The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday December 3rd

Duke Spoils UNC's Last Home Match

Duke Spoils UNC's Last Home Match

And the match quickly went from bad to worse as the Tar Heels lost 5-2 to No. 3 Duke.

UNC (9-7, 4-2 in the ACC) dropped the doubles point for the second straight match. Junior Marcio Petrone and sophomore Greg Archer won UNC's only doubles match in a tight match at the No. 2 seed to repeat the Tar Heels' performance against Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday.

Duke (17-3, 8-0) was victorious at the first and third seeds to claim the doubles point. The No. 1 tandem of freshman Nick Monroe and senior David Cheatwood lost their sixth straight match, 8-5. The top-seeded doubles partners haven't won since the Tar Heels demolished Maryland 7-0 on March 23.

"We're definitely struggling," Monroe said of their doubles performance. "We just haven't been playing too well when it comes match time."

Trystan Meniane and Chad Riley faced Alex Bose and Andres Pedroso at No. 3. Despite Riley's dangerous dives to recover balls on the court, the Tar Heels fell short and also lost 8-5.

"It always helps to win the doubles point," Petrone said. "Even though it is only one point, sometimes, like today, if we had that point then maybe would have changed a little bit and gone our way during singles."

The Blue Devils dominance continued into singles action. Duke translated the doubles point into momentum that UNC couldn't hold up against.

The Blue Devils claimed three victories and clinched the match before the Tar Heels even had a chance to think about a comeback.

Cheatwood, in his last match in Chapel Hill, fell to Marko Cerenko, who is nationally ranked No. 18. Cerenko rattled Cheatwood with some close calls and put the match away in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.

Ramsey Smith, ranked No. 16, duped Monroe 6-1, 6-2 at the second seed.

"I was playing a very good player," Monroe said. "He played big and made a lot of good serves. I missed some returns and didn't take advantage of the opportunities I had."

Duke clinched the victory at the fifth seed when Alex Bose knocked off Archer 6-3, 6-3.

But the Blue Devil wins didn't stop there. Not long after the match was decided, freshman Phillip King defeated Petrone at the top seed. King is the 14th-ranked player in collegiate tennis.

But Riley, also playing his last match at Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center, stopped the skid at No.6. Although the victory didn't effect the outcome of the match, it meant the world to Riley.

"That was the most excited I've been for a match in my whole college career," Riley said.

His excitement hampered Yorke Allen and he won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.

Trystan Meniane battled No. 37 Pedroso at the fourth seed and won the extended match 6-4, 6-7, 7-6(6).

"We learned a lot," UNC coach Sam Paul said. "Duke outplayed us in some spots. But now we know what we need to correct, and we'll do that."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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