CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Duke men’s tennis team swept Middle Tennessee, 4-0, at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center and will play in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Championship tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. The Blue Devils will face No. 6 North Carolina.
The Blue Devils, who improved their record to 3-1 on the season, took the doubles point as senior Jason Lapidus and sophomore Sean Sculley made quick work on court two (6-1), defeating opponents Daniel Stormon and Pavel Motl. Juniors Spencer Furman and Nick Stachowiak clinched the point with a 6-3 court one victory over Tom Moonen and Stijan Slump. Lapidus and Sculley improved their duos season record to 3-1.
“I thought we did a good job maintaining the momentum from doubles,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “It’s so nice getting that first doubles win because then it loosens the other two doubles teams up. I am proud of court one to finish it off. It obviously is an ideal way to start a dual match off, but we still had work to do going into singles play.”
In singles play, Furman won his first set, 6-3, over Moonen on court two. After being up 5-3 in set two, Moonen roared back to tie the set at five all. Furman bounced back with a 6-5 advantage before sealing the victory, 7-5. At the number five position, Lapidus also won by a score of 6-3, 7-5, and put the Blue Devils just one point away from clinching the match.
All four other singles players for Duke were forced into third sets. Senior Catalin Mateas, who dropped his first set 6-4, fought his way back to a 6-3 set two victory. Mateas and Motl were even at 4-4 in the third set, but the Mateas gained leverage and went up 5-4. Mateas and Motl went to a deuce point, but Mateas clinched the match after Motl returned a ball into the net.
“It was nice to see Cat [Mateas], after losing the first set and pulling out a tough third, give us the win,” Smith said about Mateas’ match-clinching performance. “Credit to Middle Tennessee for making it tough on us.”
The winner of tomorrow’s match gets an automatic bid to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Chicago, Ill., February 15-18.
Duke 4, Middle Tennessee 0
Jan 25, 2019 at Chapel Hill, N.C. (Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center)
1. Spencer Furman/Nick Stachowak (DU) def. Tom Moonen/Stijan Slump (MT) 6-3
1. Nick Stachowak (DU) vs. Stijan Slump (MT) 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 2-2, unfinished
2. Spencer Furman (DU) def. Tom Moonen (MT) 6-3, 7-5
3. Sean Sculley (DU) vs. Max Rauch (MT) 6-3, 4-6, 3-1, unfinished
4. Catalin Mateas (DU) def. Pavel Motl (MT) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. Jason Lapidus (DU) def. L. Morillo Diaz (MT) 6-3, 7-5
6. Vincent Lin (DU) vs. Francsco Rocha (MT) 6-3, 5-7, 3-4, unfinished
Middle Tennessee 2-1
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,5,4)
ITA Kick-Off Weekend first round