#5 Blue Devils Defeat Terps, 5-2
April 13, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The No. 70 Maryland men’s tennis team earned a pivotal doubles point, and freshman Vlad Stefan upset No. 26 Chris Mengel in singles action, but No. 5 Duke’s depth proved to be too much as the Blue Devils defeated the Terps, 5-2, Friday afternoon at the Cole Field House Tennis Courts.
The Terps (6-14, 3-7 ACC) won the doubles point for the third time in the last four matches with victories at No. 2 and 3 doubles. After Duke’s 28th-ranked tandem of Mengel and Henrique Cunha won at No. 1, Stefan and junior Tommy Laine took care of Raphael Hemmeler and Cale Hammond at No. 3, 8-3. Leading 7-6, juniors Jesse Kiuru and Andy Magee picked up a break to clinch the match and the doubles point.
Maryland initially carried the momentum into singles action. Senior Maros Horny raced out to a 5-1 lead on No. 4 Cunha at the No. 1 spot and Stefan jumped out to a 4-1 lead against Mengel on the No. 2 court. Stefan held off a late rally from Mengel in the first set and cruised in the second set to earn a 6-4, 6-1 win. For Stefan, it is his fifth win of the year over a ranked opponent as he improved to 5-4 in ACC action.
On No. 1, Cunha battled back to win the first set in a tiebreaker and triumphed 6-2 in the second set to clinch the match for the Blue Devils.
"I thought we were in a good position with Maros up 5-1 in the first [set] and Vlad was taking care of [Mengel] pretty handily,” said head coach Kyle Spencer. “On some of the other courts we didn't do a good job of cementing ourselves in the set and giving ourselves a chance.
“That is why Duke is No. 5 in the country, you have to be able to play a good match and do the little things to beat a team like that. I am proud of the guy's effort and we got to get ourselves ready for a big match with North Carolina on Sunday."
The Blue Devils earned the first singles point of the afternoon with a straight-set victory on the No. 4 court. Stefan tied the match at two on No. 2.
Hemmeler and Jason Tahir got two points for the Blue Devils with wins on No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, allowing Cunha to clinch the victory.
After dropping the opening set, 6-0, junior Sergio Wyss fought back to win a second-set tiebreaker before dropping a super-set tiebreaker in the third to end the match.
The Terps play host to No. 18 North Carolina in the final home match of the season Sunday, April 15 at noon at the Cole Field House Tennis Courts.
#5 Duke 5, #70 Maryland 2
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,2,5,6,1,3)
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