Duke played its final matches in the qualifying stage of the ITA Men’s All-American Championships on Wednesday with two third-round singles matches. Freshman Nicolas Alvarez and junior Bruno Semenzato represented the Blue Devils on the final day with Alvarez winning and Semenzato advancing as a lucky loser. Both now move on to the main draw.
Alvarez cruised in the first set against Wichita State’s Tin Ostojic and claimed a 6-2 victory. Alvarez fell behind 3-0 and 4-1 in the second set before storming back to tie the set at 4-4. He fell behind again at 5-4 but evened the set a second time at 5-5. From there, he took the next two games, the final without allowing a point, to win the match 6-2, 7-5.
Semenzato faced Miami’s Piotr Lomacki and turned a 4-3 lead in the first set to a 6-4 victory. Semenzato held a 3-1 lead in the second set before it shrank to 4-3. He again held a two-game lead at 5-3 only to have Lomacki win the next two to tie the set at 5-5. Semenzato eventually dropped the second set 7-5, setting the stage for a winner-take-all third set. Semenzato lost the final set in a tiebreaker 7-6 (5) and suffered a 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) setback in the match.
Despite the loss to Lomacki, Semenzato moves on to the main draw as a lucky loser. He was the second-highest seed to lose in the final round of qualifiers.
Conover posted a pair of top-six finishes in each of his first two events this season. The junior shot less than par in four of six rounds played and recorded 18 birdies during action at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate and Rees Jones Invitational. Conover was sixth out of 100 players at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate on Sept. 12-13 and finished the three-day event at 5-under 211 (71-71-69). The following week, Conover posted the lowest score of the second round at the Rees Jones Invitational (4-under 68) and helped the Pirates to a runner-up finish at the tournament. Conover finished the month with a stroke average of 71.33.
East Carolina will return to the links Oct. 6-7 at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate, which will be held at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course on Centennial Campus of N.C. State University.