Six wins against the top-12 teams in the country. Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Indoor Team champions. Ten consecutive wins to start 2016. The No. 1 ranking in the country for the first time in program history.
A lot of things have been going right for the North Carolina men’s tennis program. The team was ripe for a letdown a week after winning the ITA championship.
“This whole week, up until now, it’s kind of been a lot of celebrations, a lot of congrats and a lot of kind of blowing our heads up, you could say," said junior Ronnie Schneider.
But that letdown never came on Sunday against Wofford, as the Tar Heels extinguished the Terriers 7-0.
“I thought it was good coming back out after we had a great week last week,” Schneider said. “Coming back out, getting refocused and kind of getting back into mash mode.”
With North Carolina men’s basketball coach Roy Williams in attendance, the Tar Heels (11-0) wasted little time in demonstrating why they are the top-ranked team in the country. Teammates Schneider and junior Jack Murray made quick work of their doubles match by winning 6-2.
Junior Brayden Schnur and redshirt senior Andrew Gores followed suit with a 6-3 win to close out the doubles matches, gaining the first team point for the Tar Heels.
In singles, the Tar Heels did not drop a set. Murray dominated his opponent, 6-1, 6-0.
Murray said he credits his commanding performance to his fast starts.
“I was kind of on cruise control in the beginning and then once I got up kind of big in the second, I was like, ‘OK, this is where I’m going to prove myself,'” he said.
Murray was the first to conclude his match, but the others weren’t far behind. Schneider only surrendered two games and senior Stuart DePaolo just one.
“We had to bring it, and I thought, up and down the line, we did a good job,” Schneider said. “We started off in doubles with good intensity and in singles it carried over, so it’s a good transition back to normal.”
Coach Sam Paul said he adjusted the team’s practice schedule this week because of the Tar Heels' loss the week after the ITA tournament a year ago. He did this by allowing the team more rest in the week following the tournament, which required the Tar Heels to play four top-10 teams in four days.
Murray said the coaches placed extra emphasis on not letting the tournament victory linger over the team.
Paul said he reminded his team that the team can win more championships this season.
“We’ve only reached one of our goals,” Paul said. “Another goal of ours is the ACC regular season (title) and the ACC Championship and the NCAAs. We’ve just reached one, so we’ve got a lot more work to do. We’re talking to our guys about that daily.”
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.