STANFORD, Calif. - The 11th-seed Duke men's tennis team has been in Palo Alto, Calif. since Monday evening getting ready for its NCAA Tournament round of 16 match with sixth-seeded Georgia. The two will play at 9 a.m. (PT) Thursday morning at the Taube Tennis Center South courts.
Round of 16 at Stanford
Duke has advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season. It is the 13th time the Blue Devils have won at least two matches in the tournament and won a regional. Duke has only played at Stanford one other time in its NCAA Tournament history, falling in the round of 16 to host Stanford in 2006. This will mark the third time Duke and George have squared off in postseason play with the Bulldogs winning 5-4 in the second round in 1993 and 4-3 in the quarterfinals in 2001.
Blue Devils Roll in NCAA Regional
The 11th seeded Blue Devils had no trouble in the first two matches of the NCAA Tournament, winning 4-0 in both outings at home last weekend in the Durham Regional. Duke started with a 4-0 victory over George Washington in the first round and then after winning a tiebreaker to take the doubles point finished off Maryland 4-0 as well. The top three singles players (Henrique Cunha at No. 1, Reid Carleton at No. 2 and Chris Mengel at No. 3) earned victories in both matches for the Blue Devils.
All-Time NCAA Tournament Results
Duke owns an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 38-20 in 21 appearances. The Blue Devils have been to the tournament in 20 straight seasons, winning at least one match every year. Duke has advanced as far as the quarterfinals, reaching the round of eight in 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2001.
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How They Have Fared
The 10 current Blue Devils have combined for a 16-5 singles record and 21-9 doubles record in NCAA Tournament dual match play. Reid Carleton has the most experience with a 5-1 mark in singles and 6-1 doubles record in his four years. Henrique Cunha has gone undefeated in Duke's NCAA Tournament runs these past two seasons with a 4-0 record in both singles and doubles. Torsten Wietoska has posted a 6-1 doubles record the last three years.
Duke vs. the Field
The Blue Devils have recorded a 14-8 record this season against teams in the field of 64 for the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Against the other 15 schools remaining, Duke is 3-6 this season. They have wins over Florida, Georgia Tech and Southern California while losing to California, Illinois, Virginia (2) and Tennessee (2).
The Duke coaching staff has ties to Stanford. Volunteer assistant coach K.J. Hippensteel was a four-time All-American on the Stanford tennis team, helping the Cardinal to the 2000 NCAA National Championship. He also won the 1999 doubles National Championship and earned titles at the ITA All-American Championships in 1999 and 2002. Assistant coach Jonathan Stokke was a senior on the last Duke squad to play in Palo Alto. The team fell to Stanford, 4-0, in 2006 but Stokke and Joey Atas would go on to upset the No. 1 seed in the doubles championships and advance to the quarterfinals to earn All-American honors.
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NCAA Individual Selections
Two Duke players have been selected to compete in the NCAA Singles & Doubles Championships. Senior Reid Carleton and sophomore Henrique Cunha each were awarded seeds for the singles draw and will also team up in doubles. For singles Cunha has been awarded the No. 8 seed and is making his second straight appearance in championships. He advanced to the semifinals last season. Carleton received a 9-16 seed and will also be making his second trip after competing in singles as a sophomore. The two players are a 5-8 seed in doubles and are coming off a trip to the quarterfinals last year.
Duke has notched 20 wins for the second straight season and 20th time in school history. The 22 wins this year are the most since 2006 when the Blue Devils went 22-7 and reached the round of 16. The last time Duke had more than 22 wins was in 2001 when they reached the quarterfinals and finished 24-4.
Carleton is one of only three players in school history to record at least 100 victories in both singles and doubles. During the ACC Tournament he became the 10th player in school history to reach 100 career singles victories. He currently ranks ninth with 102 wins in his four seasons and is one win away from tying Peter Ayers and Peter Rodrigues for seventh. Carleton has 115 career doubles wins, which is second most all-time. Carleton is now six wins shy of the school record of 121 held by Doug Root.
Doubles Pair Sets Career Record
The top doubles team for the Blue Devils, Carleton and Cunha, have broken the school record for most career doubles victories by one duo. The two players passed the previous record of 75 wins set by Peter Ayers and Rob Chess. Carleton and Cunha have compiled a 77-11 (.875) overall record in just two seasons.
Single Season Records
There are several Duke players who have climbed into Duke's single season top 10 lists. Carleton and Cunha are each ranked for singles victories with Carleton tied for fourth with 35 and Cunha tied for seventh with 34. In doubles Carletond is now third on the chart with 39 victories while Cunha's 37 wins rank tied for fourth. The duo has teamed up for a 36-5 record to rank second on the doubles teams wins list. Chris Mengel is on freshman lists for singles and doubles. His 32 singles wins rank tied for fifth. He is also 10th for single season doubles wins by a freshman with 21.
Reaching 30 Wins
For just the third time in school history, three different Duke players have won at least 30 singles matches. The only other two seasons it happened were 1993 and 2001. Carleton leads the way with a career-high 35 wins and has won 20 or more matches in all four seasons. Cunha is right behind with 34 and Mengel has 32. In doubles, Carleton and Cunha have tallied 36 victories, going over 30 for the second straight season. They join Doug Root and Jordan Wile as the only four Duke players to record 30 or more doubles wins in two or more seasons.
Mengel One of Top Freshmen
Mengel has put together a very impressive first year as a Blue Devil. The Pittsburgh, Pa. native has a 32-11 singles record, including a 10-1 mark in ACC play. He is one of only nine players at Duke to win 30 or more singles contests as a freshman. He also set the school's freshman record with 10 ACC wins, breaking the previous mark of nine held by Luke Marchese. The 10 wins also tied the school record. In doubles he has tallied 21 wins, becoming one of 11 Duke freshmen with 20 or more doubles victories.
Winning the Doubles Point
Duke is 19-2 this season when winning the doubles point and just 3-7 when losing the first point of the match. The only two losses came against Illinois and Michigan after leading 1-0. The Blue Devils have received consistent play at the No. 1 spot, winning 26 of the 29 matches at that spot. The Blue Devils have only earned the doubles point one time in five matches when not earning a win at the top spot. Duke tried a new duo at the No. 3 spot for the NCAA Regional with success as Fred Saba and Torsten Wietoska recorded two straight wins.
Duke in the Rankings
Duke is currently ranked No. 12 as a team. The Blue Devils have two ranked singles players, No. 8 Henrique Cunha and No. 13 Reid Carleton. The two players are also ranked in doubles, coming in at No. 7 in the nation.