The No. 6 North Carolina men’s tennis team beat the Duke Blue Devils, 4-1, on Saturday night to win in the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Chapel Hill. The home victory sent the Tar Heels (4-0) to their fifth consecutive ITA National Team Indoor Tennis Championships in Chicago.
The match held personal value for a number of players. Junior Simon Soendergaard’s father John was in the audience, marking the first time the Danish local was able to visit and see his son play in North Carolina. Junior William Blumberg was able to celebrate his 21st birthday with a win in a match that could dictate the course of the young tennis season.
But it was first-year Brian Cernoch and sophomore Benjamin Sigouin, two of the youngest players on the team, who were instrumental in helping the Tar Heels clinch the victory.
The final score didn't reflect the match's competitive start. UNC split the first two doubles matches, as Soendergaard and sophomore Mac Kiger came away with a win while Blumberg and senior Blaine Boyden were unable to control the Blue Devils on Court 1.
The all-important doubles point was left to Cernoch and Sigouin, who stood tied with the Blue Devils at 6-6 by the time their teammates finished their respective contests.