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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 25 UNC men's tennis tops No. 24 Georgia, 6-1, behind strong showings from Poling and Jansen

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UNC sophomore Will Jansen celebrates during the men's tennis match against UGA at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024. UNC beat Georgia 6-1.

On Sunday, the No. 25 North Carolina men’s tennis team earned a victory over No. 24 Georgia with a final tally of 6-1.

The Tar Heels started the match off on the right foot, earning the doubles point after besting their Bulldog opponents in two of the three matches. Sophomore Will Jansen and graduate student Karl Poling finished first by securing a 6-4 win. Georgia defeated graduate student Phillip Jordan and sophomore Benjamin Kittay, meaning the fate of the doubles point was in the hands of the final match of the group. Senior Peter Murphy and first-year Patrick Schoen won their hard-fought match in a tiebreaker over the Bulldogs. Their 7-6 victory propelled the Tar Heels to a 1-0 lead.

The singles side of the match saw a great deal of contention. Only three of the first sets finished with a score differential of more than three games. Jordan and graduate student Will Peters each won their first set and a tiebreak victory by Schoen, showing promise for the Tar Heels. Poling tacked on a tiebreak win, which gave the Tar Heels four first-set victories as each player entered their second frame. Jordan and Peters went on to win their second set by clinching two singles points for UNC and giving it a 3-0 advantage. 

Poling won his second set in a much more convincing fashion than his first. He bested his Bulldog opponent 6-4 in the second set, earning the Tar Heels yet another point and giving them a 4-0 lead. This win gave North Carolina a comfortable buffer, knowing that even if Georgia won the final three singles matches they could not earn a match victory.

Jansen and Kittay dropped their first sets but came back to force a third frame after winning their second sets. Jansen used his early adversity to fuel a comeback, winning the third set in a dominating fashion to build North Carolina’s lead to 5-0. Schoen clinched his singles match, winning in two consecutive sets to extend the lead to 6-0. The Tar Heels suffered their only loss on the day in Kittay’s match, as he lost the third set.

Poling had an impressive showing against the Bulldogs, finding success in both the singles and doubles sides of the match. Jansen had similar success, winning in his singles and doubles matches. Schoen’s performance is promising for UNC, signaling that the first-year can be useful to the Tar Heels down the stretch.

This win is a confidence booster for the Tar Heels. Success in the doubles portion is always a good sign, and seeing that success come to fruition in a ranked matchup is reassuring as UNC navigates the rest of the season and enters conference play. 

The Tar Heels will return to the court on February 26th to take on Furman at 4 p.m. at the Chewning Tennis Center.


@j_kidd03

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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