The No. 6 North Carolina men’s tennis team continued its dominant run through the ACC on Sunday, defeating Boston College, 6-1, in Chestnut Hill.
The Tar Heels (16-4, 7-1 ACC) were in control from the beginning, grabbing the match’s doubles point to jump ahead 1-0 over the Eagles (7-10, 0-8 ACC). First-year Mac Kiger and sophomore Simon Soendergaard won their match decisively, 6-2, while first-year Benjamin Sigouin and junior Blaine Boyden left no doubt in a 6-1 win. No. 4 William Blumberg and Robert Kelly’s doubles match did not finish; the pairing was up 5-2 before play was stopped.
In singles play, No. 2 Blumberg was the first on the board for UNC, breezing his way to a 6-1, 6-2 victory. Kelly was next with a 6-2, 6-4 win, and was quickly followed by Soendergaard, whose 6-1, 6-3 showing gave UNC a 4-0 lead.
No. 29 Sigouin was the first Tar Heel to drop a set, 6-3, but quickly regrouped and dominated the next two sets, 6-1, 6-4, to secure yet another UNC point. Boyden pitched in with a 6-2, 6-2 victory, but Kiger’s loss to Sean Mullins dashed UNC’s hopes of a shutout.
Kiger won the first set, 6-1, but dropped a close second set, 7-5. He then lost the ensuing tiebreaker to give Boston College its only point of the day and brought the match’s action to a close.
Who stood out?
Blumberg was his usual dominant self on Court One, making short work of his singles opponent. His doubles partner, Kelly, also impressed in his solo matchup, adding to North Carolina’s early lead. Collectively, the win was one in which every team member helped put at least one point on the board, a positive sign for the Tar Heels moving forward.
When was it decided?
Soendergaard’s singles win officially clinched the match for UNC, but the heavily favored Tar Heels were able to set the tone much earlier in doubles play to ensure that there would be no upset. Dominant sets from the pairings of Kiger and Soendergaard as well as Sigouin and Boyden helped UNC gain the early momentum, and served as a signifier of what was in store for the overmatched Eagles.
Why does it matter?
The match was yet another affirmation of UNC’s dominance in conference play, with a 4-3 loss to Wake Forest as its only blemish on the year. As the postseason rapidly approaches, the Tar Heels seem to be firing on all cylinders, and head coach Sam Paul will certainly look for his squad to continue the strong play when it matters most.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels get to enjoy a lull in ACC play before their final two home conference matches of the season, facing off against Georgia Tech on Saturday at 12 p.m. and Clemson on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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