CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Duke men’s tennis team fell on the road, 4-1, to No. 6 North Carolina on Thursday afternoon at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
The match was the first ACC contest of the season for both teams, as UNC improved to 8-2 (1-0) while Duke dropped to 5-6 (0-1).
In doubles play, seniors Catalin Mateas and Vincent Lin squared off against the Tar Heel duo of Mac Kiger and Simon Soendergaard on court two. After a 3-3 tie, UNC gained a 6-5 advantage and ultimately won the next game, clinching a 7-5 victory. On court one, Carolina’s duo of Blaine Boyden and William Blumberg opened up court one with a 4-1 lead. Junior Nick Stachowiak and senior Jason Lapidus fought back, getting within one game of UNC (5-4), however, the Tar Heels prevailed and won, 6-4, and clinched the doubles point. Junior Spencer Furman and sophomore Robert Levine were leading 5-4 over Josh Peck and Brian Cernoch on court three before doubles action was called.
In singles, Duke took two of the six first sets from the Tar Heels, with Furman earning a 6-3 set one victory on court three over No. 48 Peck and No. 37 Stachowiak recording a 6-4 set one victory over No. 68 Blumberg on court one. UNC gained its second point of the match on court six as Soendergaard defeated Lapidus 6-1, 6-2. Shortly after, the Tar Heels earned their third point on court four as Boyden prevailed over Lin 6-4, 6-2.
Furman maintained momentum from his first set victory and defeated No. 48 Peck 6-3, 6-3 for his third straight victory on the season and second at the number three position. The Tar Heels clinched the match on court two as No. 100 Cernoch defeated Mateas 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. Stachowiak was tied at 5-5 in the second set while Levine, who dropped his first set 6-1 and won his second 6-2, was winning 5-1 on court four before the match was called.
“First off congrats to UNC as they played a tough match,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “I thought we had a tough start in doubles at one but we were playing well at two and three. We had some break point chances on both two and three and it came down to a couple of points there, but we certainly had our chances and were close. I thought we played a lot better at singles than we did last time we played them. We just have to keep our heads up with a tough stretch with Wake Forest on Sunday. We competed really hard and came up just short.”
The Blue Devils next host No. 2 Wake Forest Sunday at 1 p.m. at Ambler Tennis Stadium.