DURHAM, N.C. – The ninth-ranked Duke University men’s tennis will return to the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center Friday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. to face its first top-15 foe of the season in 14th-ranked University of Tennessee. The Blue Devils will play a doubleheader Sunday, welcoming No. 21 Michigan at noon before hosting cross-town rival North Carolina Central at 5 p.m.
Duke is coming into the weekend with a ledger of 6-1 after defeating No. 30 Notre Dame, 4-0, on Sunday, Feb. 3 in South Bend, Ind. In the win, the nation’s top-ranked doubles tandem of senior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler posted their 14th consecutive doubles victory of the fall. Cunha also clinched the victory for Duke in singles, posting a 6-4, 6-4 victory in the No. 1 position over Notre Dame’s Greg Andrews.
Tennessee comes into the weekend ranked 14th in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll and owns a 10-0 record for the season. The Volunteers boast two ranked players in singles, including No. 9 Mikelis Libietis, who owns a 6-0 record from the No. 1 position, and No. 40 Hunter Reese. In doubles, the Vols have three ranked tandems, including Libietis and Jim Collins at No. 14, Edward Jones and Jarryd Chaplin at No. 21 and Libeitis and Chaplin at No. 26. The Blue Devils will meet the Volunteers of Tennessee for the 19th time in school history, with Duke holding an 11-7 advantage in the all-time series history. The two teams last played on Feb. 11, 2012 in Knoxville, Tenn., with Duke winning the match, 6-1.
Michigan comes into the weekend with a 4-1 record and is currently ranked No. 21 in the nation. Vlad Stefan is the lone ranked player for the Wolverines in singles at No. 48, while Evan King and Shaun Berstein are ranked as the No. 30 duo in doubles. Duke leads the all-time series against Michigan, 8-3. The Blue Devils defeated the Wolverines last season in Ann Arbor, 4-3, on Jan. 21.
NC Central will make its season debut Sunday when the squad makes the short trip to Duke. The Blue Devils and Eagles have played on seven occasions, with the Blue Devils holding the series edge, 7-0. The two teams last played Jan. 5, 2012, with the Blue Devils winning the match, 7-0.
Live scoring and live video will be available for both matches this weekend. Free pizza will be provided to all in attendance at the Tennessee match Friday.