M-Tennis stumbles at top-20 foes

The No. 24 ranked men’s tennis team had two rough road matches against No. 20 Duke and No. 19 North Carolina on April 10 and 11. Going into the weekend, the Jackets held a 15-3 overall record with only one loss coming in conference play. Duke defeated the Jackets 4-3, extending their win streak over Tech to eight.

The Blue Devils hold a 13-6 overall record this year, with their only conference loss coming to a close 4-3 match against No. 1 Virginia. North Carolina saw similar success on the weekend over the Jackets, winning the match 5-2.

In Tech’s first matchup against Duke, the Jackets pulled ahead early as they won the doubles point to put them up 1-0. Juniors Guillermo Gomez and Dean O’Brien defeated the No. 63 tandem of Alain Michel and Torsten Wietoska 8-5. Tech then clinched the doubles point when juniors Eliot Potvin and Ryan Smith overtook Dylan Arnould and David Holland 8-5.

Even though the doubles point was already won, sophomore Kevin King and freshman Juan Spir lost a close match against No. 3 Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha on court one. Carlton and Cunha won 9-8 (7-4).

The Blue Devils rebounded in singles play as Carleton handed King his first loss of the spring 6-1, 6-1. Duke took the lead when No. 4 Gomez fell to No. 11 Henrique Cunha, 6-2, 6-3 at the top position. Freshman Magin Ortiga tied the match up again, 2-2, with a straight set 6-3, 6-4 win over Holland.

Duke then jumped ahead again when Luke Marchese won in a three set game over Spir at the No. 6 position. With two matches left, Potvin outlasted Wietoska in a three set match 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) to put the match even at 3-3.

With the last singles matchup determining the final match score, Arnould defeated junior Miguel Muguruza 6-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to give the Blue Devil the win 4-3.

North Carolina took the first doubles point as the Tar Heels handed Tech its first loss in doubles play in the last seven matches. King and Spir fell to Clay Donato and Stefan Hardy 8-3. UNC clinched the doubles point at the third position when Andrew Crone and Jose Hernandez defeated Gomez and O’Brien 8-4. Potvin and Smith were the only Tech players to win a doubles match on the day with the score 8-5 over Cameron Ahari and Brennan Boyajian.

In singles play, the Tar Heels jumped ahead to 3-0 with wins by Hardy over Potvin (6-1, 6-4) and Boyajian over Muguruza (6-4, 6-1). Hernandez overtook King 6-1, 6-3 in the second position before Tech received its first point.

Ortiga finally got Tech on the board 4-1 when he beat Crone 6-1, 6-4. Zach Hunter then defeated O’Brien 6-2, 6-4 to put the score to 5-1. Tech got its second point on the day at the top position when Gomez beat Donato in three sets, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), to end the match in North Carolina’s favor 5-2.

Tech fell to 15-5 overall this spring, going to 6-3 in the ACC. The Jackets will host top-ranked Virginia on April 16 and then Virginia Tech on April 17 in the final home matches of the season.