DURHAM, N.C. – Despite a signature singles win by freshman Mario Paccini, the Elon University men’s tennis team dropped its 2016 season opener 6-1 at No. 13 Duke on Friday night, at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.
Paccini led the way for the Phoenix (0-1) earning the team’s only point of the match. The Madrid, Spain native earned a solid first-career dual match singles victory, defeating Duke’s (1-0) ITA No. 102 ranked T.J. Pura 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 at the No. 2 singles position.
In addition for the Phoenix, freshman Salvador Mijares won a set in his No. 5 singles match against Josh Levine. After falling 2-6 in the first set, Mijares bounced back to win the second set 6-3, but Levine won the match taking the third and final set 2-6.
The No. 13-ranked Blue Devils clinched the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead after Pura and Catalin Mateas defeated Paccini and Robert Lindgren 6-1 on the third court. Duke took all three matches in doubles competition.
In singles competition Duke took singles matches at No. 1 and No. 6 singles before Vincent Lin clinched the match with a victory over Petar Tomic at No. 3 singles. Tomic battled in a tough first set, but Lin took the first set 7-5 and clinched the match for the Blue Devils with a 6-2 second set victory.
After Duke extended its lead 6-0 after wins at No. 4 and 5 singles, Paccini earned Elon’s only point of the match defeating No. 102 ranked singles player Pura on the second court. Paccini got off to a strong start with a 6-3 victory in the first set, but Pura responded with a 1-6 win the the second to send the match to a decisive third set. Paccini took a commanding 5-2 lead and closed out the match taking a 6-3 third set win.
The Elon Phoenix completes it’s weekend against ACC opponents with a trip to Raleigh to take on the NC State Wolfpack on Sunday. The match inside the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center begins at 10 a.m.