Athens Bound For Tar Heel Tennis In Sweet Sixteen Play
The seventh-ranked men, 26-5 on the season, advanced to the final sixteen with a 4-1 victory over South Carolina Sunday at Chapel Hill’s Cone-Kenfield Center. Carolina will face a stern test in Athens in the form of the eighth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs on Friday.
On their home courts, the Bulldogs will be an even tougher hurdle for Head Coach Sam Paul’s squad. Carolina will lean heavily two freshmen. Brayden Schnur, from Ontario, and Ronnie Schneider, from Indiana, were recently honored by the International Tennis Association.
Schnur was named ITA Carolina Region Rookie Player of the Year while Schneider was tapped as the ITA Carolina Region to Watch. Both are now eligible for national ITA awards.
The Tar Heel men are 7-11 all-time against the Bulldogs.
As for the women, the seventh-seeded Tar Heels, 26-5 on the season, booked their ticket to the Sweet Sixteen with a dominating 4-0 win over Georgia State last Saturday.
UNC now faces No. 10 Texas A&M Thursday on the courts of Athens.
As always, Carolina will depend on the reliability of the No.1 overall singles player in the nation, Jamie Loeb, and her fifth-ranked teammate, Hayley Carter.
Head Coach Brian Kalbas, however, says the Tar Heels will need to rely on their depth to ultimately progress further in the postseason.
“We’ve been really reliant on our top two players. Our two freshmen have been outstanding. For us to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, we’re going to need other players to step up,” Coach Kalbas says.