DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke men’s tennis team was victorious at home for the fifth time this season and second time against a ranked opponent in a 6-1 victory over No. 23 Penn Friday afternoon inside the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.
The Blue Devils improved to 6-7, while the Quakers fell to 12-5 on the season.
In doubles action, senior Catalin Mateas and sophomore Sean Sculley cruised to a 6-1 victory on court two over Robert Smithline and Aleks Huryn. Senior Jason Lapidus and junior Nick Stachowiak sealed the doubles point for the Blue Devils, earning a 6-2 victory on court one over Edoardo Graziani and Dmitry Shatalin. Lapidus earned his team leading seventh overall doubles victory with the win. Juniors Spencer Furman and Robert Levine were winning 5-3 over Max Cancilla and Kevin Zhu before the point was clinched.
In singles play, Levine made quick work on court five with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Jason Hildenbrandt. Levine led 2-1 in set two and won four straight games to give Duke’s its second point of the afternoon. Senior Vincent Lin kept the momentum going for the Blue Devils, prevailing 6-3, 6-2 on court six over Cancilla. Mateas took the first set on court two 7-6 (7-4) over Zhu, and won 6-3 in set two to clinch the match for Duke.
No. 41 Stachowiak earned his seventh singles victory of the season, earning a 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) victory on court one over Graziani. Sculley gave the Blue Devils their sixth point with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Noah Makarome at the number five position. Shatalin earned a 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-6) court three victory over Furman for the Quakers lone point.
“This was an important win for us and will give us a lot of confidence going into the meat of the ACC season,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “I thought it all started with our doubles energy and we jumped out to nice leads on all three courts and continued that momentum in singles play. Robert getting off the court quickly was huge for us. Bob healthy, getting into a nice rhythm and playing some good tennis for us.”
Duke next is on the road for three conference matches next week, the first on Wednesday against Virginia Tech at 1:30 p.m.