The No. 11 North Carolina men’s tennis team lost, 4-3, to No. 4 Virginia at the Snyder Tennis Center in Charlottesville, Va. This is the Tar Heels (19-3, 6-2 ACC) second loss to the Cavaliers (20-1, 7-1 ACC) this season, and their third straight to Virginia overall.
The back-and-forth pace of this match was set early on with tightly contested matches on all three courts. After trading points through the first eight games of the set, UNC struck first with a 6-4 win by senior Jack Murray and first-year Simon Soendergaard. Minutes later — with senior Ronnie Schneider and sophomore Anu Kodali down 6-5 on court three — it was the country’s No. 9 tandem of junior Robert Kelly and first-year William Blumberg who sealed the doubles point for their team with a 6-4 win, with Blumberg serving an ace to put his team up 1-0.
The Cavaliers rallied early on in singles to win four of the six opening sets, with Murray and No. 12 Schneider the only Tar Heels to take sets. UNC was up 2-0 after Schneider delivered a dominating performance against No. 12 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, winning in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0. The depth of the UVA team then took effect on the match.
No. 63 Collin Altamirano defeated No. 93 Kelly in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. No. 79 Henrik Wiersholm followed suit with a straight-sets win of his own over Soendergaard, and J.C Aragone defeated sophomore Blaine Boyden in straight sets with scores of 6-2 and 7-5. That left the Tar Heels down 3-2, and needing wins on the remaining two courts to take home the victory.
Who stood out?
Schneider and Blumberg, UNC’s two highest-ranked singles players, came up big for their team in a tough conference match. Blumberg started the day by serving an ace to clinch the doubles point for his team, and then he rallied from a one-set deficit, again serving out the match, to win in singles.