The No. 3 North Carolina men’s tennis team was defeated by No. 7 Georgia, 4-0, in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla., on Sunday, The Bulldogs (24-4) ended the Tar Heels (28-5) run at what would have been the first Final Four appearance in program history.
The Tar Heels faced an uphill climb early after dropping the doubles point to the Bulldogs. The results on the three courts were the exact opposite from the last time UNC played.
With sophomore Robert Kelly again out of the lineup, senior Brett Clark was paired with first-year Blaine Boyden. The chemistry was better for this pairing, and they won their match easily, 6-2. The duo of junior Ronnie Schneider and first-year Anu Kodali could not repeat their Elite Eight performance, and dropped their match 6-3, again leaving the doubles point up to the play of juniors Brayden Schnur and Jack Murray.
The two were again entrenched in a tough contest. After the teams traded games to a 5-5 tie, the juniors dropped the final two games. Giving Georgia the early advantage, and surrendering UNC’s first point of the NCAA tournament.
The Tar Heels’ appeared as if they were turning momentum around in singles, with Schnur and Clark winning first sets, 6-4, 6-2 respectively. However, the rest of the team could not continue the trend, and they lost the other four first sets in the match.
The bottom three in the Tar Heels lineup continued to struggle in their second sets. Murray did not win a game in his second set, giving Georgia a 2-0 lead. With Schnur and Clark both up 5-3, and serving for their matches, Kodali and Boyden dropped their matches, putting UNC out of the tournament with a 4-0 defeat.
Who Stood Out?
Clark was the bright spot for the Tar Heels in what was otherwise a poor showing for the team in the biggest match of their season.