GREENSBORO, N.C. – Following a strong regular season that resulted in a return to the NCAA Team Championships, the Duke men's tennis team had three players earn All-ACC honors in a vote of the league's coaches, according to an announcement by the conference office Thursday. Freshman Spencer Furman was a second team selection while senior TJ Pura and sophomore Catalin Mateas were third team picks.
The Blue Devils have had three or more All-ACC selections in four of the past five years. The all-league honor is the first for each of the three.
Furman has served as Duke's No. 1 singles player for the latter part of the season, going 20-12 overall with a team-best four wins against nationally ranked foes. He went from playing in the fourth and fifth singles positions in January and February to playing eight of the last nine matches at No. 1. Of Furman's four wins against ranked opponents, three were during ACC matches and all came versus league foes. Furman collected five total ACC wins, including two from the No. 1 singles position. The Seattle, Wash., product achieved the highest ranking of his singles career on April 4, checking in at No. 72. His run up the lineup and rankings was fueled by the highest-ranked win of his career, against No. 5 Skander Mansouri of Wake Forest, coming back for a 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (6) victory on court three. He has teamed with freshman Nick Stachowiak to form Duke's top doubles team, going 19-3 overall and 9-3 on court one. The tandem, which earned its highest ranking of No. 22 on April 18, won its first 13 matches, the longest streak for a Blue Devil pair since Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler won 16 straight from March 5 – May 16, 2013. Furman and Stachowiak, who went 6-3 in ACC action, gave Duke an early 1-0 lead against Florida State with a 6-4 win against No. 71 Aziz Dougaz and Guy Iradukunda, the pair's first doubles win versus a ranked duo. Furman and Stachowiak earned the highest-ranked doubles win of their careers versus No. 19 Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar of Notre Dame with 6-2 victory.
Pura has been the Blue Devils' leader all season, finishing the ACC regular season with an 11-0 record, marking the longest ACC winning streak in a single-season in program history, and tying the Duke mark for league wins in a campaign. He will enter the NCAA Team Championships with a 30-9 overall record, setting a personal best for wins in a year. Of the Blue Devils' eight ACC victories, Pura clinched four of them – at Virginia Tech, against N.C. State, versus No. 27 Florida State and at No. 39 Louisville. The Pacific Palisades, Calif., product secured wins at No. 5 North Carolina and No. 2 Wake Forest by topping the Tar Heels' Jack Murray 6-3, 6-3 on court four and the Demon Deacons' Dennis Uspensky 6-2, 6-3 on court four. Pura and Mateas have paired in doubles, going 8-4, all on court three. The duo ripped off three straight wins, against No. 2 Wake Forest, No. 10 UCLA and N.C. State. The pair secured the doubles point at No. 10 UCLA with a 6-4 decision on court three against Maxime Cressy and Ben Goldberg and turned in two 6-0 ACC victories.
Mateas has played the most matches at No. 1 this season for Duke, going 5-5 there and 24-13 overall. The March 21 ACC Player of the Week posted an 8-3 league record with seven-straight wins to end the ACC campaign. During his seven-match winning streak, Mateas captured victories on each of the top three courts and did not drop a set during the run. The Braintree, Mass., product topped out at No. 95 in the national rankings on March 21. He tallied two wins against ranked opponents and earned the highest-ranked win of his career at No. 10 UCLA, downing No. 11 Gage Brymer 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 on court one. Against No. 27 Florida State, Mateas pushed Duke's lead to 3-0 with a quick 6-1, 6-1 win against Lucas Poullain on court three as the Blue Devils tallied their first ranked win of the year. Mateas clinched Duke's 5-2 victory at Clemson with a 6-3, 7-5 triumph against Sam Edwards on court three and against Miami during the regular season with a 6-4, 6-2 win against Christian Langmo on court two.
The top individual winners in the league this year were Georgia Tech's Christopher Eubanks, who was the ACC's Player of the Year while Freshman of the Year accolades went to William Blumberg of North Carolina. Georgia Tech's Kenny Thorne was named the ACC Coach of the Year.
Duke will return to action at 11 a.m. Friday, May 12, against South Florida in Athens, Ga., in the opening round of the NCAA Team Championships.
Individual Award Winners
Player of the Year – Christopher Eubanks, Georgia Tech
Freshman of the Year – William Blumberg, North Carolina
Coach of the Year – Kenny Thorne, Georgia Tech
All-ACC First Team
Aziz Dougaz, So., Florida State
Christopher Eubanks #, Jr., Georgia Tech
Ronnie Schneider !, Sr., North Carolina
William Blumberg, Fr., North Carolina
Josh Hagar @, Sr., Notre Dame
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski !, Sr., Virginia
Petros Chrysochos @, So., Wake Forest
Skander Mansouri @, Jr., Wake Forest
Borna Gojo, Fr., Wake Forest
All-ACC Second Team
Spencer Furman, Fr., Duke
Guy Iradukunda, Jr., Florida State
Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff, Louisville
Piotr Lomacki #, Jr., Miami
Robert Kelly @, Jr., North Carolina
Alexis Galarneau, Fr., NC State
Collin Altamirano @, Jr., Virginia
Alexander Ritschard, Sr., Virginia
Carl Soderlund , Fr., Virginia
All-ACC Third Team
Alex Favrot @, So., Clemson
TJ Pura, Sr., Duke
Catalin Mateas, So., Duke
Lucas Poullain, R-Jr., Florida State
Andrew Li, So., Georgia Tech
Parker Wynn, Fr., Louisville
Nick Horton, Sr., NC State
Henrik Wiersholm @, Jr., Virginia
Christian Seraphim, R-Jr., Wake Forest
@ - Two-time honoree
# - Three-time honoree
! – Four-time honoree