No. 13 Duke at No. 14 Tennessee
Friday, Feb. 7 l 6 p.m.
Knoxville, Tenn. l Goodfriend Tennis Center
No. 13 Duke at No. 31 Michigan
Sunday, Feb. 9 l 12 p.m.
Ann Arbor, Mich. l Varsity Tennis Center
DURHAM, N.C. – Following a convincing 5-2 victory over then-No. 19 Illinois last weekend, the Blue Devils hit the road for the first time this season, traveling to Knoxville, Tenn., and Ann Arbor, Mich., for a pair of contests against ranked teams. Duke (4-2) will face the Volunteers Friday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. before traveling to Michigan to take on the Wolverines Sunday, Feb. 9 at 12 p.m.
Last Time Out
In a battle of top-20 teams, Duke grabbed the early momentum in doubles and gutted out several three-set matches in singles to top Illinois 5-2 Jan. 31 at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center … The Blue Devils picked up their fourth consecutive victory and third-straight over a nationally-ranked opponent to conclude their season-opening homestand … Senior Fred Saba and sophomore Bruno Semenzato secured the doubles point with a 6-5 (5) upset of No. 27 Farris Gosea and Blake Bazarnik of Illinois in the No. 2 contest … In singles, sophomore Josh Levine and Semenzato contributed wins from courts five and four, respectively, before freshman TJ Pura clinched from the No. 6 position in his dual match debut.
Tennessee Series History
Duke will meet the Volunteers for the 20th time in program history with the Blue Devils holding a 12-7 advantage in the all-time series … The two teams squared off last season in Durham, with Duke earning a 4-1 victory in front of over 800 fans at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center … Sophomore Josh Levine clinched the first match of his collegiate career in the win.
Scouting the Volunteers
Fourteenth-ranked Tennessee enters the Friday evening matchup with a 7-1 ledger after suffering its first loss of the season at Oklahoma State last Friday and rebounding with a 4-0 win over Tulsa in road action … The squad returned its top four singles players from 2013 in Mikelis Libietis, Hunter Reese, Jarryd Chaplin and Brandon Fickey … Reese is 7-0 in dual match singles play this spring with wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the lineup … He leads the way in the ITA singles rankings, coming in at No. 16, followed by Libietis at No. 34 … Libietis and Reese also form the nation’s top doubles duo, while Chaplin and Fickey are listed 28th … Tennessee will join Duke at the ITA National Indoors next week, advancing with wins over Michigan State and VCU during Kick-Off Weekend.
Michigan Series History
Duke leads the all-time series against the Wolverines, 9-3 … Last year’s meeting saw the Blue Devils claim the doubles point for the ninth consecutive match en route to a 5-2 victory in Sheffield Feb. 10 ... The 39th-ranked tandem of Michael Redlicki and Jason Tahir edged No. 30 Evan King and Vlad Stefan of Michigan, 8-5, in the No. 1 doubles match … Redlicki clinched the match in singles with a straight-set victory from the No. 2 position.
Scouting the Wolverines
Ranked 26th in the latest ITA poll, Michigan will host No. 10 Texas Friday evening before facing Duke and Youngstate State Sunday in a doubleheader … The Wolverines enter the weekend at 3-2 following a 4-3 loss at NC State last weekend … The squad has won the doubles point in each of its five matches this season with the players combining for a collective 10-2 mark in doubles dual match play … Vlad Stefan leads Michigan in singles, playing at the No. 1 spot, while Alex Petrone is 3-0 in the No. 2 slot.
Blue Devils in the ITA Rankings
Duke moved up two spots to No. 13 in the team rankings after defeating then-No. 19 Illinois last Friday evening… Four individuals appear among the top-125 singles players on the list ... Sophomore Michael Redlicki leads the way, 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 No. 95 in the first poll of the spring.
Win Streaks in Singles
Sophomore Bruno Semenzato has won four-straight contests in singles heading into the weekend contests … He posted a win at the No. 2 position against NC Central before moving back to the No. 4 spot to pick up two more victories during ITA Kick-Off Weekend and top Brian Page of Illinois last Friday … Juniors Raphael Hemmeler and Jason Tahir are riding three-match win streaks as well … Sophomore Josh Levine owns a team-best mark of 18-4 and 5-1 in dual matches while playing primarily at the No. 5 position ... As a team, Duke is 22-11 so far this season in dual match singles contests.
Pura Clinches First Match of Collegiate Career
A freshman from Pacific Palisades, Calif., Pura clinched last week’s win over Illinois from the No. 6 position in singles, rebounding from a tough first set to defeat the Illini’s Ross Guignon, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 … Pura also teamed with sophomore Daniel McCall to knock off the 31st-ranked tandem of Alex Jesse and Jared Hiltzik in the No. 3 doubles match, 6-5 (6) … The Duke rookie is 12-5 overall in singles and 11-2 in doubles action so far on the year.
ITA National Team Indoors Set for Feb. 14-17
The Blue Devils will make their fourth consecutive trip to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships next weekend after defeating Oregon (4-1) and North Carolina (4-2) during ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Durham … The 16-team tournament will be hosted by Texas A&M at the Downtown Club at the Met and the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club in Houston, Texas … Duke will be joined at the tournament by Baylor, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, USC, Virginia and host Texas A&M.