MALIBU, Calif. - No. 4 Duke traveled to the west coast this weekend and came away with a 4-3 loss to No. 13 Pepperdine in their first of two matches in Malibu, Calif.
The two schools split the six singles matches in half with each winning three but a tiebreaker win at the No. 2 doubles spot proved to be the deciding point for Pepperdine as No. 68 Alex Llompart/Alfredo Moreno edged David Holland/Chris Mengel.
Duke did get a doubles victory from their ninth-ranked duo of Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha. The pair took down No. 30 Finn Tearney and Hugh Clarke, 8-6, to improve to 23-3 overall and 11-1 in dual matches.
The Blue Devils trailed 2-0 before senior Jared Pinsky gave them their first point of the match. Pinsky earned a straight set 6-4, 6-4 victory over Mousheg Hovhannisyan. He leads Duke in dual match singles wins with 11 and is now 21-9 overall this season.
Pepperdine made the score 3-1 with a victory at No. 2 as No. 17 Sebastian Fanselow won the dual between top 20 opponents, defeating No. 7 Reid Carleton.
Duke cut the lead to 3-2 when freshman Chris Mengel picked up his third career win over a ranked opponent. He won a first-set tiebreaker and then cruised to a 6-1 second-set victory for his 18th win of the year.
That left the match up to the No. 1 and 6 positions with Duke needing to win both to take the match. Torsten Wietoska was close at the No. 6 position in his first singles match of the year for the Blue Devils, but came up short in a 7-5, 6-4 loss that clinched the match for Pepperdine.
At the No. 1 spot in the order, Duke's No. 11 Henrique Cunha claimed a three-set victory over No. 58 Finn Tearney, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Cunha is now 21-5 overall with 11 wins over ranked opponents.
Duke will stay in Malibu for a matchup against No. 14 California tomorrow at 2 p.m. (PT).
Tennis Match Results
Duke vs Pepperdine
Mar. 11, 2011 at Durham, N.C.
#13 Pepperdine 4, #4 Duke 3
1. #9 Reid Carleton/Henrique Cunha (DU) def. #30 Hugh Clarke/Finn Tearney (PEPP) 8-6
2. #68 Alex Llompart/Alfredo Moreno (PEPP) def. David Holland/Chris Mengel (DU) 9-8
3. Sebastian Fanselow/Jenson Turner (PEPP) def. Fred Saba/Torsten Wietoska (DU) 8-3
1. #11 Henrique Cunha (DU) def. #58 Finn Tearney (PEPP) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
2. #17 Sebastian Fanselow (PEPP) def. #7 Reid Carleton (DU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Chris Mengel (DU) def. #48 Alex Llompart (PEPP) 7-6, 6-1
4. Alfredo Moreno (PEPP) def. #90 Fred Saba (DU) 6-4, 6-4
5. Jared Pinsky (DU) def. Mousheg Hovhannisyan (PEPP) 6-4, 6-4
6. David Sofaer (PEPP) def. Torsten Wietoska (DU) 7-5, 6-4
Duke 9-5; National ranking #4
Pepperdine 11-2; National ranking #13
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,5,2,3,6,1)