The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday December 3rd

Schneider backs up high rankings in first UNC appearance

He was seeded sixth in the tournament and had never taken the court as a member of the North Carolina men’s tennis team — with the No. 5 preseason freshman ranking, Ronnie Schneider knew the expectations were high.

But with a 4-0 singles finish in his draw of the UVa. Ranked 1 Invitational, Schneider proved his rankings weren’t a fluke.

“I thought it was a very good start to my college career here at UNC,” he said.

“Every match I played was a tough one, and I was very happy to be able to get through them.”

Associate head coach Tripp Phillips agreed.

“He really battled hard and played with a lot of heart and executed a lot of the things we have been working on in practice,” he said.

“I am very excited for him, and it’s great for the program.”

With his undefeated singles record on the weekend, Schneider won the White draw — one of four singles draws — at the tournament

Schneider faced Virginia Tech’s Amerigo Contini, last year’s ACC Freshman of the Year, in the finals of the tournament. After Schneider took the first set, No. 43 Contini won the second set after taking an early lead. Schneider captured the third set to win the match 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

“I played well the whole time,” he said. “I just got down early in the second set and could not quite find a way to get it back. Overall … I thought it was a really solid match.”

En route to the championship, Schneider had a notable win in the quarterfinals against No. 55 Alexis Heugas from Virginia Commonwealth.Schneider came back from being down a service break in the third set to win the match 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

“It was a pretty crazy match,” said Schneider. “He had quite a few chances, and I had one chance and I took it.”

Schneider and sophomore Brett Clark teamed up to make it to the finals of their draw in doubles. After a tiebreaker, the two defeated Elon’s No. 16 Cameron Silverman and Stefan Fortmann 8-7 in the semifinals. The duo fell to Virginia’s J.C. Aragone and Harrison Richmond 8-5 in the final match.

Clark had two singles victories in the tournament and placed sixth in the Blue singles draw. Clark defeated No. 70 Nikita Fomin of George Washington 6-3, 7-6 in the first round of the tournament.

With strong performances this weekend across the board, Phillips left the tournament pleased.

“I thought we did a lot of good things,” he said. “The guys are definitely getting better and moving in the right direction.”

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