After splitting a pair of matches against Florida State and Miami a week ago, the No. 2 North Carolina men's tennis team proved to be back on track in its ACC home opener on Friday.
With a 7-0 sweep against Louisville, the Tar Heels earned their second conference win in a row after dropping their first match of the season against the Seminoles.
UNC (17-1, 2-1 ACC) started the day by splitting the first two sets in doubles action with the Cardinals (9-10, 0-5) before ultimately clinching the doubles point, as the third-ranked duo Brett Clark and Robert Kelly won the deciding match 6-2.
In singles action, all six Tar Heels won their matches. Kelly won 6-1, 6-2; Clark won his match 6-1, 6-2 and Jack Murray won 6-1, 6-3 to clinch the match for his team.
Junior Ronnie Schneider and first-years Blaine Boyden and Anu Kodali piled on to the victory, winning the final three matches to shut out the Cardinals in singles play. Schneider defeated his opponent 6-1, 6-2; Boyden won 6-4, 6-4, and Kodali secured the final point, winning 6-4, 6-3.
“Going into N.C. State with a 7-0 win is definitely great but we just got to treat it one match at a time,” Murray said. “They always play us very close. They’re a great team, and we just got to go in and compete really well and hopefully get the job done.”
“We had really good energy. I like that. It really sort of set the tone there for the whole day, and then I like the way we sort of played really up and down the lineup.” –- Coach Sam Paul on the early energy his team showed in the doubles matches.
The Tar Heels victory over Louisville marked the fifth straight conference loss for the Cardinals, which leaves them winless in the ACC so far this season.
Three numbers that matter
8: Friday’s 7-0 victory marked the Tar Heels' eighth shutout win so far this season.
1: North Carolina dropped only one total set to Louisville in both the singles and doubles matches.
0: The doubles team of Murray and Schneider didn't drop a single game to its opponent.
The Tar Heels face No. 33 N.C. State at 1 p.m. on Sunday in Raleigh. UNC defeated the Wolfpack 4-2 on Jan. 24 in Chapel Hill as a part of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kickoff Weekend.
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