Colleges

MTEN: Duke tops UNC in regular season finale

Posted April 20

— In a near repeat of this season’s earlier meeting between the Tobacco Road rivals, 14th-ranked Duke rallied from a dropped doubles point to take down No. 8 North Carolina, 5-2, Sunday, Apr. 20.

The Blue Devils (18-5, 10-1 ACC) posted wins on five of the six court in singles to overcome a 2-0 deficit, concluding the regular season on an eight-match win streak. In addition, the squad set a program record with the 10 ACC victories this spring and senior Fred Saba became the all-time ACC singles wins leader at Duke in his final regular season contest at Ambler Tennis Stadium.

“This was really fun,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “It’s Duke-UNC. We’ve had so many great matches in the past. They’re an amazing team – they’re really good and they’re playing really good tennis. We knew we still had a shot after losing the doubles point, so the big thing was refocusing and making sure everyone believed … I couldn’t be prouder of the team. You could just see us grab the momentum, and it was contagious, spreading from court to court.”

Momentum swung back and forth several times in doubles, with the Tar Heels taking the point after over an hour of play. Court two was the first to finish, where North Carolina’s Oystein Steiro and Nelson Vick defeated junior Jason Tahir and sophomore Josh Levine of Duke, 8-4. The loss snapped a six-match win streak for Tahir and Levine, who dropped to 6-1 on the spring.

The duo of redshirt junior Cale Hammond and sophomore Bruno Semenzato fell behind early against Jack Murrary and Ronnie Schneider in the No. 3 contest, but broke back to even the score at 2-2. Hammond and Hammond had another opportunity late in the set, pulling within one game at 5-6 and 6-7. However the Tar Heels held off five break points to take the match and secure a 1-0 advantage for North Carolina heading into singles.

In a bright spot for the Blue Devils, the 69th-ranked team of Saba and junior Raphael Hemmeler knocked off No. 32 Brayden Schnur and Brett Clark in a tiebreak on court one, 7-3. The win was the Duke tandem’s third this season over a ranked opponent and moved their record to 13-5 overall and 7-3 in conference play.

Despite a win for North Carolina at No. 3 singles, where Hemmeler suffered a 6-1, 6-4 setback to 63rd-ranked Clark, the Blue Devils were quickly able to tie up the match score. Saba, the 46th-ranked player in the ITA national singles poll, turned in a solid performance in his final regular season contest at Ambler. The senior upended No. 30 Schneider in the No. 2 contest, 7-5, 6-3, to earn Duke’s first point. With the victory, Saba moved into first on the program’s all-time list for career ACC singles wins with 35 for his career and improved to 20-6 on the season.

“It’s special being Senior Day, but I just had to key in and focus on what helps me play well,” Saba said. “This says a lot about the team and how resilient we are. Everyone played their role and competed as well as they could. That’s a top-10 team that we took five singles matches from, so that to me was just incredible. It can’t get any better than this.”

Semenzato, the 86th-ranked player in the nation, followed Saba off the courts just minutes later with a 6-4, 6-3 decision over Steiro at the No. 4 spot. The Sao Paulo, Brazil native earned a key break at 3-2 in the first set and won the final three games of the second set to collect his 29th singles victory of the year and ninth in ACC action. Freshman TJ Pura then gave Duke a 3-2 advantage in the contest, winning in straight sets over Vick on court six. The rookie posted 6-3, 6-3 scores to extend his dual match singles win streak to 13 contests.

The match came down to a pair of three-set decisions on courts one and five. Tahir, the 36th-ranked player in the ITA poll, took the first set from No. 10 Schnur on one, but the Tar Heel freshman rebounded to edge Tahir in the second set. Meanwhile on court five, Levine responded from a 7-5 first-set loss to Murray to roll in the second set, 6-0.

Both Blue Devil players found themselves down a break in their respective third sets, but Levine fought off match point in two different games and Tahir broke serve twice at 2-1 and 4-3. A junior from Rochester, N.Y., Tahir fended off Schnur in the final game to clinch the victory for Duke. Levine added a 7-4 third-set tiebreak win over Murray to give the Blue Devils five singles points.

