The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday January 31st

M. Tennis: Freshman Mojica aids UNC tennis victories

Senior Taylor Fogleman paired with freshman Luke Mojica in Mojica?s first doubles start of the year Friday against Howard.
Buy Photos Senior Taylor Fogleman paired with freshman Luke Mojica in Mojica?s first doubles start of the year Friday against Howard.

Georgetown - 0
UNC - 7

Howard - 0
UNC - 7

Freshman Luke Mojica had already fulfilled his normal duties of playing the fifth court with a straight-set victory against Kenneth Wong of Georgetown early Friday.

But an hour before the second match of a doubleheader" his duties increased dramatically.

That was when coach Sam Paul informed the freshman that he was going to join senior Taylor Fogleman on the first court in doubles play in UNC's upcoming match against Howard.

But Mojica was not nervous to replace half of the No. 11 doubles team in the nation. ""Just excited"" he said. I was pumped.""

And he played that way as he and Fogleman cruised to an 8-1 win that clinched the doubles point for No. 22 UNC in its 7-0 sweep of Howard on Friday at Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.

Mojica completed his perfect day with a straight set win against George Diggs on the fourth court in singles play.

Fogleman was particularly impressed with the job the freshman did of stepping in for the Tar Heels' top singles player" Clay Donato" who was resting for this match.

""He played exceptionally well"" the senior said of Mojica. Served amazing — made life really easy for me at the net.""

Fogleman said he believes Mojica played his best doubles match of the season.

But the freshman did not seem surprised by his performance at all.

""I always like a challenge"" he said. It felt comfortable out there.""

And for Fogleman"" it conjured memories of a similar experience he had in his first season as a Tar Heel when he played with then senior captain Raian Luchici.

""I kind of had the same sentiments that he had when I played with Raian" he said. Not really nervous" just excited; maybe you pick up a few things.""

Mojica and the freshman class have had to pick up a lot this season as they have had to fill key losses" and Mojica said adjusting to the indoor courts was particularly hard for him.

But he and his classmates appear to be getting a grasp on the college game now" as Paul admitted much after the match.

He and Fogleman both said the two-week layoff between the doubleheader and their last match against Ohio State certainly helped — especially conditioningwise.

""We conditioned more"" Paul said. When you don't have matches every midweek or something like that you can run them a little bit more.""

But with the conference opener less than two weeks away"" that mentality is likely to remain prevalent.

""Just work"" Paul said of the mindset going forward. Work and get better everyday.""

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