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Cavs to host pair of top-20 foes

Formidable Blue Devils, Tar Heels look to deliver team first loss of season

The undefeated No. 1 Virginia men's tennis team faces one of its toughest tests of the season this weekend, as the Cavaliers will face off against a star-studded No. 10 Duke squad tomorrow afternoon. The match marks the Cavaliers' first appearance at the Snyder Tennis Courts and their first home match since Feb. 11.

Virginia (20-0, 5-0 ACC) enters the weekend bout fresh off of a dominating weekend of tennis, during which the squad downed No. 29 Miami and No. 46 Florida State with two 7-0 victories. The Cavaliers cruised through last weekend's slate virtually unscathed, dropping only one set throughout the two matches. Furthermore, the Cavaliers seemed to work out the kinks that had hampered them in doubles play during their previous matches. The No. 3 doubles team of junior Drew Courtney and senior Michael Shabaz led the way for Virginia as they topped Florida State's No. 15-ranked doubles team. During singles play, Shabaz also strung together two impressive performances to earn him ACC Player of the Week honors for the third consecutive week.

Perhaps now is the optimal time for the team to hit its stride as Duke (13-6, 4-0 ACC) comes to Charlottesville with high hopes of handing the Cavaliers their first loss of the season. The talented Blue Devil roster is highlighted by standout sophomore Henrique Cunha and senior Reid Carleton, who rank No. 6 and No. 8 at singles in the nation, respectively.

Cunha, a highly touted player from Brazil, is the reigning ACC Player of the Year. Before beginning his collegiate career, Cunha was once ranked as the No. 6 junior player in the world and has used his experiences on the world stage to dominate as a Blue Devil. During his freshman season, the Brazilian posted a 39-6 overall record and an 8-0 record in ACC play. Following the regular season, Cunha suffered a tough loss during October's ITA All-American tournament against Virginia's No. 2 freshman Alex Domjian in straight sets.

"Cunha has a lot of experience, [and] he's already had a major impact in college tennis," coach Brian Boland said. "He's an extremely solid player off the ground, and he competes hard, and I would say the same for Carleton"

Carleton, meanwhile, is also a force to be reckoned with for Duke. During the Blue Devils' most recent match against No. 44 Maryland, Carleton moved into a tie for 10th place all-time in singles victories at Duke with 93 wins. He, along with Cunha, finished last season as the top-ranked doubles team in the country.

"Reid is a really good counter-puncher, really quick, gets to a lot of balls," senior Sanam Singh said. "He's obviously a good player [and] uses his speed well."

If the Cavaliers can contain the stellar duo in doubles play, they should be able to carry confidence into singles play. Boland believes the Cavaliers' overall depth


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