The North Carolina men’s tennis team came into the NCAA Tournament looking to rebound from a tough loss in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament against rival Virginia. The Tar Heels were hoping that having their first two matches at home would get the team back on track and help the program reach the Sweet 16 for the third-straight season.
With a pair of 4-0 victories over the weekend against College of Charleston (19-7) and No. 31 Tulane (16-9), the Tar Heels (27-4) were able to sweep the opening two rounds at Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center, and punch a ticket to Tulsa, Okla.
UNC came out quickly against the Cougars, showing little sign of rust from the team’s three-week layoff. Juniors Brayden Schnur and Jack Murray won their doubles match 6-1, and the duo of junior Ronnie Schneider and first-year Anu Kodali clinched the doubles point with a 6-3 victory.
That dominance continued in singles play, as the team efficiently closed out its first round win. Sophomore Robert Kelly, Schneider and Murray would all clinch their matches in straight sets, dropping a combined total of only six games.
“It definitely helps the confidence, no matter who you’re playing. It always helps to win,” Kelly said on Saturday. “There’s been some tough losses. We’ve learned from that and started to get our groove back.”