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Raphael Hemmeler and Bruno Semenzato
Men's Tennis Set to Host ITA Kick-Off Weekend
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/24/2014
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Match 4
No. 17 Duke vs. No. 54 Oregon
Saturday, Jan. 25 l 10 a.m.
Durham, N.C. l Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center

No. 50 San Diego State vs. No. 42 North Carolina
Saturday, Jan. 25 l 1:30 p.m.
Durham, N.C. l Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center

ITA Kick-Off Consolation
Sunday, Jan. 26 l 12:30 p.m.
Durham, N.C. l Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center

ITA Kick-Off Championship
Sunday, Jan. 26 l 4 p.m.
Durham, N.C. l Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center

Duke ITA Kick-Off Weekend Central l l Live Video l Live Results l Twitter

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke will serve as one of 15 host sites for the sixth annual ITA Kick-Off Weekend Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 25 and 26 at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. The 17th-ranked Blue Devils will welcome No. 42 North Carolina, No. 50 San Diego State and No. 54 Oregon as all four squads compete for a berth to the ITA Division I National Men’s Team Indoor Championships, slated for Feb. 14-17 in Houston, Texas.

Last Time Out
The Blue Devils began the season with a 1-2 ledger, falling to No. 64 Elon and No. 9 Kentucky last weekend in a pair of tightly-contested 4-3 decisions … The squad rebounded to sweep NC Central, 7-0 … Sophomore Josh Levine went 3-0 in singles play, collecting a pair of wins at the No. 5 position and a victory in the No. 3 spot against the Eagles … The doubles tandems of junior Raphael Hemmeler and sophomore Bruno Semenzato and redshirt junior Cale Hammond and sophomore Daniel McCall posted records of 2-1 to start dual match play.

Oregon Series History
Duke and Oregon will meet for the first time in program history Saturday morning … The Blue Devils are 18-35 all-time against current Pac-12 teams.  

Scouting the Ducks
Ranked 54th in the ITA’s latest poll, Oregon sports a 3-0 dual-match record … The team opened the spring with a pair of 7-0 victories over Portland State and Eastern Washington and a 6-1 win against UC Santa Barbara.

San Diego State Series History
Duke and the Aztecs have met just one time previously, with the Blue Devils collecting a 5-4 win out west back in 1939 … Duke is scheduled to travel to San Diego State later this spring.

Scouting the Aztecs
San Diego State is ranked 50th nationally and enters the weekend with a 2-0 dual-match ledger … The Aztecs edged Nevada, 4-3, and topped UC Riverside, 5-2, in a season-opening doubleheader Jan. 18 in San Diego … Thorsten Bertsch leads the team’s lineup with a No. 69 national ranking in singles.

North Carolina Series History
The Blue Devils are 38-84 all-time against their Tobacco Road rivals … Duke has won the last two meetings with the Tar Heels, including a 6-1 regular season victory last year in Chapel Hill.

Scouting the Tar Heels
North Carolina had a strong start to the spring, sweeping East Carolina, Wofford and Howard, 7-0, and topping No. 31 VCU by a 5-2 score for a 4-0 record … As a team, the Tar Heels went 22-2 in singles in their first four matches … The squad has also combined for a 10-1 doubles mark so far … Freshman Ronnie Schneider leads the way in the national singles rankings at No. 17, followed by sophomore Brett Clark at No. 36 … Clark and junior Esben Hess-Olesen form the 29th-ranked doubles pair in the country while junior Oystein Steiro and senior Nelson Vick are ranked 50th.

Duke in ITA Kick-Off Weekend
The Duke men also served as a Kick-Off Weekend host site in 2013, topping Middle Tennessee State, 7-0, in the first round and defeating Northwestern, 4-0, to advance to the ITA National Team Indoors … The Blue Devils have advanced to the National Team Indoors each of the past three seasons.

Smith’s Take
“We worked all last year to be able to host as the top 15 schools host each year,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “It’s nice that we don’t have to travel. We’ve got two West Coast teams in Oregon and San Diego State coming in and a more familiar opponent in North Carolina. It’s always nice to play at home and we have great fans, so it’s nice to be at home this weekend.”

Blue Devils in the ITA Rankings
Duke came in at No. 17 in the latest ITA team rankings … Four individuals appear among the top-125 singles players on the list ... Sophomore Michael Redlicki highlights Duke in the singles rankings, appearing 29th ... Junior Jason Tahir moved up in the rankings to No. 52 this spring for the highest ranking of his collegiate career ... For sophomore Josh Levine, his No. 77 ranking marks the first time the Syosset, N.Y., native has cracked the top-125  ... Sophomore Bruno Semenzato rounds out the Blue Devil contingent, tabbed as No. 95 in the first poll of the spring.