The No. 3 North Carolina men’s tennis team lost for the first time of the 2017-18 season on Saturday, losing 4-3 to No. 6 Texas A&M in the quarterfinals of the ITA Indoor National Championships. The Tar Heels lost again in a consolation matchup with No. 2 Ohio State afterward.
UNC began the tournament on Friday afternoon by taking down previously-unbeaten No. 22 Notre Dame. After securing the doubles point, Sigouin, Blumberg and sophomore Simon Soendergaard all won their singles matches to finish the 4-0 sweep for the Tar Heels against the Fighting Irish.
However, in the second round, the Tar Heels (8-2) couldn’t string together enough singles wins to get past the Texas A&M Aggies.
North Carolina started the contest by beating Texas A&M in two of out the three doubles matches to gain a point. The duo of Blumberg and Kelly started off duals competition by beating the Aggie pair of first year Patrick Kyson and senior Arthur Rinderknech.
Then, Sigouin and Kodali defeated Texas A&M’s first year Juan Carlos Aguilar and senior Jordi Arconada to secure the first point for the Tar Heels.
However, the only Tar Heels to win in singles were Blumberg and junior Blaine Boyden. Blumberg beat Kypson and Boyden defeated Aggies’ first year Barnaby Smith.
UNC also lost to No. 2 Ohio State in a consolation matchup on Sunday afternoon, 4-3. Blumberg took down Buckeyes’ senior Mikael Torpeggard in singles competition to finish the weekend 3-0 individually.
Who stood out?
Boyden stood out for UNC against Texas A&M — he didn’t lose a single set to his opponent. The junior’s 6-3, 7-6 win helped him improve to 5-0 this season.
When was it decided?
The contest went back and forth, and Blumberg’s singles victory gave the Tar Heels a 3-2 advantage late. However, the Aggies went on to win the last two singles matches to seal the deal, 4-3.
Why does it matter?
Although UNC lost earlier than it may have anticipated, the team was able to get early season reps competing against some of the best teams in the nation. Two of the Tar Heels’ next three matchups come against No. 17 Texas and No. 20 Duke, and having the experience of playing the best teams in the country will be crucial.
When do they play next?
North Carolina will get almost a two-week break before taking on Virginia Tech at home on Friday, March 2, at 3:00 p.m.
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