DURHAM, N.C. - Senior Dylan Arnould cruised through his third set to clinch No. 20 Duke's 4-3 victory over No. 24 Georgia Tech on Saturday at Ambler Tennis Stadium.
The Blue Devils' senior had struggled of late with just a 1-5 record in ACC play, but came up big when his team needed him to, battling back after losing his first set on a tiebreaker only to force a third and deciding set with a 7-5 win in his second tiebreaker. In the third set, he got up a break early to take a 3-1 lead and went on to win 6-2 to give Duke its 13th win of the year (13-6) and sixth ACC victory (6-1).
"I was able to win my second set to keep two of us out there (Arnould and Torsten Wietoska)," said Arnould. "Torsten has been playing well and I kind of knew what was going on in his match but fortunately by the time he finished I was able to go up a break in my third set. I definitely needed the confidence going forward since I have struggled but we have had a lot of different guys stepping up all year."
No. 11 Henrique Cunha continued his impressive freshman season with a 6-2, 6-3 win over No. 4 Guillermo Gomez. Despite losing to Gomez in straight sets this fall, Cunha put Duke in front 2-1 with his 11th straight singles win. He has now defeated the No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 players in the nation this season and has five overall top 10 victories. He is 4-0 in ACC play and 26-5 overall.
Sophomore Luke Marchese remained undefeated in league play at 7-0 with his ninth straighth win overall. He earned a 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 win over Juan Spir at the No. 6 spot in the order for his 16th overall victory. Junior Reid Carleton picked up the first point for the Blue Devils, cruising to a 6-1, 6-1 win over No. 62 Kevin King at the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Carleton is now 5-2 in the ACC and 16-11 overall.
"It is great to be able to do my part and contribute," said Marchese. "I feel like I have done a good job this season and even though I am low in the lineup, the thing about tennis is each match counts the same."
Duke got off to a slow start in doubles and would end their streak of earning the doubles point in seven straight matches. Georgia Tech took the No. 2 and 3 doubles contests, but the Blue Devils' pair of Carleton and Cunha would edge King and Spir in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (4), to extend their winning streak to 14 straight. The two Duke players are now 32-4 overall and 5-0 in the ACC.
"Losing the doubles point was a little disappointing, but in the end it turned out as a good thing because we know we can win a tough match even if we lose the doubles point," said Arnould.
With the win Duke jumps ahead of Georgia Tech in the ACC standings. The Yellow Jackets suffer just their fourth loss of the year, falling to 15-4 and 6-2 in conference play.
The Blue Devils will host Clemson tomorrow at 12 noon in Ambler Tennis Stadium.
Tennis Match Results
Georgia Tech vs Duke
April 10, 2010 at Durham, N.C.
#20 Duke 4, #24 Georgia Tech 3
1. #3 Reid Carleton/Henrique Cunha (Duke) def. Kevin King/Juan Spir (GT) 9-8 (7-4)
2. Eliot Potvin/Ryan Smith (GT) def. #80 Dylan Arnould/David Holland (Duke) 8-5
3. Guillermo Gomez/Dean O'Brien (GT) def. #63 Alain Michel/Torsten Wietoska (Duke) 8-5
1. #11 Henrique Cunha (Duke) def. #4 Guillermo Gomez (GT) 6-2, 6-3
2. Reid Carleton (Duke) def. #62 Kevin King (GT) 6-1, 6-1
3. Eliot Potvin (GT) def. Torsten Wietoska (Duke) 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4)
4. #87 Dylan Arnould (Duke) def. Miguel Muguruza (GT) 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-2
5. Magin Ortiga (GT) def. David Holland (Duke) 6-3, 6-4
6. Luke Marchese (Duke) def. Juan Spir (GT) 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
Georgia Tech 15-4, 6-2 ACC; National ranking #24
Duke 13-6, 6-1 ACC; National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,1,5,6,3,4)