Coming off their best win of the season, the Blue Devils will enter the ACC tournament looking for a shot of redemption after last year’s upset loss in the league quarterfinals.

But with a bracket stacked with potentially dangerous matchups, Duke will have to stay focused if it wants to secure the title for the first time in five years.

The No. 12 Blue Devils will begin their conference tournament Friday at 4 p.m. in the quarterfinals at Rome Tennis Center in Rome, Ga. As the No. 2 seed, Duke earned a double-bye through the first two rounds of the tournament and will face No. 7 seed Clemson, No. 10 seed Notre Dame or No. 15 seed Pittsburgh in its first match.

“I'm feeling great,” Blue Devil head coach Jamie Ashworth said. “We've been playing with a lot of confidence and we've had a good couple days of recovery and starting our preparations for the weekend. We're playing with a lot of belief and that's the biggest thing.... It's your own belief and your own trust in yourself and your teammates.”

Duke (19-4, 13-1 in the ACC) earned a share of the ACC regular-season title for the first time since 2012 with a dramatic victory against then-No. 6 Georgia Tech last Sunday and has proven to be one of the teams to beat in the tournament.

Ashworth’s squad has been strong in doubles, dropping only four doubles points throughout conference play. The senior tandem of Chalena Scholl and Alyssa Smith is 8-3 in league play, and junior Samantha Harris and sophomore Ellyse Hamlin are 7-2 together, with both pairs consistently putting the Blue Devils on the board early. In close matches like the Duke's 4-3 win against the Fighting Irish (16-8, 7-7) April 7, that early doubles point has proven to be key.

The Blue Devils have also been reliant on their depth in the middle courts to survive close battles in singles.

On Court 3, No. 53 Scholl is 13-1 in ACC play with just one misstep against then-No. 31 Jessie Aney from top-seeded North Carolina. The Pompano Beach, Fla., native has clinched multiple matches that were deadlocked at 3-3, including last weekend’s upset against the Yellow Jackets.

Ashworth has found another reliable middle-court mainstay in Kaitlyn McCarthy on Court 4. The sophomore is the first player in program history to go 14-0 in conference play thanks to her strong serve and consistency on the baseline, and she capped her regular season with a three-set thriller against Georgia Tech’s Nami Otsuka to keep Duke alive against one of its toughest opponents.

“[Kaitlyn]'s a much different person than she was a year ago,” Ashworth said. “She's 100 percent committed to everything that we've been doing—coming in early, staying late. She has shown tremendous work ethic, and it has paid off in her results.”

Although the Blue Devils have the record and the roster to show for an ACC title contender, Duke still has potentially dangerous opponents that stand in the way of its run to the finals.

The Blue Devils will likely face Notre Dame or 7th-seeded Clemson in their Friday opener, both teams that gave them trouble this season.

The Fighting Irish are one of only two ACC teams to notch three singles wins against Duke in their 4-3 thriller, but a clutch win from Scholl helped the Blue Devils stay undefeated in league play at the time. However, Notre Dame is on a five-match skid, tallying just one point in its past four contests.

The Tigers are one of the few conference teams to get the early doubles advantage against Duke, testing the Blue Devils in a lengthy 5-2 contest that included a trio of three-set singles matches. With Clemson's No. 89 Ayan Broomfield currently on a three-match winning streak, she could be looking for revenge against Duke’s No. 40 Meible Chi on Court 2.

“They're all really great teams,” McCarthy said. “They aren't Georgia Tech or UNC—and that's okay. We'll definitely still need to be ready to play, and we have to remember that everyone comes fired up to ACCs.”

Although the quarterfinal match could trip up the Blue Devils, Duke’s greatest challenges will come later in the weekend.

Third-seeded Georgia Tech will likely win Friday and be hungry for redemption in a semifinal matchup after the Blue Devils handed the Yellow Jackets their only loss in ACC play.

Much like Duke, Georgia Tech found success thanks to depth on the lower and middle courts. The Yellow Jackets have four players with records of 10-4 or better in the ACC, with No. 58 Johnnise Renaud leading the team at 13-1. Georgia Tech is also 10-4 in doubles points, taking down the Blue Devils on the wide courts just last weekend.

Even if Duke can hold off the Yellow Jackets for a second weekend in a row, the No. 5 Tar Heels would likely be waiting in the tournament finals. Having blanked seven conference opponents 7-0 with just one upset loss against Georgia Tech, North Carolina is a clear title favorite.

The Tar Heels dominated Duke 5-2 in Chapel Hill, forfeiting the doubles point but taking all but one singles court in straight sets. North Carolina boasts two undefeated players in the ACC, including Court 1 powerhouse Hayley Carter—the second ranked player in the nation who has not lost since November. Even if the Blue Devils can grab the early momentum in doubles again, Carter, Aney, No. 15 Sara Daavettila and No. 66 Alexa Graham will leave Duke hard-pressed to find any edge at the end of the tournament.

“We need to worry about the first one first,” Ashworth said. “Its been a couple years since we've gotten to the weekend.... I know it's cliché, but we need to do everything we can on Friday to get through that before we worry about Saturday and Sunday. With all the matches so close, anything could happen.”