DURHAM, N.C. - The 10th-ranked Duke men's tennis team earned two dual match victories Sunday in a doubleheader at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. The Blue Devils defeated No. 30 Notre Dame, 6-1, before sweeping NC Central, 7-0, to improve to 6-0 on the season.
No. 10 Duke 6, No. 30 Notre Dame 1
The Blue Devils captured the doubles point for the fourth consecutive match on their way to a 6-1 victory over Notre Dame in the first match of Sunday's doubleheader. The win gave Duke a 19-8 advantage in the series between the two schools, including a 12-4 edge in matches played in Durham.
The tandem of junior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Fred Saba improved to 3-0 on the spring from the No. 1 doubles position, taking an 8-5 match against Notre Dame's Casey Watt and Niall Fitzgerald. Senior Torsten Wietoska and freshman Raphael Hemmeler followed with an 8-6 victory over Sam Keeton and Billy Pecor on court three to clinch the doubles point for the Blue Devils. The win moved Wietoska and Hemmeler to 4-1 overall in dual match play and 4-0 from the No. 3 spot.
In the No. 2 doubles match, senior David Holland and sophomore Chris Mengel fell behind Notre Dame's Greg Andrews and Spencer Talmadge, 5-0. The Duke duo rallied to bring the score to 7-5 in the set, but was unable to complete the comeback, suffering an 8-5 setback.
The Irish evened up the score at 1-1 in singles, as 74th-ranked Keeton of Notre Dame defeated No. 110 Saba, 6-4, 6-3, in the No. 4 spot. However, the Blue Devils quickly regained the lead as Cunha surrendered just three games in a 6-1, 6-2 win over Watt on court one.
Wietoska posted a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Pecor in the No. 4 singles matchup for his third singles win of the spring. No. 120 Hemmeler followed soon after, downing Blas Moros, 6-2, 6-2 from the No. 5 position to clinch the match for Duke.
Seventeenth-ranked Mengel edged Notre Dame's Greg Andrews by a 6-4, 6-4 margin on court two, and freshman Jason Tahir turned in an impressive performance at the No. 6 slot to close out the 6-1 victory for the Blue Devils. Tahir dropped the first set to Fitzgerald, 1-6, but rebounded for a 7-6 (2) win in the second set and rolled to a 10-3 victory in the third set tiebreak.
Tennis Match Results Notre Dame vs Duke Feb 5, 2012 at Durham, N.C. (Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center)
Match Notes Notre Dame 5-3; National ranking #30 Duke 5-0; National ranking #10 Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,1,3,5,2,6)
No. 10 Duke 7, NC Central 0
In the second match of the doubleheader, the Blue Devils put away NC Central in a 7-0 sweep, winning both doubles matches and all five singles contests in straight sets.
Duke posted a pair of 8-2 victories on courts one and two to capture the doubles point. Holland and Mengel improved to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in dual match play with their win from the No. 1 position, while Tahir and sophomore Cale Hammond teamed up at the No. 2 spot for their first win of the spring and second overall.
In singles, Hammond swept the Eagles' Jamal Hoyte, 6-0, 6-0, at the No. 5 spot to lead the Blue Devils off the courts. No. 110 Saba followed suit with a 6-1, 6-1 win against Tamina Kienka on court two to improve to 5-1 in dual match play. Saba's victory also clinched the match for Duke as the Eagles forfeited the No. 6 singles contest.
Senior Luke Marchese picked up his first dual match singles victory of the year, defeating NC Central's Alejandro Espitia 6-2, 6-1 from the No. 4 position. Tahir notched his second singles win of the day in a 6-1, 6-1 decision against Jose Fabara, while Wietoska also finished the day 2-0 in singles to close out the 7-0 sweep for the Blue Devils. After falling behind the Eagles' Jack Waissen, 2-0, in the first set of the No. 1 contest, Wietoska took the next six games and cruised in the second set for a 6-2, 6-2 win, moving to 15-4 overall and 4-1 this spring.
"It was a big weekend for us to put us in a good position," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "We have a bunch of solid wins ... It should give us a lot of confidence moving forward."
With the two wins in Sunday's doubleheader, in addition to a thrilling 7-0 victory over No. 19 Illinois on Friday evening, Duke remains unbeaten at 6-0 this spring. The Blue Devils return to action on Saturday, Feb. 11 when they travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to face No. 18 Tennessee.
Tennis Match Results NC Central vs Duke Feb 05, 2012 at Durham, N.C. (Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center)