On Senior Day, the No. 11 North Carolina’s men’s tennis team took care of business against No. 22 Notre Dame, shutting out its opponent, 5-0.
North Carolina (16-4, 8-2 ACC) began the afternoon with a hot start in the doubles matches. Simon Soendergaard and Mac Kiger finished first with a 6-0 shutout, and another 6-0 finish from William Blumberg and Blaine Boyden earned the doubles point for the Tar Heels.
Blumberg sat out the singles match to injury, allowing his teammates to move up in the lineup.
Between the doubles and singles matches, North Carolina’s head coach Sam Paul took a moment to recognize its lone senior, Blaine Boyden, who is also known as “Bo.” Paul spoke about Boyden’s dedication to the sport and to the program, thanking his player for his contributions the past four years.
Mac Kiger struck first over Notre Dame’s Nathan Griffin, winning 6-4, 6-3 on Court 6.
The rest of the matches were lopsided in favor for the Tar Heels. North Carolina’s No. 35 Benjamin Sigouin won second on Court 1 over Axe Nefve, 6-2, 6-3. After that, Simon Soendergaard controlled his entire match, winning 7-5, 6-3. The team victory came when No. 104 Josh Peck wrapped up his match over Matt Gamble, 6-3, 6-4.
Who stood out?
Led by Soendergaard and Kiger, who won their doubles and singles matches, North Carolina saw contributions across the board.
When the match was cut short, Notre Dame had only secured one set under its belt, where No. 112 Guillermo Cabrera won the first set again North Carolina’s Brian Cernoch, 7-6 (10-8).
Although the senior Boyden did not finish his match, he dominated the first set, winning 6-1, and was playing neck and neck in the second set.
Boyden has been largely successful this season, coming into the match with a 15-3 record in singles and 13-3 record in doubles. Boyden and his double partner, Blumberg, are ranked no. 34 nationally and remain undefeated in conference play with a 9-0 record.
In his college career, Boyden has been part of UNC's first national championship at the ITA Indoors in 2016, the Tar Heels' first NCAA runner-up finish, and UNC's first No. 1 ranking.
Boyden’s awards also go beyond the court. He is a two-time ITA Scholar Athlete and made the All-ACC Academic Team in 2017 and 2018.
When was it decided?
After easily winning the doubles point, UNC did not take its foot off the gas. UNC dictated almost every aspect of the match, which resulted in an early victory.
Why does it matter?
North Carolina picks up its eighth conference victory, and hopes to move up the rankings before it competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in a couple of weeks in Cary.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels have two more regular season matches, and will face off against No. 5 Virginia in Charlottesville next Friday at 3 p.m.
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