ATHENS, Ga. - The eighth-seeded Duke men's tennis team begins third round action at the 2012 NCAA Div. I Men's Tennis Championship Friday, May 18 at 9 a.m. when it faces No. 25 Baylor at the McWhorter Courts at the University of Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Blue Devils (24-5) reached the Round of 16 for the third consecutive season after advancing out of regional play in Durham, N.C. last weekend with a pair of victories over George Washington (4-0) and No. 23 LSU (4-1).
Baylor (19-11) advanced to the Round of 16 with a 4-2 victory over Memphis in the first round of the tournament and a 4-3 upset of ninth-seeded Mississippi State in the second round.
Duke and Baylor will meet for the eighth time in program history and the first time since 2007. The Bears lead the all-time series between the two schools, 4-3.
2012 NCAA Championship
The 2012 NCAA Div. I Men's Tennis Championship will be held May 18-22 at the University of Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. The 2012 NCAA Div. I Men's Tennis Singles and Doubles Championships are slated for May 23-28 in Athens.
Duke in the NCAA Championship
Duke owns an all-time record of40-21 in 22 NCAA Championship appearances. The Blue Devils have earned a spot in the tournament for 21 consecutive seasons, winning at least one match each year. As a team, Duke has advanced as far as the quarterfinals, reaching the round of eight in 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2001.
Blue Devils Win Durham Regional
Duke received the No. 8 seed in the tournament, its highest seeding since earning the No. 4 seed in 2006, and hosted George Washington, LSU and Northwestern in first and second round action May 12-13 at Ambler Tennis Stadium. The squad blanked George Washington, 4-0, in the first round and topped LSU by a score of 4-1 in the second round to advance to the Round of 16 for the third consecutive season.
Duke vs. the Field
The Blue Devils notched a 15-5 regular-season record against teams in the field of 64 for the 2012 NCAA Championship. Duke went 5-5 against the remaining 16 teams in the tournament with wins over No. 4 seed UCLA, No. 12 Florida, No. 14 California, No. 15 North Carolina and No. 16 Illinois.
Squad Reaches 24 Wins Mark
With an overall record of 24-5, Duke has notched its third consecutive season with 20 or more victories and second-straight with at least 22 wins. The last time a Blue Devil squad recorded 24 wins was in 2001 when the team finished 24-4 and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship.
Blue Devils in the Polls
Duke is currently ranked eighth in the nation as a team. The squad's lineup features three players ranked nationally in singles - No. 5 Henrique Cunha, No. 38 Chris Mengel and No. 113 Torsten Wietoska. Cunha and Mengel also comprise the 16th-ranked doubles tandem in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's latest poll.
Duke Players in the NCAA Tournament
Duke's lineup has combined for a 16-5 singles record and a 23-8 mark in doubles in NCAA Team Championship play. Wietoska has posted a record of 8-2 in doubles action over the past four years, while Cunha is 6-1 and Mengel 3-1 in NCAA Championship singles contests.
ITA Regional Awards
The recipients of the 2012 ITA Carolina Region awards were announced on May 14, with head coach Ramsey Smith taking home ITA Carolina Region Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his coaching career. 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).
Cunha and Mengel were among the 18 players selected to the 2012 All-ACC Men's Tennis Team. Cunha was honored for the third consecutive season while Mengel received the first All-ACC accolades of his career. Duke has had two or more All-ACC selections in 23 of the past 25 seasons.
Cunha Joins 100-Win Club
This season, Cunha became the fourth player in program history to join the 100-win club in both singles and doubles. The junior currently ranks third on Duke's all-time charts with 113 singles victories and fifth with 106 doubles wins.
Dominance in Doubles
Duke has won the doubles point in 21 of 29 matches on the season and is 20-1 when claiming the point. The 16th-ranked duo of Cunha and Mengel owns an overall record of 17-8 with five wins over ranked doubles teams. Senior David Holland and sophomore Fred Saba are 7-3 as a duo, while Wietoska and freshman Raphael Hemmeler have teamed up for two wins in NCAA Championship action and an overall ledger of 14-5.
ACC Tournament Run
The Blue Devils reached the finals of the ACC Tournament for the third consecutive season, falling to top-seeded Virginia by a 4-1 margin. The finals appearance was the 16th for the program in the past 22 years. Duke defeated No. 38 NC State in the quarterfinals and avenged a loss earlier in the season to No. 18 North Carolina in the semifinals, both by 4-0 scores, to advance to the championship match.
Team Wins Nine ACC Matches
The Blue Devils notched nine ACC wins during the regular season for just the fourth time in program history. That total matches the school record set by the 2006, 2010 and 2011 squads.
NCAA Individual Selections
Two Blue Devils have been selected to compete in the NCAA Div. I Men's Tennis Singles and Doubles Championships, slated for May 23-28 in Athens, Ga. Cunha and Mengel both received at-large bids to the 64-player singles field, with Cunha earning the No. 5 overall seed in his third consecutive appearance in the championships. Cunha and Mengel also garnered an at-large bid to the tournament as a doubles tandem.