Members of the North Carolina men’s tennis team had mixed results in the opening round of the NCAA Singles Tournament at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla., on Wednesday. No. 26 junior Brayden Schnur and No. 46 senior Brett Clark lost their matches in straight sets, while No. 28 junior Ronnie Schneider won the only match for the Tar Heels with a three-set victory.
The top three players were back on the courts for the Tar Heels on Wednesday. They were looking to shake off the loss the team suffered on Sunday at the hands of Georgia, and get the program back on the winning path at the end of the season.
In the morning session of matches it seemed that the Tar Heels losing streak in Tulsa would continue. Both Schnur and Clark got off to slow starts in the first set, and would go on to lose them 6-2. Neither of the players, who have been able to rally to win big matches for their team this season, were able to come back in the second set..
By the time Schneider took the court in the afternoon he knew he was the team’s last chance at a singles title this season. He came out in the first set on a mission, and ended up winning it, 6-2. His opponent, UNC-Wilmington senior Santtu Leskinen, battled back in the second set, taking it 6-4, leaving Schneider in a very familiar place. He would have to battle in a third set to get the win, and eventually won the third set, 6-3, extending his season for at least another day.
Who Stood Out?
Schneider was the only one of the three Tar Heels in the singles tournament to pick up a victory, and he did it in his typical style. It was not always pretty, and he does not always make it easy on himself, but he finds a way to get the win.
“I just want to represent UNC as well as I can. I’m really glad that UNC did not go 0-3 on the day,” he said. “I was glad to get a win, because I don’t think going 0-3 in the first round would do our team, and our program, any justice for how good we really are and have been.”