As sophomore, Ronnie Schneider said, it’s nice to get back to winning ways.
After a rough spell of matches the last two weekends, the No. 19 North Carolina men’s tennis team came back as strong as Schneider’s forehand in Saturday's doubleheader against No. 33 Minnesota (8-4) and The Citadel (2-14). The Tar Heels improved to 11-5 on the season with a 4-1 win against the Gophers and a 7-0 sweep of the Bulldogs.
Every player who competed contributed at least one win throughout the day for an all-around solid team performance at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. UNC only lost one match on the day due to sophomore Brayden Schnur’s injury, which forced him to retire early when down 6-2, 1-1 during singles play.
Although everyone played their part on Saturday, the small evening crowd was drawn to court No. 1 against the Citadel and the sound of Schneider’s booming forehand. With Schnur — typically UNC's No. 1 player — out, Schneider took over the top slot. Whether returning a serve down the line so fast his opponent could barely blink or ripping a forehand cross court to leave his outstretched opponent helpless to end a rally, Schneider was relentless with his go-to shot.
“My goal is to find a way to play through my forehand,” Schneider said. “If I get an opportunity to set up my forehand, I can really dictate and push people around the court. I think I play my best when I’m all over the court, hitting my forehand from both sides. I thought I did a really good job today of using my forehand as a weapon.”