Duke at No. 15 Illinois
Friday, February 1 l 7:00 pm
Champaign, Ill. l Atkins Tennis Center
Duke at Northwestern
Sunday, February 3 l 1:00 p.m.
Evanston, Ill. l Vandy Christie Tennis Center
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Duke men’s tennis team begins a stretch of two matches in three days Friday as it competes on the road against No. 15 Illinois at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils then travel to Evanston, Ill. and square off against Northwestern at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The Blue Devils This Season
Duke enters the weekend with a 3-2 record, with 4-3 wins against Elon and No. 24 Arizona State and a 4-0 sweep of Middle Tennessee. The Blue Devils fell on the road to Kentucky and No. 6 North Carolina in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Championship. Both junior Nick Stachowiak and sophomore Sean Sculley are 2-1 at numbers one and three singles, respectively. Junior Spencer Furman is 3-2 at the number two singles spot.
Lapidus and Sculley Dominance
Senior Jason Lapidus and Sculley are 4-1 at number two doubles this season and are currently on a three-match winning streak. Lapidus and Sculley pulled out a thrilling 7-6 (12-10) victory over North Carolina’s Brian Cernoch and Benjamin Sigouin, giving the Blue Devils their first doubles point over UNC since the 2015 ACC Tournament.
“We are looking forward to heading up to the Midwest for two great opportunities this weekend,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “Illinois has been our longest standing non-conference match and we added Northwestern a few years ago. We are ready for two tough teams as well as the artic weather.”
Illinois leads the all-time series 18-7 and has won the past four meetings against Duke. The last time these two teams met, Illinois defeated the Blue Devils, 4-1, in February of 2018 in Seattle, Wash., in the ITA National Indoor Championship.
Scouting the Fighting Illini
The Fighting Illini open their dual match season against the Blue Devils. Illinois reached the quarterfinals last season in the 2018 NCAA DI Men’s Tennis Championship. They return eight members from last year’s team.
Duke leads the all-time series against the Wildcats, 8-3. The last time these two teams met was in February of last year in Durham, a match that resulted in a 4-0 sweep for the Blue Devils.
Scouting the Wildcats
Northwestern currently holds a 1-4 overall record. Trice Pickens is 3-1 at number six singles this year, while Chris Ephorn is 2-1 at the number five position. Simen Bratholm and Nick Brookes are 4-1 at number one doubles for the season.
Duke announced an addition to the schedule, as it will play host to North Carolina Central on Saturday, February 16 inside the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. Start time is set for 1 p.m.
The Blue Devils travel to the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Fla., to take on Tennessee. The contest will be aired live on the Tennis Channel, starting at 6 p.m., as part of its College MatchDay coverage.