The No. 17 North Carolina men’s tennis squad defeated unranked Oklahoma State in UNC's first match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend with a final tally of 4-0.
Who stood out?
First-year Benjamin Kittay and graduate student Brian Cernoch gave the Tar Heels their first doubles victory of the day by handling Oklahoma State 6-4. Two courts down, first-year Will Jansen and graduate student Karl Poling secured the doubles point for North Carolina with a score of 6-4 over the Cowboys.
On the singles side, sophomore Chris Li dominated his match, besting Oklahoma State’s Carl Roothman 6-1 in the first set and 6-3 in the second. In what proved to be an emotion-filled match, Jansen completed his perfect day by handling his opponent in two sets with scores of 6-3 and 6-2. This victory gave the Tar Heels a 3-0 lead.
As the remaining single matches were still in progress, it was up in the air who would claim the win for UNC. However, it was none other than No. 9 Ryan Seggerman who clinched the victory for UNC, winning his first set 7-5 and concluding the match with a 6-4 second set.
In addition, the team as a whole demonstrated great serving consistency, which will greatly help the Tar Heels against the Crimson.
The Tar Heels found themselves with a 1-0 lead after victories from Kittay/Cernoch and Jansen/Poling in the doubles half of the match. However, the single matches were not so easy for UNC. Li and Jansen’s early singles victories put the Tar Heels in a nice position, but most other players endured closer matches.
Cernoch, despite playing in the No. 1 spot in today’s match, faced some difficulty against Oklahoma State’s Tyler Zink. Cernoch won the first set 6-3, but dropped the second 1-6. The third set remained close throughout, but it was prematurely ended after Seggerman’s match concluded. Seggerman’s victory caused the Tar Heels to clinch their 4-0 lead and cut all other matches short.