
Friday, January 25 l 10 a.m.
Chapel Hill, N.C. l Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center

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Match 5
Duke vs. No. 6 UNC/Utah
Saturday, January 26 l 3:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m
Chapel Hill, N.C. l Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Duke men’s tennis team competes in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, hosted by North Carolina, on Friday and Saturday. The Blue Devils square off against Middle Tennessee on Friday at 10 a.m. and will play the winner/loser of No. 6 North Carolina and Utah on Saturday.

There will be no live stats or video of Friday's match. 

Duke’s Season So Far
The Blue Devils enter the weekend with a 2-1 record, defeating Elon and No. 24 Arizona State by scores of 4-3 at home and losing to Kentucky on the road, 4-1. Juniors Nick Stachowiak and Spencer Furman are 2-1 at number one and two singles, respectively. Sophomore Sean Sculley comes into the weekend with a 2-0 record at the number three singles spot. Senior Jason Lapidus has paired with Sculley for a 2-1 record at number two doubles.

Others Receiving Votes
Duke is in the others receiving votes section in the latest ITA team rankings.

Success in the ITA Kickoff
Duke enters the weekend having won six of its past seven matches in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Last season, the Blue Devils defeated Louisville (4-2) and San Diego (4-0).

Middle Tennessee History
Duke has squared off with Middle Tennessee twice in school history, both resulting in wins for the Blue Devils, in 1976 (8-1) and 2013 (7-0).

Scouting the Blue Raiders
The Blue Raiders enter the weekend with a 2-0 record, defeating Austin Peay (7-0) and Chattanooga (7-0). All singles and doubles players are currently undefeated, with Gonzalo Morrell Raschiatore and Pavel Motl 2-0 at number two doubles. Morrell Raschiatore and Stijin Slump are 2-0 at number one and two singles, respectively.

North Carolina History
The Tar Heels lead the all-time series against the Blue Devils, 90-40. UNC has won the past six matches against Duke, with the latest coming in March of 2018 in Durham (4-3).

Scouting North Carolina
The Tar Heels are 2-0 and have yet to drop a match as they have defeated Wofford, 6-0, and Bucknell, 5-0. Brian Cernoch is 2-0 in singles play and has dropped just five games this year. Benjamin Sigouin is also 2-0 in singles with a court one victory against Wofford. Like Cernoch, Sigouin has only dropped five games this season.

Utah History
The Utes and Blue Devils have faced off twice in history, with Duke coming out on top both times, in 1987 (5-1) and 1988 (5-4). 

Scouting Utah
Utah enters the weekend with a 2-1 record. The Utes fell to BYU, 4-0, in their season opener, but prevailed against Weber State (6-1) and Montana State (7-0). Slava Shainyan is 2-1 at number two singles, while Dan Little is 1-1 at the number one spot. Randy Cory and Russell Benkaim hold a perfect 3-0 doubles record at the number one position.

Smith’s Take
“The ITA Kick-Off Weekend is an exciting time for college tennis” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “You have 60 of the best teams in the country battling for the Round of 16 of ITA National Indoors. Our guys are looking forward to the opportunity to play a good Middle Tennessee team on Friday.”

Record Against Nonconference Opponents
Including the three matches played this season, the Blue Devils are 25-17 (.595) in non-conference contests in the last three seasons.

Up Next
The Blue Devils travel to Champaign, Ill., to take on the University of Illinois on Friday, February 1. Start time is set for 6 p.m.

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