The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday March 29th

UNC men's tennis defeats Virginia Tech at home, 4-1

UNC senior Brian Cernoch prepares for a hit during a men's tennis match against Virginia Tech on Friday, Mar. 4, 2022. UNC won 4-1.
Buy Photos UNC senior Brian Cernoch prepares for a hit during a men's tennis match against Virginia Tech on Friday, Mar. 4, 2022. UNC won 4-1.

After dropping their last match against Columbia, the No. 27 North Carolina men’s tennis team (6-4, 1-0 ACC) bounced back Friday afternoon in their first conference match of the season to knock off Virginia Tech (4-8, 0-1 ACC), 4-1.  

What happened?

The Hokies got ahead early, winning two out of three doubles matches to secure an early lead over the Tar Heels. In match one of doubles play, Virginia Tech redshirt-sophomore Jordan Chrysostom and sophomore Ryan Fishback knocked off the North Carolina pair of seniors Brian Cernoch and Mac Kiger 6-3. 

In match two, North Carolina rebounded, with first-year Casey Kania and sophomore Logan Zapp securing a 6-3 victory of their own to even things out at 1-1, but the Hokies took the third match again by a score of 6-3 to wrap up doubles play for the afternoon with Virginia Tech ahead 1-0. 

To start off singles play, the Tar Heels took the first match, with Cernoch knocking off Fishback 6-1, 6-0 to tie the overall score up at 1-1. In match two, senior Benjamin Sigouin helped North Carolina take the overall lead, knocking off Hokie sophomore Hugo Maia 6-1, 6-2 to make the score 2-1, Tar Heels. 

North Carolina added to its lead in match three with Kiger winning 6-2, 6-0 over Virginia Tech sophomore Alvaro Ariza to push the lead to two, 3-1, and Zapp finished things off for the Tar Heels in match five with a 7-5, 6-2 victory to seal the deal on North Carolina’s 4-1 victory.  

Who stood out? 

It was an overall team effort for the Tar Heels in their dominant win over the Hokies. Cernoch, Sigouin, Kiger, and Zapp all brought home singles victories for North Carolina with Zapp’s sealing the deal on the North Carolina win. Zapp also helped the Tar Heels win their only doubles match of the day, combining with Kania to outlast the Virginia Tech pair, 6-3. 

For the Hokies, the pairs of Chrysostom and Fishback along with senior Carlo Donato and first-year Alberto Orso, helped them secure their only point, knocking off North Carolina in doubles 2-1. 

When was it decided?

After falling down early 1-0, North Carolina bounced back in a big way in singles, winning all of their matches and leaving two unfinished with both Tar Heels in good position. North Carolina breezed through the afternoon in roughly two hours with Zapp’s late victory putting the icing on the cake for a team seeking their first ACC win of the season. 

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels were able to kick off conference play on a positive note in their dominant win over Virginia Tech. The win allowed them to bounce back from a tough loss against a tough Columbia team to build back some confidence as the schedule begins to heat up in March. North Carolina’s win also likely vaults them back into the top-25 after falling out by a couple of spots after their loss to the Lions. 

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will be back in action Sunday as they take on Virginia in Carrboro at the Chapel Hill Tennis Club. The matchups between the Tar Heels and the Cavaliers will begin at 11 a.m.

@dthsports |

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