The North Carolina men’s tennis team played two matches Monday, one outdoors and one indoors. They both had the same outcome — a blowout victory for the Tar Heels.
The nation’s top-ranked tennis team easily defeated Campbell (2-6) and North Carolina Central (0-5) in two successive 7-0 victories.
The Tar Heels (14-0) enjoyed the opportunity to get outside for the first time this season against the Fighting Camels.
“We just started playing outdoors a few days ago, so the more time, the more actual match play we can get out there, the better,” said junior Ronnie Schneider.
There’s not a huge difference between indoors and outdoors — it’s the same court dimensions and same game, after all — but there is an adjustment period dealing with the sun and the shadows for the first time in a few months.
“We haven’t really been outdoors playing a competitive match, any of us, for three and a half, four months," said senior Stuart DePaolo. "It’s not terribly different, but it’s different enough to where you lose focus for a few points and it can cost you here and there.”
Coach Sam Paul took the opportunity during Monday’s doubleheader to develop his depth. He wanted to get even more players in, but the Eagles brought just five athletes, shortening the number of matches for the Tar Heels.
“It was unfortunate that they only had five players," Paul said. "I can’t control that cause we had a couple of other guys that we wanted to play, but it was good for them to get out.”
North Carolina is now on a 14-game winning streak. The key for the team is to keep the same focus as the weather changes and the opponents get tougher.
“I think our mindset all year has been centered around hard work and being tougher than everyone else. We rarely rely on our talent, we just really rely on our feet and on our heart and on our grit, and that goes a long way.” — DePaolo on the team’s mindset so far this season.
Paul earned his 400th and 401st career victories as UNC's head coach in the two matches Monday.
Three numbers that matter
28: In North Carolina’s past four matches, the team has defeated its nonconference competition by a combined margin of 28-0.
5: North Carolina Central dressed only five tennis players for the match on Monday.
14: North Carolina has won 14 consecutive games to open the year.
The Tar Heels will be back in action on Friday, when they take on Vanderbilt at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center in Chapel Hill. The time is TBA.
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