No. 23 North Carolina finished a long doubleheader day at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center Saturday with two team victories and without conceding a single match.
The men’s tennis team shut down Navy 4-0 early in the day and then held off James Madison 7-0 later in the evening to cap off a near-12-hour day of tennis.
The long day gave the Tar Heels an opportunity to demonstrate their strength and stamina throughout the roster. Strong performances came across the board, from seniors William Parker and Taylor Meyer to freshman Brett Clark and everyone in between.
The team’s success satisfied Coach Sam Paul.
“I saw some good things. I still see some areas we have to keep working on,” Paul said. “But obviously it’s good to get the wins.”
UNC dominated in doubles matches against Navy and James Madison, winning all four that were completed. The Tar Heels also led the other two matches, which ended early once UNC had clinched a 2-out-of-3 majority against each squad.
In singles play, UNC also won all nine of the matches that were completed on the day and led the other three when they were ended early. Parker, Meyer, and Clark all clinched wins along with junior Nelson Vick, sophomore Oystein Steiro, and junior Maik Ulrich.
“The team did well,” Parker said. “Brett and I came out a little slow in doubles in our second match but it might have just been a long day. It’s good to get some wins. But we’ve got other matches to play and a lot more goals we want to accomplish this year.”
Clark, Parker’s partner in every doubles match so far this season, has been watching his own improvement ever since his first collegiate dual match just a few weeks back.
“I started off a lot better in doubles and singles than I had been in the last couple matches, so that was real key for me,” he said. “And I kept my foot on the pedal which is what coaches were emphasizing this whole week. So… four wins. It was a good day.”
The Tar Heels conceded just one set on the entire day, despite resting sophomore No. 18 Esben Hess-Olesen, their top-seeded player, just after his doubles match early in the day due to some chest pain.
Paul believes his two senior co-captains Parker and Meyer deserve some of the thanks.
“They’re providing really good leadership,” Paul said about the two. “[They’re] getting guys to work on their own and really work so that we have the right mentality when we come out here.”
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