After dropping a hard-fought doubles decision in last weekend's dual match opener against Michigan, Duke (2-0) started strong in doubles play Saturday. Senior Torsten Wietoska and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler posted an 8-3 victory over VCU's Jaime Vazquez Catioira and Camill Salomon in the No. 3 matchup, and the tandem of senior David Holland and sophomore Chris Mengel followed suit with an 8-2 win over Filip Svensson and Max Wennakoski over court two to secure the doubles point.
"I was very happy with our doubles, especially at No. 2 and No. 3, the two teams that struggled our last match," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "They really stepped up and they were dominant from the start ... It was nice to get a quick doubles point under our belts."
The Blue Devils carried that momentum into singles play, dropping just one set while claiming wins on five of the six courts. Sophomore and 110th-ranked Fred Saba defeated the Rams' Antoine Baroz, 6-1, 6-3, in the No. 4 spot to start things off. No. 120 Hemmeler improved to 2-0 on the season with a 6-1, 6-4 win against Alejandro Argente on court five, while Wietoska notched a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Svensson from the No. 3 position to clinch the match for Duke.
Seventeenth-ranked Mengel claimed a 6-3, 6-3 win over Wennakoski on court two, and No. 7 Henrique Cunha bested Alexis Heugas in the No. 1 singles match, 7-5, 6-1, to round out the day of competition. The No. 5 match between freshman Jason Tahir and Vazquez Catoira of VCU went unfinished with the score at 1-6, 7-6 (2).
Twenty-sixth ranked Washington downed No. 30 Louisville, 4-0, Saturday morning to set up a meeting with Duke in Sunday's championship match. Meanwhile, the Cardinals will face VCU Sunday at 4 p.m. in the consolation match.
"Washington is a very good indoor team," Smith said. "Their doubles is always solid, so we're going to have to be ready to go off the bat. We're looking forward to a good match."
Tennis Match Results
VCU vs Duke
Jan 28, 2012 at Durham, N.C.
(Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center)
#10 Duke 6, #47 VCU 0
1. Henrique Cunha/Fred Saba (DU) vs. Alexis Heugas/Antoine Baroz (VCU) 4-5, unfinished
2. David Holland/Chris Mengel (DU) def. Filip Svensson/Max Wennakoski (VCU) 8-2
3. Torsten Wietoska/Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. J. Vazquez Catoira/Camill Salomon (VCU) 8-3
1. #7 Henrique Cunha (DU) def. Alexis Heugas (VCU) 7-5, 6-1
2. #17 Chris Mengel (DU) def. Max Wennakoski (VCU) 6-3, 6-3
3. Torsten Wietoska (DU) def. Filip Svensson (VCU) 6-4, 6-2
4. #110 Fred Saba (DU) def. Antoine Baroz (VCU) 6-1, 6-3
5. #120 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Alejandro Argente (VCU) 6-1, 6-4
6. Jason Tahir (DU) vs. J. Vazquez Catoira (VCU) 1-6, 7-6 (7-2), unfinished
VCU 5-1; National ranking #47
Duke 2-0; National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (4,5,3,2,1)