DURHAM, N.C. – The fourth-ranked Duke men’s tennis team will continue its season Tuesday, March 5 at 2 p.m., as it hosts Virginia Commonwealth University in the first scheduled outdoor dual match of the season at Ambler Tennis Stadium.
“We are just excited to get back on the courts,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “It has been a nice two week break. We were able to get healthy and work on some things. VCU has been playing some very good tennis, and we are looking forward to a tough match tomorrow.”
The Blue Devils last played in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle, Wash., when they defeated then-fifth-ranked Pepperdine, 4-1. Freshman Michael Redlicki helped clinch the doubles point for Duke, as the rookie teamed with sophomore Jason Tahir to take the narrow 8-7 (4) decision over Pepperdine’s Sebastian Fanselow and Alex Sarkissian. Redlicki then went on to seal the team’s 11th win of the season, rallying from behind to defeat Sarkissian, 1-6, 7-6, 6-4.
In the latest ITA rankings, Duke garnered its highest ranking of the season at No. 4, while the pair of Redlicki and Tahir was listed at the ninth position marking the duo’s best ranking of the season. The Blue Devils are one of just two teams in the country with two doubles tandems in the top-10, as senior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler are ranked fourth in the latest poll.
VCU comes into Tuesday’s match ranked 28th in the latest ITA rankings and own an 11-3 ledger for the season after defeating Illinois State, 6-1, Saturday in Richmond, Va. The team is led in the rankings by senior Max Wennakoski who is listed at 15th, while junior Alexis Huegas is ranked at No. 99. The Rams boast two ranked doubles pairs, as Jamie Vazquez Catoira and Alejandro Argente are listed at No. 38, while the duo of Heugas and Dylan McCloskey come in at No. 39. Tuesday will mark the 36th all-time meeting between the programs, with Duke holding a 32-3 all-time lead in the series and are a perfect 20-0 against the Rams at home.