Following a comfortable win in the second round of the ACC tournament, the Blue Devils were looking for revenge against Georgia Tech after a tight 4-3 loss earlier in the season and trying to seal an NCAA tournament bid.

However, Duke fell just short once again and will be forced to wait to learn its postseason fate.

The Blue Devils lost 4-3 to the No. 20 Yellow Jackets Friday afternoon at the Rome Tennis Center in Rome, Ga., in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. Duke got off to a strong start, grabbing the doubles point, but Georgia Tech rallied and forced a deciding match at No. 2 singles, where the Blue Devils came up short.

“College tennis is tough,” Duke head coach Ramsey Smith said. “You win some tough ones, you lose some tough ones. Some guys play well, some guys don’t play well. I thought the things we could control, our attitude and effort, were good.”

After dropping the doubles point last time against the fourth-seeded Yellow Jackets (17-6), the Blue Devils (16-9) did not make the same mistake twice, as the No. 3 duo of senior TJ Pura and sophomore Catalin Mateas grabbed a 6-3 victory. They were quickly followed by sophomores Ryan Dickerson and Jason Lapidus winning 6-2 at No. 2 doubles to give fifth-seeded Duke an early lead.

That momentum did not translate to singles, though, as Georgia Tech bounced back to retake the lead. Christopher Eubanks—the seventh-ranked player in the country—rolled over freshman Spencer Furman at No. 1 singles, 6-1, 6-4. The junior has now won 15 of his last 16 matches. That, coupled with a 6-2, 6-1 romp against freshman Robert Levine at No. 3 singles, put the Blue Devils in a 2-1 hole.

“Eubanks at one is a heavy favorite against Spencer,” Smith said. “Robert’s been dealing with a wrist injury that’s affected his play.”

The intensity was upped in the next three matches, though, as the teams battled back and forth. Duke struck first through Pura, who tallied his 10th straight win with an easy 6-3, 6-3 stroll at No. 5 singles to tie the match. Freshman Nick Stachowiak then grounded out a 6-4, 6-3 victory on Court 4 to give the Blue Devils the lead. The win was Stachowiak’s 32nd of the year, moving him into a tie for sixth-most among Duke rookies.

“TJ’s been absolutely amazing for us in the ACC,” Smith said. “It’s pretty incredible what he’s done. [Nick’s] match was up and down, but he beat a guy he lost to last time, so I was really proud of Nick.”

Dickerson, who has anchored the No. 6 singles spot all year, was the next up with a chance to clinch the match for the second straight day. But he fell 6-4, 6-4, snapping his seven-match winning streak and evening the match.

That meant that for the fourth straight time that these two teams have matched up, the match would be decided by the No. 2 singles point.

No. 98 Mateas, riding a seven-match winning streak of his own, stayed close in both sets against No. 89 Andrew Li but fell 7-5, 6-4.

“It came down to two guys who have been absolute rocks for us and have been on big winning streaks,” Smith said. “They just came up a little short today.”

The loss ends Duke’s five-match winning streak and will leave the Blue Devils waiting until Tuesday to find out their NCAA tournament fate. The tournament selection show is Tuesday evening at 5.

“Big picture, we’re playing great tennis,” Smith said. “I’m pretty confident we’ve got one more tournament to play.”