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Duke's loss to Florida State in ACC tournament ends Blue Devils' season

<p>Sean Sculley got his revenge against Florida State's Rana Roop Bhullar, but it was not enough to push Duke over the top.</p>

Sean Sculley got his revenge against Florida State's Rana Roop Bhullar, but it was not enough to push Duke over the top.

For the first time since 2016, the Blue Devils will not participate in the NCAA tournament. 

The second round of the ACC tournament began on a strong note for Duke, which took the first two points of the match. A doubles victory and a straight-set win from Sean Sculley put Duke ahead by a comfortable margin, but it would not last.

Florida State stormed back to take the remaining points and took the match 4-2. With their loss at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C., the Blue Devils concluded their season, finishing with a disappointing sub-.500 ledger. 

“It was another battle with Florida State that obviously came down to the wire,” Duke head coach Ramsey Smith told “I am proud of our guys, and all six of them left everything on the court, and that is all you can ask for as a coach.”

The Blue Devils earned the first point of the afternoon in dramatic fashion. After Sculley and Catalin Mateas defeated the Seminole duo of Bryn Nahrung and No. 40 Lucas Poullain on court two, Florida State's Alex Knaff and Sebastian Arcila handled Jason Lapidus and Nick Stachowiak 6-3, leaving the battle on Court 3 to decide the first point of the match.

After the Seminoles' Chase Wood and Juan Martin Jalif rallied back from a 6-5 deficit, the action came down to a tiebreaker. Down to the match point, Duke's Spencer Furman and Robert Levine rallied back, taking the tiebreaker 9-7. 

The afternoon continued in Duke's favor, with Sculley defeating Rana Roop Bhullar in two sets. But Florida State quickly showed why it was the higher seeded squad and overpowered the Blue Devils down the stretch. Poullain beat No. 100 Stachowiak in two sets, each by 6-3, and Knaff's win against Furman evened the match at two. 

On court six, the Seminoles' Richard Thongoana emerged victorious against Lapidus, although the Blue Devil senior took the opening set. Thongoana's win gave Florida State the lead 3-2.

The Seminoles clinched the contest on Court 3 in a match that looked very similar to the one between Thongoana and Lapidus. Mateas took the first set 6-4, before Jalif took the second and third sets to secure the victory for Florida State.

Although the loss ended Duke's season, some Blue Devils will partake in the NCAA individual championships in Orlando, Fla., which will begin May 20.