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Men's Tennis mm
 
Henrique Cunha
Courtesy: Duke Photography
Henrique Cunha
Duke Set to Close Regular Season on the Road
Thursday 04/12/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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DURHAM, N.C. - Following a tough 4-3 loss to No. 18 North Carolina Wednesday in its regular season home finale, the fifth-ranked Duke men's tennis team will close out its Atlantic Coast Conference slate on the road this weekend. The Blue Devils travel to No. 70 Maryland Friday, Apr. 13 at 3 p.m. before facing Boston College on Sunday, Apr. 15 at 12 p.m.

Duke (18-4, 7-2 ACC) had its five-match win streak halted Wednesday, falling to the Tar Heels in a 4-3 decision that took nearly five hours to complete. For the third consecutive season, the regular season meeting between the two rivals came down to a third set with the match tied at 3-all. Sophomore Chris Mengel, ranked No. 26 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's singles poll, took the first set of his No. 2 singles match against No. 103 Brennan Boyajian of North Carolina. However, Boyajian won a second set tiebreaker and outlasted an ailing Mengel, who battled cramping late in the match, to claim the third set and send the Tar Heels to a tightly-contested 4-3 victory.

Senior Torsten Wietoska, sophomore Fred Saba and freshman Raphael Hemmeler contributed singles wins for the Blue Devils on courts three, four and five, respectively. Junior Henrique Cunha, ranked fourth in the nation, dropped a hard-fought 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 match to No. 33 Jose Hernandez of North Carolina on court one for just his third loss of the season at the No. 1 position.  

In doubles, senior David Holland and Saba posted an 8-3 victory over the Tar Heels' Esben Hess-Olesen and Oystein Steiro. However, North Carolina took the matches on courts one and two to claim the point, with the 30th-ranked duo of Hernandez and Joey Burkhardt defeating No. 28 Cunha and Mengel, 8-1, at the No. 1 spot.

Maryland (6-13, 3-6 ACC) is coming off of a 4-3 win over NC State Saturday in Raleigh. The Terps are 5-4 this season when playing at home, and have battled to 4-3 decisions (two wins and three losses) in their last five outings. Maros Horny leads the squad with a 5-9 ledger at the No. 1 singles position, while Horny and John Collins comprise the 33rd-ranked doubles pair in the nation.

Duke has won 26 consecutive meetings with Maryland, and leads the overall series by a 47-19 margin. Last year, the Blue Devils claimed a 6-1 victory in the regular season matchup in Durham and edged Maryland, 4-0, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the round of 16.

Boston College (5-13, 1-9 ACC) suffered a pair of ACC losses on the road last weekend, falling to NC State (7-0) and Wake Forest (4-2). The Eagles' lone win in conference play this season was a 5-2 victory against Miami on March 30. Akash Muppidi and Alex Skinner, ranked No. 36 in the ITA doubles rankings, are 8-7 this spring at the No. 1 position. Muppidi also owns a mark of 7-9 in No. 1 singles play.

The Blue Devils blanked Boston College, 7-0, in last year's meeting in Durham. Duke owns an 8-0 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools.

Following this weekend's road swing, the Blue Devils will make the short trip to Cary, N.C. for the 2012 ACC Men's Tennis Championship, which will be held Apr. 19-22 at the Cary Tennis Park.

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