Duke’s Cuhna, Hemmeler reach NCAA semifinals

May. 25, 2013 @ 10:45 PM

URBANA, Ill. – Duke’s doubles tandem of senior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler advanced to the semifinals of the 2013 NCAA Individual Championships Saturday at the Atkins Tennis Center, as play was forced to move indoors due to inclement weather in the area.

Cunha and Hemmeler advanced to the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-3 win over No. 6 Andries Mies and Dan Cochrane of Auburn.

In a match-up that saw the last two major ITA doubles champions go head-to-head, second-seeded Cunha and Hemmeler, the 2012 ITA National Indoors Doubles Champions, won four straight games to take a commanding 4-0 lead in the first set over No. 6 Mies and Cochrane and went on to take the set, 6-2.

In the second set, Cunha and Hemmeler were able to use a late break to seal the match and the duo’s 39th win of the season.

“We feel great, we’re really confident right now,” Cunha said. “We had a really tough second round, saved some match points, now we feel loose and comfortable. We had an unbelievable quarterfinal match and now we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

With their 39 wins on the season, Cunha and Hemmeler now sit in second on Duke’s all-time charts in single season wins by a doubles tandem, two wins shy of the 41 victories Cunha and Reid Carleton posted in 2010.

Today, Cunha and Hemmeler will face Virginia’s Jamere Jenkins and Mac Styslinger in the semifinals. Cunha and Hemmeler posted a 2-1 ledger against Jenkins and Styslinger for the season, including a 7-5, 6-2 win in the semifinals at ITA National Indoors in November and an 8-3 victory in Charlottesville during the dual season.

In singles, Cunha’s run came to an end in three sets at the hands of No. 12 Blaz Rola of Ohio State, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Cunha concludes the season with a 34-5 singles ledger, including 17 wins over ranked opponents. Cunha ends his singles career at Duke with 151 career victories in singles, which stands as a program record.

In women’s singles play, UNC’s Gina Suarez-Malaguti saw her season end with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 quarterfinal loss to Texas’ Breaunna Addison.

Duke relay team sets school record

GREENSBORO – In the final event of the 2013 NCAA East First Round, the Duke women’s 1,600-meter relay set a new school record by clocking a time of 3:37.51.  Sophomore Elizabeth Kerpon ran a 52.8 anchor leg to secure the school record breaking time.

The team consisted of senior Cydney Ross and sophomores Kerpon, Lauren Hansson and Alexis Roper.  The quartet finished 15th overall, missing qualification for the NCAA Championships by just over a second.

“Fantastic race for these ladies, said Duke Director of Track and Field Norm Ogilvie.  “It is exciting for them to get the school record.  They worked really hard for it.  This is really on the second time we have put that team on the track and to see them come through like that is a great way to end the meet for us.  Ross, coming back from two 800s in two days, ran a really strong second leg, Lauren ran a great leadoff and Alexis also performed well.  It was great all around and then to have an outstanding sub 53 split on the anchor for Elizabeth was great.”

Four Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Championships. They include Curtis Beach (decathlon), Austin Gamble (discus), Anima Banks (800) and Ross (800).

“We have four good people going to Nationals and they’ve each got a chance to do something very good once they get there.  Curtis has got to be considered one of the favorites in the NCAA decathlon, Austin Gamble certainly has a shot at All-America, Cydney Ross is going to be an NCAA finalist and maybe contend to win the whole thing; she has looked so good, and with Anima, it is just an honor for a freshman to make Nationals.”

The NCAA Championships will be held in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8, 2013. 

Also on Saturday at Greensboro, Lianne Farber, Briana Hudson, and Tristine Johnson each punched their tickets to the NCAA National Championships.

Farber clinched her NCAA Nationals berth in the women's 1,500 as she placed sixth in her heat and 11th overall in 4:16.67. This is Farber's first NCAA outdoor championship qualification. She earned All-America honors for the 2012 cross country season.

In the women's triple jump, Hudson and Johnson each advanced to the NCAA National Championships after reaching into the quarterfinals with their first three attempts, ultimately resulting in their highest marks. Hudson ranked first in her flight jumping 41-5 ¾ (12.64 meters) on her third attempt and finished 12th overall. Johnson finished 10th overall, third in her flight, as she cleared 41-8 ½ (12.71 meters) on her second attempt.

On Friday evening, Cameron Overstreet qualified for the championships in the women's pole vault and Clayton Parros qualified in the men's 400 totaling five Tar Heels moving on to the national stage.