This week, rematch is the name of the game for the North Carolina men's tennis team.
The Tar Heels will take on Illinois, which beat UNC 4-3 earlier this season, in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in Waco, Texas.
"They've had a great year. They have a great team ... and our guys are going to be looking forward to that challenge," said Coach Sam Paul. "They know us well; we know them."
In its previous match with the Illini, N.C., was without one of its top players in sophomore Ronnie Schneider. Without Schneider, the Tar Heels lost a pivotal match on court two, where Schneider normally plays.
Eventually, the match came down to a clash between UNC's Brayden Schnur and Illinois' Farris Gosea. Gosea would rally to beat Schnur after dropping the first set, giving the Illini the 4-3 victory.
“We said after that match we wanted to play them again,” sophomore Jack Murray said. “But this time, beat them."
Paul said the Fighting Illini are a great team who has played a great season, but he said the Tar Heels are no exception.
"I think we're better than last year's team,” Paul said. “We've played a really difficult schedule, but individually the players have grown a lot, they have a lot more experience.”
Aside from physical talent, Schneider said Illinois’ mental game is a huge factor in their competition as well.