MALIBU, Calif. - Duke wrapped up its road to trip to the West coast with a 4-3 loss to No. 14 California on Saturday at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu, Calif.
It was the fourth straight loss to a top 25 team for the Blue Devils as they drop to 9-6 on the year. All four of those matches have been close with the last three ending in scores of 4-3. California improved to 7-3 on the season.
The Blue Devils have lost the doubles point in each of those 4-3 contests and split the six singles points. Saturday's match came down to a tiebreaker at the No. 2 position with California's No. 26 Nick Andrews and Christoffer Konigsfeldt pulling out a 9-7 win over David Holland and Chris Mengel.
After losing the doubles point, Duke came back to take the lead in the match at 2-1 with wins at the No. 1 and 3 spots. The first to finish was Mengel at the third spot. He claimed his fourth career win over a ranked opponent, defeating No. 93 Christoffer Konigsfeldt in straight sets 6-4, 6-0. No. 11 Henrique Cunha then downed No. 34 Pedro Zerbini in a rematch of the first round of last year's NCAA Singles Championships. Cunha repeated last year's win, taking the match 6-4, 6-3 to improve to 22-5 in singles.
California would rattle off three straight wins in two sets to take the match. Andrews edged Duke's Jared Pinsky in a first set tiebreaker 7-6 (2) and then was able to close out the match with a 6-4 victory in the second set to clinch the team win for the Bears.
Senior Reid Carleton, the No. 7 player in the nation, won his match by retirement at the No. 2 spot as No. 68 Carlos Cueto could not continue in the second set. Carleton improves to 23-6 in singles with 15 ranked wins.
Duke will start ACC play on Friday with the first of four consecutive home matches. The Blue Devils' conference opener will take place at 3 p.m. in Ambler Tennis Stadium against Wake Forest.
Tennis Match Results
Duke vs California
Mar. 12, 2011 at Malibu, Calif.
#14 California 4, #4 Duke 3
1. #9 Reid Carleton/Henrique Cunha (DU) def. Tommie Murphy/Pedro Zerbini (CAL) 8-3
2. Nick Andrews/C. Konigsfeldt (CAL) def. David Holland/Chris Mengel (DU) 9-8 (9-7)
3. Ben McLachlan/Riki McLachlan (CAL) def. Jared Pinsky/Torsten Wietoska (DU) 8-4
1. #11 Henrique Cunha (DU) def. #34 Pedro Zerbini (CAL) 6-4, 6-3
2. #7 Reid Carleton (DU) def. #68 Carlos Cueto (CAL) 7-6 (8-6), 3-2, retired
3. Chris Mengel (DU) def. #93 C. Konigsfeldt (CAL) 6-4, 6-0
4. Nick Andrews (CAL) def. Jared Pinsky (DU) 7-6 (7-2), 6-4
5. Ben McLachlan (CAL) def. #90 Fred Saba (DU) 6-3, 6-2
6. Bozhidar Katsarov (CAL) def. Torsten Wietoska (DU) 6-4, 6-4
Duke 9-6; National ranking #4
California 7-3; National ranking #14
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,1,5,6,4,2)