CARY, N.C. – The Virginia Tech men’s tennis team, ranked 40th in the ITA and seeded seventh in the ACC tournament, suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to second-seeded Duke in the quarterfinals of the ACC Championships on Friday.
The match began at the Cary Tennis Center in Cary, N.C. before stormy weather caused a lengthy delay. The teams were forced to travel to Raleigh, N.C. in order to finish the match indoors at the N.C. State Indoor Tennis Facility.
No. 11 Duke (19-5, 10-1 ACC) won the doubles point to jump out to an early 1-0 lead. In the No. 2 doubles match, the Blue Devils’ Josh Levine and Jason Tahir defeated the Hokies’ Hunter Koontz and Joao Monteiro, 8-3. Duke’s 52nd-ranked pair of Raphael Hemmeler and Fred Saba then clinched the point for the Blue Devils with an 8-4 victory over Tech’s 44th-ranked duo of Andreas Bjerrehus and Amerigo Contini in the No. 1 match.
In singles, 92nd-ranked Semenzato extended the Duke lead to two with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Koontz in the No. 4 match.
Tech’s 121st-ranked Bjerrehus brought the Hokies back within one, as he came from behind to top 36th-ranked Saba in three sets. Saba grabbed the opening set 6-0, but Bjerrehus stormed back to win the both the second and third set, 6-4. The win was Bjerrehus’ second over Saba this season.
In No. 6 singles, T.J. Pura put the Blue Devils back up, 3-1 by defeating Tech’s Aaron Gomez, 6-3, 6-4.
The Hokies’ Corbett answered in No. 5 singles, topping Levine in a back and forth three set battle. After falling in the opening set 6-7 (5), Corbett rallied to take the next two, 6-2, 7-6 (3), putting Tech back within one.
In the No. 1 match, 24th-ranked Contini came from behind to defeat 30th-ranked Tahir in three sets to even the match at 3-3. Tahir won the first set, 6-4, but Contini used a tiebreaker to win the second, 7-6 (9-7), before winning the final set, 6-1.
The match came down to a tiebreaker in third set of the No. 3 singles match between the Hokies’ Monteiro and the Blue Devils’ Hemmeler. Hemmeler won the opening set, 6-4. Monteiro then grabbed the second, 7-6 (7-5), forcing the third set. In the deciding tiebreaker, Monteiro led 5-3, but Hemmeler rallied back to win, 9-7, clinching the match for Duke.
On Tuesday, April 29, the NCAA will release the bracket for the national team championships. The selection show can be viewed live on NCAA.com at 5 p.m. The individual bracket will then be released on Wednesday at 5 p.m. on NCAA.com.
1. #24 Amerigo Contini (VT) def. #30 Jason Tahir (DUKE) 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-1
2. #121 Andreas Bjerrehus (VT) def. #36 Fred Saba (DUKE) 0-6, 6-4, 6-4
3. Raphael Hemmeler (DUKE) def. Joao Monteiro (VT) 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (9-7)
4. #92 Bruno Semenzato (DUKE) def. Hunter Koontz (VT) 6-4, 7-5
5. Jai Corbett (VT) def. Josh Levine (DUKE) 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)
6. TJ Pura (DUKE) def. Aaron Gomez (VT) 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish: 4,2,6,1,5,3*
1. #52 Fred Saba/Raphael Hemmeler (DUKE) def. #44 Andreas Bjerrehus/Amerigo Contini (VT) 8-4
2. Jason Tahir/Josh Levine (DUKE) def. Hunter Koontz/Joao Monteiro (VT) 8-3
3. Bruno Semenzato/Cale Hammond (DUKE) vs. Jai Corbett/Florian Nicoud (VT) 5-6, unfinished
Order of Finish: 2,1*
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