Last Friday the Duquesne Dukes took on non-conference rival James Madison University. The match was played at the Dukes new home facility, “ATP” Alpha Tennis Professionals. This was the Dukes first match at their new home courts ( Previously to this year all matches were played at The Club for Life in Monroeville Pa.) and the boys were set on getting their first ever win at ATP.
The match began with some high intensity doubles from both teams. At the third doubles spot for the Dukes the team of Richard Robbie and Ben Klaas were able to win in style, pulling out a one sided 8-3 win. Competing in the first doubles position was the team of Alex Aleman and Peter Carpenter; this dynamic duo edged opponents to clinch the doubles point for the Dukes, with an 8-6 victory. Second doubles team Corey Robinson and Max Rubin were winning 6-5 (40-0) when the match was suspended.
In singles play the top three ( Peter Carpenter, Richard Robbie, Corey Robinson) all fell short of a win. With the Dukes losing all three top singles matches the team rallied back to claim victories at the four and five position ” I knew we were down, but far from out. I took a deep breath, settled down and focused all my energy on winning the second set” said number five singles Max Rubin. Rubin secured a 6-4 6-4 win, and shortly after Aleman followed suite with a 7-6 7-6 win over JMU’s star freshman Robert Stirling. With the match tied at 3-3, the Dukes fate was in the hands of freshman Harry Walshe. Walshe came back from a set and 5-4 down to take the second set 7-5 over JMU’s Bastien Russo. After two split sets and upwards of two and a half hours on court, both players seemed physically fatigued. In the third set at 2-0 in favor of Russo, both players began to cramp. It was at this time that Walshe was able to out will his opponent and secure a 6-3 victory, and a 4-3 team score for the Dukes!