The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday December 3rd

Doubles points key for UNC men's tennis in match against Florida State

Arthur Brooks, director of the american institute for enterprise, delivered the Park lecture on Thursday afternoon.
Buy Photos Arthur Brooks, director of the american institute for enterprise, delivered the Park lecture on Thursday afternoon.

At 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the members of the North Carolina men’s tennis team stood in complete silence at UNC’s Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.

Though Florida State had already clinched the match, the Tar Heels were waiting to see whether freshman Brett Clark would pull out a tiebreaker game against Florida State’s Benjamin Lock for the team’s second singles victory.

The pair had split sets, and neither had taken a commanding lead in the playoff game. But with the match on the line, Clark keyed in on Lock, and after more than two hours with his foot in the door, the freshman walked through with a win.

“Playing this high level of tennis, it’s only a couple of points that determine the outcome,” Clark said. “Especially how long the match was, there were a bunch of ups and downs.”

Like Clark’s singles match, UNC had its ups and downs this weekend.

Though the Tar Heels fell to the Seminoles 5-2 on Sunday, the weekend began on a high note when UNC upset Miami 5-2 on Friday.

Against Miami, the powerful pair of Esben Hess-Olesen and Clark fought back from a 3-6 hole to win 8-6, and, combined with an 8-1 win by William Parker and Nelson Vick, UNC took the doubles point for the day.

The Tar Heels followed up with a strong singles set, winning four of the six matches.

But against FSU on Sunday, UNC split the first two doubles matches, and the third showdown was another close match.

With the final doubles match tied at seven, sophomore Oystein Steiro and senior James Coxe won the next game and needed one more win to grab the set and doubles point for UNC.

But the Seminoles’ duo pushed the set to a playoff game, which it won 7-2.

“That changed the momentum,” coach Sam Paul said. “We were up in almost every spot. So that swung the momentum. We have to finish.”

But Clark said the players didn’t get down on themselves after losing their first doubles point in four matches.

“I was pretty confident that we could still do it,” Clark said. “We’ve lost the doubles point times before, and we’ve been right in there in singles. It was a tough doubles point that we lost, but no one was down — everyone was pumped up.”

But the Seminoles would not look back, winning four of the six singles matches and clinching the win.

“They’re a tough team, they fought pretty hard so give them some credit but the ball was in our court,” Parker said. “We could have just closed it out.”

Contact the desk editor at sports@dailytarheel.com.

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