The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday May 31st

UNC men's tennis downs Virginia, 6-1, on Sunday afternoon

<p>First-year Ben Sigouin celebrates during a match against Virginia on April 1 at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.</p>
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First-year Ben Sigouin celebrates during a match against Virginia on April 1 at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.

The No. 5 North Carolina men’s tennis team won 6-1 against Virginia on Sunday afternoon at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.

What happened?

The Tar Heels (14-4, 5-1 ACC) took an early lead after winning two-of-three doubles matches.  

To begin the competition, sophomore Simon Soendergaard and first-year Mac Kiger took an early 4-2 lead over the Cavaliers (11-7, 4-3 ACC). The Cavaliers tried to fight back and scored another point to make the game 4-3. But the Tar Heels rebounded and won, 6-3.   

On Court One,  No. 3 doubles partners sophomore William Blumberg and senior Robert Kelly clinched the doubles point. Blumberg and Kelly took an early 5-1 lead over the Cavaliers and never looked back. They would go on to win, 6-2. With the Tar Heels winning the first two doubles matches, first-year Benjamin Sigouin and junior Blaine Boyden’s match went unfinished. 

Heading into individual play, the Tar Heels had a 1-0 doubles point lead. In individual play, the Tar Heels kept their momentum, going winning five-of-six opening sets.  

Kelly won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, to give UNC its second point.  On Court Six, Kiger also won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, to give the Tar Heels a 3-0 lead over the Cavaliers.  

On Court Two, No. 34 Sigouin won in straight sets for the Tar Heels, 6-4, 6-3, giving UNC a decisive 4-0 lead.

Although the Tar Heels had clinched the victory, three individual matches were still undecided to this point.  On Court One, No. 2 Blumberg took an early lead 4-1 in the first set and never looked back.  Blumberg ended up winning his first set 6-1. In the second set, Blumberg faced an early 4-1 deficit and ultimately lost, 6-4.  After the tough second set, Blumberg rallied back to take an early 4-2 lead in the third set and ultimately won, 6-2.  

On Court Five, Boyden beat his opponent in straight sets, 6-3, (7-6)8-6.  After taking the first set, Boyden found himself in a 5-3 deficit in the second set.  He rallied back and made the score 6-6.  After the tie break was played, Boyden emerged victorious for the Tar Heels, 8-6.  

The only Tar Heel who lost an individual match was Soendergaard. After losing the first set, 6-2, he bounced back and won the second set, 6-4. In the third set, Soendergaard took an early 5-3 lead. His opponent, No. 32 Aswin Lizen rallied back to even the set at 5-5.  Lizen went on to win the next two games and ultimately won, 7-5.  With that win Lizen secured the Cavaliers only point of the day.  

Who stood out?

Kelly had a victory over Matthew Lord in straight sets, 6-2,6-2. He also win alongside doubles partner, Blumberg, maintaining their strong form that has them ranked the No. 3 duo in the country.

Blumberg also won in singles in addition to his doubles win with Kelly. Sigouin and Boyden stood out with both adding two-set victories.

When was it decided?

After a quick start the Tar Heels never looked back.  After earning the doubles point and a 1-0 lead, UNC went on to win five-of-six individual matches. Siguoin secured the fourth point, giving UNC the win with three matches left to play.

Why does it matter?

After losing a close match against No. 1 Wake Forest on Wednesday, UNC was able to get off to a quick start against the Cavaliers and secure a victory in its sixth ACC match.  

This meeting was also a rematch of the 2017 NCAA championship match in May when the Cavaliers beat the Tar Heels, 4-2.

When do they play next?

North Carolina will be back in action on Friday, facing Louisville at 3 p.m. at Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.  


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