CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Duke men’s tennis team earned its first doubles point against North Carolina since the 2015 ACC Tournament, but the Tar Heels earned four-straight singles wins to defeat the Blue Devils, 4-1, in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend championship tilt Saturday night at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
In doubles play, UNC took the first match, 6-3, as Mac Kiger and Simon Soendergaard defeated seniors Vincent Lin and Catalin Mateas on court three. Juniors Nick Stachowiak and Spencer Furman earned a court one victory, 6-3, over William Blumberg and Blaine Boyden, setting up a decisive court two showdown between senior Jason Lapidus and sophomore Sean Sculley and UNC’s Brian Cernoch and Benjamin Sigouin.
Cernoch and Sigouin earned a 6-5 lead, however, on Duke’s serve, the Blue Devils were able to knot it up at six all and force a tiebreaker. After back and forth action and nine ties, Lapidus and Sculley gained an 11-10 advantage with Sculley serving. The Blue Devil duo prevailed and led the match, 1-0.
In singles play, Soendergaard defeated Lapidus on court five 6-2, 6-1 to tie the match at 1-1. Cernoch, ranked No. 59, gave the Tar Heels the lead (2-1) with a 6-3, 6-1 victory against Sculley at the number three position. Kiger prevailed over Lin 7-5, 6-3, at the number six spot, while Sigouin defeated Furman 6-4, 6-2, on court two.
“We are trending up,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “We have come a long way since the first day of practice in the spring and guys are getting better. Doubles is getting much, much better but credit UNC, they are a really good team and they played extremely well all night tonight.”
Duke next travels to the University of Illinois on Friday. First serve is set for 6 p.m.
Duke vs No. 6 North Carolina
Jan 26, 2019 at Chapel Hill, N.C.
(Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center)
#6 North Carolina 4, Duke 1
1. William Blumberg (UNC) vs. Nick Stachowiak (DU) 6-4, 4-2, unfinished
2. Benjamin Sigouin (UNC) def. Spencer Furman (DU) 6-4, 6-2
3. #59 Brian Cernoch (UNC) def. Sean Sculley (DU) 6-3, 6-1
4. Blaine Boyden (UNC) vs. Catalin Mateas (DU) 7-6 (8-6), 1-1, unfinished
5. Simon Soendergaard (UNC) def. Jason Lapidus (DU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Mac Kiger (UNC) def. Vincent Lin (DU) 7-5, 6-3
Duke 3-2; National ranking #30
North Carolina 4-0; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,3,6,2)
ITA Kick-Off Weekend Championship