The No. 13 UNC men’s tennis team fell to the No. 23 N.C. State Wolfpack 4-1 in the inaugural match at the outdoor Chewning Tennis Center in Chapel Hill.
The Tar Heels started off on the wrong side of things early in doubles with two of three courts dropping their first game. They quickly regained their footing, though, as first-year Will Jansen and graduate student Karl Poling won five straight games to earn a 6-1 victory and put the Tar Heels one match away from the doubles point. However, graduate student Brian Cernoch and first-year Benjamin Kittay dropped their match to leave the point up in the air. Graduate student Ryan Seggerman and sophomore Casey Kania endured a tight match but eventually fell 7-5 and forfeited the doubles point to the Wolfpack.
Shortly after the singles portion of the match began, consistent rain forced the match to relocate to the indoor facility. The Tar Heels struggled in the early portion of the singles side as Poling, junior Logan Zapp and Jansen dropped their first sets. On the other side of the building, Seggerman got the Tar Heels their first point of the day after defeating his opponent in three sets. N.C. State continued their success as they earned two quick points as both Zapp and Poling were defeated in two sets by their Wolfpack counterparts.
Cernoch endured a gruesomely long match that lasted just over two hours. He won the first set 7-6 in a tiebreaker but dropped the second frame 4-6 to force a third set. While the match was competitive throughout, Cernoch’s opponent dominated the final set to win 6-1 and clinch the win for the Wolfpack. Senior Anuj Watane and Jansen were forced to endure third sets, but both were cut short due to the Wolfpack earning their fourth point.
Who stood out?
Jansen and Poling awarded the Tar Heels their only doubles victory of the day. Seggerman earned the only point of the day for UNC as he was the only player to win a singles bout the whole match. Cernoch, Jansen and Watane all forced third sets but were unable to secure a victory.
When was it decided?
The Tar Heels did not have much success the whole match and their inability to convert after they were not able to earn the doubles point plagued them. However, the match remained close until the very end. With a score of 3-1 in favor of the Wolfpack, the Tar Heels continued to counter and make it difficult for N.C. State to secure the win until very late in the match.
Why does it matter?
This snapped North Carolina’s three-game win streak and showed that the Tar Heels have trouble finding consistent stretches of success. The rivalry loss signifies that UNC will have to have their best performances of the season when they face in-state rivals Duke and Wake Forest next week.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will return to the court when they host Wake Forest at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Chewning Tennis Center.
@dthsports | email@example.com
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.