DURHAM, N.C. - No. 14 Duke won the final five singles matches on the court Sunday afternoon to rally past No. 8 North Carolina 5-2 in men's tennis action at Ambler Tennis Stadium.
Carolina finished the regular-season 22-4 overall and 9-2 in the ACC. Duke improves to 18-5 and takes second place in the ACC at 10-1. Both teams receive byes in the first round of the ACC Tournament which begins Thursday in Cary, N.C. The ACC bracket will be announced later today. The Tar Heels will play in a quarterfinal match on Friday.
For the second time this year, Carolina took the doubles point from the Blue Devils but for the second time, Duke dominated singles play. The teams also met in January in an ITA Regional Final at Durham with Duke winning 4-2.
Sophomore Brett Clark then gave the Tar Heels a 2-0 lead with a straight sets win over Raphael Hemmeler at #3 singles 6-1, 6-4.
Carolina was unable to maintain the momentum, however, as the next five matches all went to its arch-rival. Fred Saba beat UNC's Ronnie Schneider at #2, Bruno Semenzato downed Oystein Steiro at #4 and T.J. Pura beat Nelson Vick at #6. All were straight set victories.
Duke clinched the match at #1 singles as Jason Tahir won a hard-fought three-set match over Carolina's Brayden Schnur 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The final match on the court was at #5 where UNC's Jack Murray fell in a tiebreaker in the third set, 7-4.
Carolina finishes its most successful regular season schedule since 2007. That team finished 24-4 overall, including post-season wins. UNC's 9-2 ACC dual mark equals the record it had in 2011 and 2013 but was a five-match improvement over 2013 when it went 4-6 in the league.
Tennis Match Results
North Carolina vs. Duke
Apr. 20, 2014 at Durham, N.C.
(Ambler Tennis Stadium)
#14 Duke 5, #8 North Carolina 2
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
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)