The No. 8 ranking is the highest for the Duke program since earning a final ranking of No. 6 at the end of the 2006 season.
The Blue Devils concluded the 2011-12 campaign with an overall record of 25-6, including a mark of 9-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. The squad finished tied for second in the ACC regular season standings and advanced to the championship match of the 2012 ACC Tournament, falling to Virginia by a 4-1 score. Junior Henrique Cunha garnered All-ACC honors for the third-straight year, while sophomore Chris Mengel was selected to the All-ACC team for the first time in his career.
Duke made its 21st consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship and received the No. 8 seed in the tournament for the program's highest seeding since the 2006 season. Head coach Ramsey Smith's squad was selected to host an NCAA Regional for the third consecutive year, and defeated George Washington and LSU in first and second round action to advance to the NCAA Round of 16 in Athens, Ga.
In the Round of 16, the Blue Devils notched a 4-0 victory over Baylor to set up a quarterfinal showdown with three-time reigning national champion USC. Despite a strong effort from Duke, USC prevailed, 4-1, and went on to claim its fourth consecutive national title.
Both Cunha and Mengel were selected to compete in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, with Cunha earning the No. 5 overall seed in the singles tournament. Mengel suffered a tough first-round loss to Remi Boutillier of Fresno State, while Cunha reached the singles quarterfinals before falling to third-seeded Eric Quigley of Kentucky. With his performance in singles, Cunha achieved All-America status for the third time in as many seasons and became the first player in Duke history to advance to the tournament quarterfinals on three occasions. The Jaú, Brazil native also broke his own school record with 41 singles victories this season.
In doubles, Cunha and Mengel advanced to the Round of 16 before suffering a three-set loss to fourth-seeded Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher of Stanford.
During the 2011-12 season, Duke notched a record of 22-6 against ranked opponents for the second most wins over ranked teams in school history. The squad also matched program records for the most ACC wins in a season (9) and the highest winning percentage in road matches (1.000, 9-0).
Smith was tabbed the ITA Carolina Region Coach of the Year for the second time in his four seasons at the helm of the program and senior Torsten Wietoska became the third player in school history to be named the ITA Regional Senior Player of the Year, joining Phillip King (2004) and Reid Carleton (2011).
The final ITA rankings for singles and doubles will be announced by the organization on June 6.
Final ITA Team Rankings
|4. Ohio State|
|11. Mississippi State|
|14. Ole Miss|
|16. North Carolina|
|23. Texas Tech|