The North Carolina men’s tennis team faced Virginia Tech on Sunday, at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center, in an admitted revenge game for the team.
The Hokies (12-5, 4-3 ACC) won the matchup a year ago, and returned all of their players this season. The Tar Heels (20-1, 5-1 ACC) were looking to show they have improved since then.
After a 5-2 win, the Tar Heels claimed their revenge.
The large crowd was into the match early, as the doubles point came down to the play of senior Brett Clark and sophomore Robert Kelly.
After being up 5-1, the duo was facing a tough comeback by the No. 7 ranked doubles team of seniors Andreas Bjerrehus and Joao Monteiro, who pulled the score to 5-4. Clark and Kelly rallied to serve out the match 6-4.
The Tar Heels added to their lead with straight-set wins for first-year Blain Boyden and Kelly, leaving the team needing only one victory on the remaining four courts to clinch a momentum-building victory heading into two tough matches against Virginia and Wake Forest the following weekend.
“We definitely didn’t want to let down, because that’s obviously a big weekend coming and we didn’t want to overlook this team, because we knew how good they were,” said Clark.
Junior Jack Murray would step up to clinch the victory for his team with 6-4 victories in both sets. Shortly after, first-year Anu Kodali dropped a hard-fought second set, to give Virginia Tech its first point of the day.
Even though Clark lost his tiebreaker, junior Ronnie Schneider would go on to win his match and avenge his loss to Bjerrehus a season ago.
“I definitely thought we came out there with a sense of purpose, and I never thought we took our foot off the gas. We took it to heart, we lost at their place last year, which was really a heart breaker.” — Ronnie Schneider on how his team saw this season's match against Virginia Tech.
Clark and Kelly’s doubles victory today gives Clark his 100th doubles victory of his career. “It’s crazy to think about just because I knew when I was a freshman I saw seniors having 100 wins, and that was just mind boggling to me how you could get to that number. Going into the season that as my goal to hit both marks, and now that I have it feels good," Clark said.
Three numbers that matter
4: Murray has won four consecutive matches, all were the clinching victory for his team.
13: A first-year player has had a victory in 13 consecutive matches.
16: The number of matches Murray has won this season in doubles, while suffering only one loss.
The Tar Heels take on Virginia, in an ITA Indoor Championship game rematch, at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center at 3 pm.
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