Following the match, Kelly said the team knew that despite its two victories over Virginia this season, the Cavaliers (24-3, 11-1 ACC) would be a difficult foe the following day.
“It is tough to beat a team three times in a season,” he said. “They are definitely going to be up for it. We’re ready, and they’re ready.
“It is going to come down to a couple of points here and there.”
And he was right.
The Tar Heels started the match Saturday as quickly as they had ended the one the night before. The third-ranked doubles team of Clark and Kelly stormed past the No. 2 duo of senior Ryan Shane and junior Luca Corinteli, helping UNC clinch the doubles point once again.
Brayden Schnur continued his team’s momentum with a 6-0, 6-4 singles win over Shane — the defending NCAA singles champion — for his third victory of the season over the Virginia standout.
Then, the rain began to fall.
After a delay of two hours and 40 minutes, it looked like the Tar Heels would keep their momentum going, as Schneider quickly finished his match in straight sets to take a 3-0 lead.
It felt like it was over.
But from that point on, everything UNC had worked for washed away.
“We had some good momentum; they are just tough,” junior Jack Murray said. “I mean, they came out and toughed through some of the closer matches today.”
The Cavaliers picked up their first point of the day when Corinteli defeated Kodali in straight sets. The final three matches went to a deciding third set — Clark dropped his set 6-3, and after Kelly fell in a tight tiebreaker to lose the set 7-6, Murray quickly followed with a 6-1 defeat.
And just like that, it was over.