With both players leading in the third and final set, needing just one more game, or four more points, to send the Tar Heels through, the race was on.
Schnur thought he was going to be the one to do it. The Tar Heels’ top player and the No. 2 overall player in country had battled to give himself a match point. But just as the sophomore from Ontario was about to uncork a trademark serve, he heard Murray roar out a deafening, “Come on!”
Schnur could only smile and set down his racket, knowing he had lost the race but that his team had won the match.
“It was really exciting,” Murray said. “We have a lot of really great guys, so it doesn’t really matter who clinches, because we’re happy no matter what.”
Then the sophomore admitted it.
“OK, it was pretty awesome.”
UNC took the match 4-1, in what was the Tar Heels most competitive match of the season to date. It was the first time Coach Sam Paul’s team had given up a point this season, and Paul said it was good for his 6-0 team to be challenged.
“It was a great spot for us to be in to have a tough match like this moving forward. We dug down. We won some third sets, and guys were fighting,” Paul said.
The Tar Heels earned their way into Saturday’s match with a dominating win over an overmatched Oregon team on Friday 4-0, and are now riding high headed into the rest of the regular season.
Sophomore Ronnie Schneider, who had an impressive weekend, going undefeated, believes this year’s version of Tar Heel men’s tennis has a chance to be special.
“Our goal is to win an ACC championship and a national championship, and I think those goals are definitely attainable,” he said.