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Friday January 21st

William Blumberg, Benjamin Sigouin grab top honors for UNC men's tennis at ACC awards

<p>First-year Benjamin Sigouin competes in the ACC Tournament semifinals against Florida State on April 28 at Cary Tennis Park.</p>
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First-year Benjamin Sigouin competes in the ACC Tournament semifinals against Florida State on April 28 at Cary Tennis Park.

After losing just one conference match in the regular season, the No. 6 North Carolina men's tennis team swept through the 2018 ACC men's tennis player awards on its way into postseason play. 

The Tar Heels, who are gearing up to host NCAA first and second round matches next week after losing to Wake Forest in the conference finals last week, found themselves well represented in the conference honors, a measure of their success so far this year.  

First-year Benjamin Sigouin snagged ACC Freshman of the Year and was named to All-ACC first team along with teammate William Blumberg. A season ago, Blumberg was recognized as the top newcomer in the conference. Sigouin kept the award in Chapel Hill for another year, the first time two Tar Heels have won ACC Freshman of the Year in back-to-back years in program history.  

Sigouin, the No. 32 singles player in the country, was 16-3 overall in singles play in his first season in Chapel Hill, including 8-1 in the conference. He was also 16-4 in doubles competition playing with Blaine Boyden. 

His teammate, Blumberg, a sophomore from Greenwich, Conn., also found his name on the awards list, this time taking home ACC Player of the Year. 

Blumberg is the fifth Tar Heel in program history to win the award and the first UNC player to win it since David Caldwell in 1996. When looking at Blumberg’s track record, it isn't a suprise he was recognized as the top player in the conference. 

This season, Blumberg has been ranked No. 1 in singles and doubles. Heading into the NCAA tournament, he is the No. 3 player in singles (18-3, 10-1 ACC) and No. 2 in doubles (15-3, 7-0 ACC) along with partner Robert Kelly. 

He also stands alone as the only UNC player to have been named both ACC Player of the Year and ACC Freshman of the Year during his career. 

The Connecticut player enrolled in classes in January 2016, and made an impressive impact as soon as he stepped onto campus. Three days after classes had begun, Blumberg was playing No. 1 singles and doubles in his first collegiate match. 

In his first year at UNC, he finished the year with a 31-3 record in singles, winning 24 matches in a row. He went 18-2 against ranked opponents, but finished 11-0 in ACC play, which was a program record. He finished 24-8 in doubles, playing at No. 1.

Since then, he has just continued the success. 

In 2017, he was the NCAA singles runner-up, NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, and All-America in singles and doubles. He was just the second Tar Heel to be named ITA National Rookie of the Year and was the fifth UNC player to be voted 2017 ACC Freshman of the Year. Entering the postseason, Blumberg has been selected to play in both the NCAA singles and doubles draws. 

Kelly and Boyden also earned All-ACC third-team honors. 

The Tar Heels will start NCAA tournament play on May 12 with a noon matchup against Campbell at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.

@mwc13_3

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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