HONOLULU – The Duke men’s tennis team wrapped up the competition portion of its trip to Hawai’i with eight victories against opponents from LSU. The Blue Devils and Tigers played two rounds of doubles and one round of singles with Duke winning four of six doubles matches and four of seven singles matches, including four of five completed matches.
Freshman Nick Stachowiak stormed through the Hawai’i trip, going 5-0 in doubles with freshman Spencer Furman and posting a 3-0 record in singles. Furman was just behind with the 5-0 mark in doubles and 2-1 singles ledger. Senior TJ Pura also opened the spring campaign strong in singles with a 3-0 record to go along with a 3-2 doubles mark.
"From a tennis perspective, this was a great three days," Pura said. "Not until the postseason will we be able to have three consecutive days of matches like this. Physically it's really good preparation. Some of our younger guys really learned a lot about their bodies. Just getting in that dual match mentality was huge. We're going to be in that situation come Monday and now we've felt something like it, so it won't be anything new. That's really going to set us up well for the rest of the season."
In Wednesday’s opening round of doubles, the Blue Devils went just 1-2 before storming back with a doubles sweep of the second set of three. Stachowiak and Furman took the win in the first round, downing Eric Samuelsson and Rafael Wagner 6-3. Sophomores Vincent Lin and Catalin Mateas fell 7-5 to Jordan Daigle and Justin Butsch while sophomore Jason Lapidus and freshman Robert Levine dropped a 6-4 decision to Gabor Csonka and Julian Saborio.
Duke answered in the second round, led by Mateas and Lin’s 6-3 triumph versus Samuelsson and Wagner.
"It was awesome to get to play again with Vinny like we did last year," Mateas said. "We played a ton of good matches and I think we're a great team. I think we had a lot of really good matches this week. I was very happy with that."
The other two matches went deep into the set with Furman and Stachowiak topping Daigle and Butsch 7-5. The two teams were on serve throughout and even at 5-5 until the Blue Devil pair broke and held to end the match.
Lapidus and Pura turned in the biggest rally of the week, coming back to claim a 7-6 (6) win over Csonka and Saborio. Duke trailed 3-0 and 4-1 before ripping off three straight to even the set. With the set even at 5-5, Pura and Lapidus broke to go up 6-5, but LSU broke back to send the set into the tiebreaker. With it even at 6-6, Duke won the final two points for the triumph.
In singles, Stachowiak rolled past Saborio, 6-1, 6-0. Stachowiak improved to 14-4 overall this year. He has won three straight matches and six of his last seven decisions.
Pura picked up his third singles match in as many days with a 6-1, 6-3 victory against Samuelsson. The third Blue Devil to finish was Levine, who fell 6-3, 6-0 to Wagner.
Duke resumed the winning with Mateas downing Nikola Samardzic 6-1, 6-1. Mateas improved to 11-5 this year, becoming one of four Blue Devils with double-digit wins.
"The atmosphere was great with all six guys playing next to each other," Mateas said. "It was a cool experience. I think I was playing well in singles. We were able to bounce back, even on the first day, when I had two losses in doubles and then got the singles win. I played a guy who was ranked in the top 15 in the country yesterday and had a good win today."
Furman finished his impressive Hawai’i trip with a 6-4, 6-3 victory against Moreno. Furman upped his singles mark to 6-1.
The Blue Devils also had two players retire when trailing as Alvarez halted behind Butsch 3-2 and Lin behind Csonka, 6-1, 4-6, 4-3.
Duke returns to action Monday to begin the dual match portion of the season, hosting Elon for a 3 p.m. contest at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.
January 11, 2017
UH Tennis Complex – Honolulu
Doubles – Round 1
Jordan Daigle/Justin Butsch (LSU) def. Vincent Lin/Catalin Mateas (Duke) 7-5
Spencer Furman/Nick Stachowiak (Duke) def. Eric Samuelsson/Rafael Wagner (LSU) 6-3
Gabor Csonka/Julian Saborio (LSU) def. Jason Lapidus/Robert Levine (Duke) 6-4
Doubles – Round 2
Furman/Stachowiak (Duke) def. Daigle/Butsch (LSU) 7-5
Mateas/Lin (Duke) def. Samuelsson/Wagner (LSU) 6-3
Lapidus/TJ Pura (Duke) def. Csonka/Saborio (LSU) 7-6 (8-6)
Butsch (LSU) def. #10 Nicolas Alvarez (Duke) 3-2, retired
Mateas (Duke) def. Nikola Samardzic (LSU) 6-1, 6-1
Csonka (LSU) def. Lin (Duke) 6-1, 4-6, 4-3, retired
Wagner (LSU) def. Levine (Duke) 6-3, 6-0
Furman (Duke) def. Moreno (LSU) 6-4, 6-3
Stachowiak (Duke) def. Saborio (LSU) 6-1, 6-0
Pura (Duke) def. Samuelsson (LSU) 6-1, 6-3