DURHAM, N.C. – No. 25 Duke received another strong performance in singles, winning five of the six matches to earn a 5-2 victory over No. 39 North Carolina at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center in Chapel Hill on Tuesday.
A key point in the match came with the score tied at 2-2 with three matches left to finish. The No. 2 match was nearing the third set and the No. 3 match had just started its third set. The No. 4 match went to a second set tiebreaker with Duke’s Jared Pinsky having won the first set. Pinsky got off to a great start in the tiebreaker, leading 4-0 before Brennan Boyaijan came back to even the score at 5-5. Pinsky then took the next two points for the victory. He improved to 19-11 on the season and 4-3 in the ACC.
“He (Boyaijan) actually served for the second set three times,” said Pinsky. “I had the early lead in the tiebreaker but he fought back to make it tight. I just said to myself that this was our time. We wanted to beat these guys and get revenge from what happened last year.”
Pinsky’s win gave Duke the momentum for the rest of the match. Dylan Arnould quckly jumped out ahead in his third set and was able to finish off Andrew Crone 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Arnould has won four straight matches to stretch his season record to 17-11 overall and 5-2 in the ACC. Kiril Dimitrov then gave the Blue Devils their final point, pulling away from No. 53 Taylor Fogleman in three sets 7-5, 5-7, 6-2. Dimitrov has a team-high 22 singles wins and is 5-1 against league competition.
The Blue Devils showed their poise after falling behind 2-0 in the match. The Tar Heels edged Duke for the doubles point and then received the first singles point after the Blue Devils’ top singles player, Reid Carleton, had to retire due to an injury.
The rest of the lineup answered the challenge with the bottom part of the order fueling the comeback. Freshman Luke Marchese won 6-1, 7-6 at the sixth spot in the order for his 11th straight victory. He is now 7-0 in ACC play and 15-3 overall in his first season. Soon after, Alain Michel evened the score with a victory at the No. 5 spot. He downed Luke Mojica 6-4, 7-5 to earn his 13th win of the year and third ACC victory.
The win takes Duke to 12-5 on the year and 5-2 in the ACC. North Carolina falls to 12-6 overall and 2-4 in the ACC. The Blue Devils also pick up one Carlyle Cup point. They cut the Tar Heels lead in 2008-09 to 11.5-7.5. The next point will be awarded tomorrow as Duke takes on UNC in women’s tennis.
“This win is huge for us in the conference standings,” said Pinsky. “Also it is big just for a pride thing. To be able to beat North Carolina after they ended our season last year. It is definitely big especially since it is an ACC win.”
The Blue Devils will take to the road this weekend for a pair of matches in Virginia. They will face No.1 Virginia, who is undefeated at 22-0, on Friday at 3 p.m. in Charlottesville. They then take on No. 26 Virginia Tech at 1 p.m. on Sunday in Blacksburg.
Tennis Match Results
Duke vs North Carolina
March 31, 2009 at Chapel Hill, N.C.
#25 Duke 5, #39 North Carolina 2
1. #27 Clay Donato/Taylor Fogleman (UNC) def. Kiril Dimitrov/Alain Michel (DU) 8-5
2. Dylan Arnould/Reid Carleton (DU) def. Andrew Crone/Luke Mojica (UNC) 8-5
3. Brennan Boyajian/Zachary Hunter (UNC) def. David Holland/Jared Pinsky (DU) 9-7
1. #38 Clay Donato (UNC) def. #35 Reid Carleton (DU) 6-4, 4-0
2. #55 Kiril Dimitrov (DU) def. #53 Taylor Fogleman (UNC) 7-5, 5-7, 6-2
3. Dylan Arnould (DU) def. Andrew Crone (UNC) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
4. Jared Pinsky (DU) def. Brennan Boyajian (UNC) 7-5, 7-6 (7-5)
5. Alain Michel (DU) def. Luke Mojica (UNC) 6-4, 7-5
6. Luke Marchese (DU) def. Zachary Hunter (UNC) 6-1, 7-6
Duke 12-5; National ranking #25
North Carolina 12-6; National ranking #39
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (1,6,5,4,3,2)