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Courtesy: Rex Miller
Sophomore Chris Mengel
Duke Improves to 7-0 With Road Victory at Tennessee
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/11/2012
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 10th-ranked Duke men's tennis team will head to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships with an undefeated record after claiming a 6-1 victory on the road against No. 20 Tennessee Saturday afternoon in Knoxville. The Blue Devils improved to 7-0 with the win for the program's best start since the 1954-55 season.

"This is a good win for us and should give our team a lot of confidence heading into the final 16 of National Indoors," said head coach Ramsey Smith.

Duke got off to a strong start in doubles play, capturing the doubles point for the sixth consecutive match with wins on all three courts.

The duo of senior David Holland and sophomore Chris Mengel led Duke off the courts with an 8-6 victory over the Volunteers' Edward Jones and Brandon Fickey at the No 2 position, improving to 5-2 on the spring with the win. Senior Torsten Wietoska and freshman Raphael Hemmeler followed with an 8-5 defeat of Jarryd Chaplin and Peter Nagovnak at the No. 3 spot to secure the point for Duke. Meanwhile, the tandem of junior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Fred Saba remained unbeaten on the year with an 8-6 win over Tennessee's 33rd-ranked pair of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese at the No. 1 position.

The Blue Devils quickly jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in singles play, as Mengel and freshman Jason Tahir posted victories on courts two and six. Seventeenth-ranked Mengel defeated Fickey, 6-3, 6-1, to move to 6-0 in dual match play, while Tahir recorded a 6-2, 6-1 win over the Volunteers' Nagovnak  for his fourth singles victory of the spring. Wietoska then clinched the match for the Blue Devils for the second time this season, notching a 6-2, 6-4 win against Chaplin to improve to 5-1 on the spring.

Seventh-ranked Cunha collected his 20th singles victory of the year, edging No. 125 Libietis of Tennessee, 6-0, 7-5, at the No. 1 slot. The Duke junior also remained undefeated in dual match singles play at 6-0. The Volunteers picked up a point with a win on court four, as Saba fell to Reese in three sets. The Blue Devils' Hemmeler closed out the match with an impressive performance on court six, pulling out a 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8) victory against Jones to improve to 5-0 this spring.

"It was a very solid team effort today," Smith said. "We came out strong in all three doubles matches and that set the tone. We kept the momentum in singles and finished well."

The Blue Devils return to action at the 2012 ITA National Team Indoors Feb. 17-20 in Charlottesville, Va. Duke will face No. 8 UCLA in the opening round Friday, Feb. 17 at 3:30 p.m.

Tennis Match Results
Duke vs Tennessee
Feb 11, 2012 at Knoxville, Tenn.

#10 Duke 6, #20 Tennessee 1

1. Henrique Cunha/Fred Saba (DU) def. #33 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (TENN) 8-6
2. David Holland/Chris Mengel (DU) def. Edward Jones/Brandon Fickey (TENN) 8-6
3. Raphael Hemmeler/Torsten Wietoska (DU) def. Jarryd Chaplin/Peter Nagovnak (TENN) 8-5

1. #7 Henrique Cunha (DU) def. #125 Mikelis Libietis (TENN) 6-0, 7-5
2. #17 Chris Mengel (DU) def. Brandon Fickey (TENN) 6-3, 6-1
3. Torsten Wietoska (DU) def. #119 Jarryd Chaplin (TENN) 6-2, 6-4
4. Hunter Reese (TENN) def. #110 Fred Saba (DU) 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-2)
5. #120 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Edward Jones (TENN) 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8)
6. Jason Tahir (DU) def. Peter Nagovnak (TENN) 6-2, 6-1

Match Notes
Duke 7-0; National ranking #10
Tennessee 4-3; National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,6,3,1,4,5)