The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday October 27th

No. 9 UNC men's tennis closes out regular season with 4-0 win at Louisville

Senior Blaine Boyden serves the ball during a match against Notre Dame on Sunday, April 7, 2019. UNC won 5-0.
Buy Photos Senior Blaine Boyden serves the ball during a match against Notre Dame on Sunday, April 7, 2019. UNC won 5-0.

The No. 9 North Carolina men’s tennis team (17-5, 9-3 ACC) finished off its regular season with a 4-0 win over Louisville (15-12, 3-9 ACC). 

What happened?

The Tar Heels sported a new lineup on Sunday. With junior William Blumberg on the sidelines, first-year Brian Cernoch and sophomore Benjamin Sigouin competed on Court One while senior Blaine Boyden and junior Josh Peck played for the first time together on Court Two. Sophomore Mac Kiger and junior Simon Soendergaard stayed on Court Three, per usual. 

The first win came from UNC on Court Three, with a 6-2 victory. Court One’s duo Sigouin and Cernoch finished off the doubles point with a 6-2 win as well, giving UNC a 1-0 lead heading into singles. 

New faces were also introduced in singles with a different lineup. Kiger and Blumberg both sat out singles, leaving an open spot for junior Ladd Harrison to make his second ACC performance of the season. 

No. 35 Sigouin, who played on Court One, had a quick finish. He had a 6-4, 6-2 victory. No. 95 Peck was the second Tar Heel to win his singles matches after a 6-2, 6-2 win on Court Two. The final nail in the coffin came from Court Five. Soendergaard clinched the UNC shutout with a 6-2, 7-5 win. 

“The guys definitely stepped up coming into the match, bringing a lot of energy,” Boyden said. “We came out from the get-go with a lot of energy.” 

Who stood out?

Although he did not finish his singles sets, lone senior Boyden stood out in the Tar Heel singles lineup. He rallied after being down 4-1 to win his first set in a tiebreak. Boyden currently leads the team with a 16-3 singles record. 

However, the doubles play was also a noteworthy part. 

“It was cool,” Boyden said. “Me and Josh have never played together before, but I thought, despite the circumstances, we played pretty well, fed off of each other’s energy and played good doubles.” 

Sigouin also has had a standout performance, particularly in singles. The sophomore currently has a 12-4 singles record and an 8-5 doubles record with partner Cernoch. Cernoch maintained his 11-5 singles record after his match went unfinished against Louisville. 

When was it decided?

The match was decided after the first set of singles. Soendergaard, Peck and Sigouin all won within minutes of each other, giving UNC an early hopeful lead. Although the team played indoors due to the storms scattered across the South, the team ignored the noise and went to work. 

Why does it matter?

After falling 4-2 to No. 5 Virginia on Friday, UNC dropped to third in the ACC rankings after previously being tied with UVA. Despite winning on Sunday, UNC stayed at third place after Virginia topped Virginia Tech 4-2. 

“We’re just using that as a learning experience,” Boyden commented about the quick turnaround after UVA. “We had our chance to win that match, but it’s something that’s going to be fuel to the fire, not something we wanted to dwell on with how quick our turnaround was. I think we had a very good attitude for this match.” 

When do they play next?

With this being the last regular season game, the Tar Heels are headed into the ACC Tournament and have a single bye. No. 3 UNC will play the winner of No. 6 Georgia Tech/No. 11 Louisville on Friday at 11:30 a.m. in Cary.


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