Blumberg only had a short break after his doubles match before he had to take on Virginia Tech’s Mitch Harper, No. 29 in the nation in singles. Harper got the best of Blumberg for most of the first set. Trailing 4-3, Blumberg won three straight games to win the set. He then went on to dominate Harper in the second set in a decisive 6-2 win.
Shortly after Blumberg clinched UNC’s third point, Blaine Boyden won his singles match, giving the Tar Heels the four points they needed to clinch the overall win.
The three remaining singles matches were played out, however. The Tar Heels won two of those three, finishing the day 6-1.
Who stood out?
Blumberg, the No. 1 in men’s singles player in the country, led the Tar Heels to a strong win in their first ACC match of the year.
Blumberg had a tough match up against the junior veteran Harper. Harper gave the Tar Heel a run for his money in the first set, but Blumberg wasn’t going down easy.
After allowing Blumberg to tie the set 4-4, Harper lost the ninth game while serving, making the score 5-4. Losing as the server can be detrimental and a huge change in momentum, and this instance proved to be so. Blumberg, used this energy to win the first set, continuing on to seize the match.
When was it decided?
Not only were Blumberg’s three straight wins in the first set an important moment for the match, they were also the defining moments of the day. Blumberg’s singles win made the score 3-0, putting the Tar Heels only one away from the win. At this point, the road back was too long for the Hokies.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels men’s tennis team has high hopes for this year. Denied the glory of a National Championship last year by Virginia, this team is coming for blood this season. An early in-conference win over, as Coach Sam Paul believes, an “under-ranked” Virginia Tech team, is an important, early boost for UNC’s squad.
When do they play next?
North Carolina faces the University of Texas at Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center this Sunday at 1 pm.
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