The No. 10 seed North Carolina Men’s Tennis Team (6-3) fell 1-4 to No. 7 seed USC (7-1) Friday afternoon in the ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship in Chicago.
The Tar Heels got off to a strong start in doubles, with all three pairs taking an early lead. The Trojans responded quickly, and were able to remain within touching distance, never trailing by more than two games in the doubles portion. However, UNC was able to retain the upper hand, and the duo of sophomore Casey Kania and No. 19 ranked graduate Ryan Seggerman, playing on the No. 1 court, were able to achieve the first win of the match in a 7-6(1) tiebreak. Following close behind at the No. 2 spot were No. 59 ranked graduate Brain Cernoch and first-year Benjamin Kittay, who clinched the doubles point for UNC with a 6-4 victory.
USC showed their dominance from the start in singles play, with the majority of its players immediately appearing to have the upper hand over UNC. On court No.1, Cenoch, who was facing No. 35 ranked Stefan Dostanic, was quickly outmatched, and dropped the first set 6-1. His attempt to rally back in the second set also proved to be unsuccessful, and Dostanic was able to give the Trojans their first point with a 6-1, 6-4 victory.
Seggerman appeared to be the only UNC player in control at the beginning of his singles match against No. 34 ranked Peter Makk, breezing to a 6-1 win in the first set. Makk, however, was able to claw his way back into the game and ultimately triumph in a tightly contested 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 challenge.
The rest of the UNC team fared similarly, with first year Will Jansen and sophomore Chris Li both losing in straight sets to give USC a 4-1 victory and a ticket to the round of eight.
Who stood out?
Seggerman, playing in the No. 1 doubles position and the No. 2 singles position, appeared strong throughout the afternoon, despite eventually falling in singles play. He once again demonstrated his strong doubles game, achieving a win over the No. 12 ranked USC team of Dostanic and Bradley Frye through an extremely consistent performance from the baseline.
He also played well in singles, recording 15 aces over the span of the match and putting in a dominant first set performance.