It was the second set — and something had changed on Court Four.
Robert Kelly was down 3-0 after winning the first set handedly. The senior waited patiently for the opportunity to come back, and eventually defeated his opponent soundly, coming away with a 6-1, 6-4 victory.
North Carolina relied on experience and veteran talent as it took on Virginia Tech on Friday afternoon at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. The team was able to secure the doubles point and drop only one match against the Hokies to get its first ACC win of the year.
The No. 6 Tar Heels won the doubles point with relative ease, although starting off slow on Court One. Kelly and sophomore William Blumberg gave up two games in a row to be tied 2-2. However, the two of them did not ever worry about losing, though, as they waited for the right time to take over.
“In doubles, it’s pretty quick paced,” said Blumberg. “Once we got a break we just got it going.”
The pair went on to win four games in a row to win their match. This, combined with first-year Mac Kiger and sophomore Simon Soendergaard's win, secured the doubles point.
UNC did not lose a first set in its singles matches and only dropped one second set, with Soendergaard losing both the second- and third-set tiebreaker.
Blumberg, however, struggled in the opening stages of his singles match, trailing 4-3 to No. 29 Mitch Harper. He was able to escape, though, showing why he is ranked No. 1 nationally; he won three sets in a row.
“I started returning really slow, letting his serve come to me," Blumberg said. "Once I started returning better, I felt a lot more confidence in my game. He went on to win the second set 6-2 to finished his day."
With the win over the Hokies, the Tar Heels moved to 10-2 (1-0 ACC) on the season.
“I thought we got our first sets and stayed on top of our stuff,” head coach Sam Paul said. “Not sure exactly what happened with Simon, but I’ll find out. They got a good team, so this was a good win for us.”
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