“I got a little lucky with a shot and broke, and from there I felt like I was just going to be the toughest guy on the court,” Tahir said. “I just had to get it done for the team. Fred’s won so many matches for us and he’s been one of our best points since I’ve been here. He won really quickly today and has just helped us out a ton.”

With Sunday’s win, Duke secures a second-place finish in the regular season ACC standings. The team will now await the selections for the 2014 ACC Championship, which is slated for Apr. 24-27 in Cary, N.C.

#14 Duke 5, #8 North Carolina 2
Apr 20, 2014 at Durham, N.C. (Ambler Tennis Stadium)

Doubles competition
1. #69 Fred Saba/Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. #32 Brayden Schnur/Brett Clark (UNC) 8-7 (7-3)
2. Oystein Steiro/Nelson Vick (UNC) def. Jason Tahir/Josh Levine (DU) 8-4
3. Jack Murray/Ronnie Schneider (UNC) def. Bruno Semenzato/Cale Hammond (DU) 8-6

Singles competition
1. #36 Jason Tahir (DU) def. #10 Brayden Schnur (UNC) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
2. #46 Fred Saba (DU) def. #30 Ronnie Schneider (UNC) 7-5, 6-3
3. #63 Brett Clark (UNC) def. Raphael Hemmeler (DU) 6-1, 6-4
4. #86 Bruno Semenzato (DU) def. Oystein Steiro (UNC) 6-4, 6-3
5. Josh Levine (DU) def. Jack Murray (UNC) 5-7, 6-0, 7-6 (7-4)
6. TJ Pura (DU) def. Nelson Vick (UNC) 6-3, 6-3

Match Notes:
North Carolina 22-4 (9-2 ACC); National ranking #8
Duke 18-5 (10-1 ACC); National ranking #14
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,2,4,6,1,5)
T-3:45 A-578

Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Newest First
View all
  • NFL: Chicago at Detroit

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Friday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: NC State vs. Richmond

    Tonight at 7:00 on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Florida

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Half
DUKE 50
FUR 22
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
BRK
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
WAS
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LAC
7:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYK
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MIL
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAC
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
IND
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
2nd
UWMIL 64
ORU 67
 
2nd
WCU 53
CHIST 46
 
Half
DUKE 50
FUR 22
 
Half
BYU 35
PURD 40
 
6:00pm Tonight
EVAN
USF
7:00pm Tonight
COL
GTDNS
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
BRY
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
CAMP
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
CAN
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
CLST
7:00pm Tonight
UCF
DAVID
7:00pm Tonight
IONA
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
UGST
7:00pm Tonight
TOWS
GOUCHER
 
7:00pm Tonight
ND
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
YALE
LAF
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWU
LONG
 
7:00pm Tonight
VT
UMO
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
MNTER
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
PSUHARRIS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
7:00pm Tonight
MINN
STJ
7:00pm Tonight
JVU
TRINBAPT
 
7:00pm Tonight
YOUNG
UMKC
 
7:00pm Tonight
UAB
WISC
7:30pm Tonight
PITT
KYST
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
VMI
8:00pm Tonight
DEP
LEH
 
8:00pm Tonight
UNT
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
MORE
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
RAD
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
TENT
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMU
TXSOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
UTAH
TXPA
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
UCR
8:00pm Tonight
SCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
SD
WAYNEST
 
8:30pm Tonight
UWGB
FLGC
8:30pm Tonight
IOWA
NILL
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
AUB
9:00pm Tonight
MONT
CARROLLMT
 
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
EKENT
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
STET
 
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
NKENTUCKY
 
9:05pm Tonight
IDST
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
GEOR
UF
9:30pm Tonight
GONZ
UGA
9:30pm Tonight
NIOWA
NW
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UTST
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
WAS
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
WIN
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
NYR
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL