Following the loss to Wake Forest on Friday, the No. 18 UNC men’s tennis team (14-7, 9-3 ACC) remained on the road to finish out their regular season campaign against No. 20 NC State (17-8, 6-6 ACC) in Raleigh on Easter Sunday. The Tar Heels and Wolfpack played a tough, back and forth match that resulted in a 4-3 win for North Carolina.
In the doubles matches, the Wolfpack took the early lead on all three courts. UNC’s top ten doubles pair of seniors Brian Cernoch and Mac Kiger had been dominant throughout the season, but were shut down by N.C. State’s junior Martins Rocens and first-year Fons Van Sambeek, who defeated the North Carolina pair 6-2.
Redshirt first-year Braden Shick and graduate Collin Shick from the Wolfpack were able to pick up the win against UNC’s senior Benjamin Sigouin and sophomore Peter Murphy, beating the Tar Heels 6-3 and clinching the doubles point for N.C. State to give them the early 1-0 lead.
N.C. State carried their momentum from doubles play into the singles matches, coming out with early leads in set one on each court.
After a close 7-6 win in the first set, Sigouin defeated Rocens 6-0 in the second set for North Carolina’s first point of the day, tying the Wolfpack and the Tar Heels 1-1.
NC State’s sophomore Luca Staeheli came out to a particularly hot start, shutting out UNC’s Kiger 6-0 in the first set. In the second set, Kiger responded well, taking the early 3-2 lead and winning the second set, 6-4, to force a third, where Staeheli defeated Kiger 6-1 and secured another point for the Wolfpack to put them ahead 2-1.
Sophomore Logan Zapp from UNC was able to add another point for the Tar Heels after defeating junior Robin Catry of N.C. State in three sets. N.C. State broke through with another point when NC State YEAR Damien Salvestre defeated North Carolina’s Anuj Watane in two straight sets, putting the Wolfpack up 3-2.
Cernoch came from behind to win set one against the Wolfpack’s senior Rafa Izquierdo Luque, 6-3. The second set also remained close, and resulted in a 7-5 win for Izquierdo Luque. Cernoch came up big for UNC in this set, winning 6-0 and tying the match at three.