On March 29th, Duke lost a tightly contested match to No. 5 Virginia 4-2 to drop to just 1-6 in the ACC and leave its postseason dreams dangling by a thread.
However, the Blue Devils have turned their season around dramatically since that Cavaliers loss, and have reeled off three straight conference victories, reigniting their season and positioning themselves to be a spoiler in postseason play.
In just its second outdoor home match of the season, Duke took care of Boston College 6-1 at Ambler Tennis Stadium Sunday. The match was never in doubt as the Blue Devils came out aggressively, capturing the doubles point quickly and then rolling in singles play to continue their recent hot streak.
“[Doubles] sets the tone. It is just one point, but it seems like so much more," Duke head coach Ramsey Smith said. "I think we’ve been pretty consistent in the last couple weeks with our doubles and how we’ve looked and how our energy’s been and how we’ve competed.”
The Blue Devils (10-11, 4-6 in the ACC) had to begin doubles play shorthanded as usual-No.1 doubles player Nick Stachowiak was forced to miss the match due to sickness. Vincent Lin had to step in and pair with Jason Lapidus at No. 1 doubles, but the pair did not miss a beat in securing a 6-2 victory. This, coupled with a Robert Levine and Spencer Furman triumph on Court 3, meant that Duke got off to a perfect start.
Catalin Mateas started singles play off strong for the Blue Devils on Court 2 by rolling to a 6-4, 6-1 win. The senior has been playing some of the best tennis of his career lately as he has won six of his past seven matches, with all of the wins coming in straight sets.
Duke's momentum continued at No. 4 singles where Sean Sculley earned a 6-2, 6-4 victory to put the Blue Devils on the cusp of clinching the match. The sophomore has been in a slump for much of the season, but has shown signs of breaking out of it by winning his past two matches.
Lapidus secured the Duke victory when he cruised to a straight set 7-5, 6-4 win at No. 6 singles. The loss kept the Eagles from getting their first ACC win of the year as they endure a rebuilding season.
“Credit [Boston College], I thought they played extremely well in singles,” Smith said. “They really pushed us in some spots.”
The other singles matches continued after the Blue Devils had guaranteed the victory and Levine ran up the margin of victory by winning 7-6, 6-2 on Court 3.
Lin was forced to retire at No. 5 singles with the match at 7-6, 3-4, putting Boston College on the board, but it was too little too late for the Eagles (6-14, 0-11).
Furman filled in for Stachowiak at No. 1 singles and engaged in an epic three-set match with Boston College's Derek Austin. The Seattle native was finally able to triumph in the third set tiebreaker after neither player was able to break the other during the third set. The match finished 6-3, 0-6, 7-6 (7-4).
Get Overtime, all Duke athletics
Signup for our editorially curated, weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.
“Spencer was mentally tough today,” Smith said. “He had a couple of match points that he didn’t get, but he hung in there and did a really good job.”
Duke is in the middle of a season-ending homestand that continues Wednesday night when No. 23 N.C. State comes to Durham. The Blue Devils will look to stretch their winning streak to a season-high four contests.