CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The fifth-ranked Duke men's tennis team closed out its regular season slate in strong fashion Sunday, sweeping Boston College, 7-0, in Atlantic Coast Conference action. The Blue Devils finish the regular season with an overall record of 20-4 and a 9-2 ledger in league play to secure the No. 3 seed in the 2012 ACC Tournament, which begins Thursday, Apr. 19 in Cary, N.C.
Head coach Ramsey Smith's squad had another solid outing in doubles against the Eagles, claiming the doubles point for the 17th time this season. Sophomore Cale Hammond and senior Torsten Wietoska led Duke off the courts with an 8-3 victory over Philip Nelson and Matt Wagner in the No. 3 contest. The duo of sophomore Fred Saba and senior David Holland followed with an 8-4 win from the No. 2 position, while the 28th-ranked pair of junior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Chris Mengel edged No. 36 Akash Muppidi and Alex Skinner, 8-7 (1). Cunha and Mengel improved to 15-7 overall and 8-3 in ACC play with the win and also notched their fifth victory over a ranked doubles team this season.
The Blue Devils expanded their 1-0 lead with some quick matches in singles play. Mengel, ranked No. 26 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's latest singles poll, raced out to a 6-0, 6-1 win against Skinner on court two. The victory was Mengel's 29th of the year and also moved him to 7-4 in league play. Freshman Jason Tahir also made quick work of his opponent in the No. 5 matchup, defeating the Eagles' Klaude Puestow by a 6-3, 6-0 margin. Tahir finishes the regular season with an overall record of 22-8 in singles play, including an 8-3 mark in conference action.
Saba clinched the match for Duke with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Jonathan Raude in the No. 4 spot. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native pushed his win streak to double digits, garnering his 10th consecutive singles victory for an overall record of 28-10. Saba also etched his name into Duke's record books after totaling 10 ACC singles wins this season. He joins teammates Luke Marchese (2009-10) and Mengel (2010-11) as the only other Blue Devils in program history to accomplish the feat.
Fourth-ranked Cunha picked up his 33rd singles victory of the year, dispatching Muppidi, 6-2, 6-2, in the No. 1 contest. Cunha also improved to 19-3 from the top spot in the lineup while closing out the ACC regular season with a 9-2 ledger in league play. Meanwhile, Hammond remained unbeaten in dual match singles play at 5-0 with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Michael McGinnis of Boston College on court six.
Wietoska rounded out the 7-0 sweep for Duke, outlasting Nelson in a third set supertiebreaker, 10-3, at the No. 3 spot. Wietoska wraps up the regular season with a 6-2 record in conference action and an overall mark of 25-7.
"I'm pleased with the way we ended the regular season," Smith said. "We came out strong today and played well at all spots, doubles and singles. We have put ourselves in a good spot for the ACC Tournament and we are looking forward to it."
The Blue Devils concluded the regular season with nine wins in ACC play, doing so for the third time in as many years. The squad also wrapped up its regular season schedule with a perfect 9-0 record in road contests. Duke will receive a first-round bye as the No. 3 seed in this week's ACC Tournament, and will begin play against either No. 6 seed NC State or No. 11 seed Boston College in the tournament quarterfinals at 3 p.m. on Friday, Apr. 20 at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C.
#5 Duke 7, Boston College 0 Apr 15, 2012 at Chestnut Hill, Mass.