After a hard-fought victory over the No. 8 seed California Golden Bears on Thursday night, the ninth-seeded UNC men’s tennis team will now make its fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
The Tar Heels defeated the Golden Bears by a team score of 4-1 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia–earning a date with top-seeded Wake Forest on Saturday for a shot at the Final Four.
UNC improved to 27-4 on the season, leaving the Tar Heels just one victory shy of last season’s school record.
The doubles point came down to a tiebreaker on Thursday, as UNC’s 12th-ranked squad of William Blumberg and Robert Kelly were able to eke out a 7-6 (7-2) win over Cal’s fifth-ranked team of Florian Lakat and Filip Bergevi.
Senior Jack Murray helped the Tar Heels get off to a fast start in singles competition, with a 6-4, 6-3 win over J.T. Nishimura.
Each of the other five singles matches went to three sets, however.
Bjorn Hoffman gave California its only team point of the night with a win over UNC’s Blaine Boyden, but Blumberg and Ronnie Schneider–the Tar Heels’ two best singles players–were able to seal the deal shortly after.
“We just stuck in there and knew if we played our game we’re one of the toughest teams in the country,” Schneider said. “I am just so proud of everybody.”
Saturday’s NCAA Quarterfinal match between UNC and Wake Forest is set to begin at 4 p.m.