DURHAM, N.C. – Thirteenth-ranked Duke claimed wins on all three courts in doubles and kept the momentum rolling in singles for a 5-2 victory over No. 49 Virginia Tech Friday at Ambler Tennis Stadium. The Blue Devils improved to 10-4 overall and 2-0 in ACC play heading into a meeting with seventh-ranked Virginia Sunday at 3 p.m.
Duke swept all three doubles contests to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the match. On court one, senior Fred Saba and junior Raphael Hemmeler improved to 8-2 on the year with an 8-2 victory over the Hokies’ Andreas Bjerrehus and Florian Nicoud.
The 28th-ranked tandem of sophomore Michael Redlicki and junior Jason Tahir pulled out a grueling tiebreaker on court two, topping Amerigo Contini and Joao Monteiro by an 8-7 (10) score. The win secured the doubles point for the Blue Devils and moved Redlicki and Tahir’s ledger to 8-3 overall. In another tiebreaker on court three, sophomores Bruno Semenzato and Daniel McCall outlasted Virginia Tech’s duo of Jai Corbett and Hunter Koontz, 8-7 (4).
The Hokies evened up the match score with a win at the No. 3 slot, as 58th-ranked Saba surrendered a 7-5, 6-4 decision to Bjerrehus. However, Hemmeler responded from the No. 5 position, defeating Aaron Gomez of Virginia Tech, 6-0, 6-3. Winner of five consecutive contests in singles, Hemmeler is now 12-6 overall and 2-0 in ACC play.
Tahir, the 40th-ranked player in the ITA singles poll, extended Duke’s advantage in the match to 3-1, recording a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Koontz in the No. 2 contest. The Rochester, N.Y., native had momentum early, taking a 4-0 lead in the first set en route to collecting his 10th dual match win of the season.
Sophomore Josh Levine clinched the match from the No. 6 position, dispatching the Hokies’ Nicoud in a decisive third set, 6-3. The clinch was Levine’s second of the season and gave him a team-best 24-5 mark in singles action.
Redlicki, the 30th-ranked player in the country, dropped a three-set decision to No. 24 Contini in the No. 1 matchup before 92nd-ranked Semenzato closed out the contest with a 6-4, 7-6 (7) victory over Monteiro on court four. With the win, Semenzato improved his ledger to 22-7 overall and 8-2 at the No. 4 spot in the lineup.
Up next, the Blue Devils will test their 2-0 ACC record against the seventh-ranked Cavaliers Sunday at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN3 in conjunction with the United States Tennis Association’s College MatchDay series. The College MatchDay fan experience trailer will be on site in the Card Gym Lot off Towerview Drive beginning at 10 a.m. Fans are also encouraged to support the Duke women’s tennis team in a contest against Florida State at 11 a.m. before watching the Blue Devil men take on Virginia at 3 p.m.
#13 Duke 5, #49 Virginia Tech 2
Mar 21, 2014 at Durham, N.C. (Ambler Tennis Stadium)
1. Fred Saba/Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Andreas Bjerrehus/Florian Nicoud (VT) 8-2
2. #28 Michael Redlicki/Jason Tahir (DU) def. Amerigo Contini/Joao Monteiro (VT) 8-7 (12-10)
3. Bruno Semenzato/Daniel McCall (DU) def. Jai Corbett/Hunter Koontz (VT) 8-7 (7-4)
1. #24 Amerigo Contini (VT) def. #30 Michael Redlicki (DU) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
2. #40 Jason Tahir (DU) def. Hunter Koontz (VT) 6-1, 6-3
3. Andreas Bjerrehus (VT) def. #58 Fred Saba (DU) 7-5, 6-4
4. #92 Bruno Semenzato (DU) def. Joao Monteiro (VT) 6-4, 7-6 (9-7)
5. Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Aaron Gomez (VT) 6-0, 6-3
6. Josh Levine (DU) def. Florian Nicoud (VT) 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
Virginia Tech 8-6, 1-2 ACC; National ranking #49
Duke 10-4, 2-0 ACC; National ranking #13
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (3,5,2,6,1,4)