UNC Men’s Tennis Star Schneider Ranked No. 10 in Preseason

Entering his senior year, Ronnie Schneider is no longer playing second fiddle to anyone.

The UNC men’s tennis star enters 2016 as the No. 10 ranked individual in the nation–just over a month after former teammate Brayden Schnur left school early to turn professional.

Schneider reached as high as No. 10 in the polls last February, but hopes to move up the charts as this season progresses.

For his career, he has a 90-33 record in singles competition–including a 26-8 mark in 2015-16.

Despite Schnur being ranked higher throughout much of the year, Schneider actually went further than any other Tar Heel in the NCAA Men’s Individual Tournament–reaching the Round of 16.

In the doubles rankings, Schneider and teammate Jack Murray also earned the distinction of being among the nation’s top 33 teams–as they were ranked No. 33.

UNC opens its fall season this weekend with a pair of tournaments–one in Cary, NC and the other in Meadowood, California.

The team will be split into two groups in order to play in these events.

Last season’s Tar Heels took home the indoor national championship in February, before eventually falling to Georgia in the NCAA Quarterfinals later on in the year.

This year, they’ll be looking to improve on that performance–with Schneider leading the way.


Brayden Schnur Leaving UNC for Professional Tennis

Brayden Schnur will forego his senior season playing tennis at UNC to pursue a professional tennis career.

Schnur made the announcement on Twitter and on Monday the university sent a release calling Schnur “one of the greatest players in North Carolina men’s tennis history.”

The Ontario native was the 2014 ITA National Rookie of the Year and Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year. That season Schnur also became the first Tar Heel freshman to earn All-America honors in more than 20 years. Schnur went on to be named All-America and All-ACC during his sophomore and junior campaigns as well.

Schnur won the USTA/ITA National Indoor Collegiate Championship as a sophomore.

UNC men’s tennis coach Sam Paul released a statement regarding Schnur’s choice to leave UNC early.

“We support Brayden 100 percent in his decision. He is unquestionably one of the greatest players in program history. It was an honor to coach him and we look forward to following his career. Brayden had unprecedented success in his time at UNC. No other player I’ve coached in 27 years at Carolina had as many accolades.”

Schnur is scheduled to play this week in the National Bank Challenger Gatineau.

Schnur is the second UNC tennis star to leave school early in as many years. After winning the 2015 women’s singles title as a sophomoore, Jamie Loeb opted to turn her attention to a professional tennis career.


Five from UNC Tennis Earn Academic Honor

Five UNC tennis players have recently earned an academic honor from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Four members from the UNC women’s tennis team earned ITA Scholar-Athlete status – junior All-America Hayley Carter, senior Ashley Dai, senior Whitney Kay and freshman Jessie Aney.

It was Carter’s third time receiving the recognition and the first time for her three teammates.

The Tar Heels women’s team also received the ITA All-Academic Team award by recording a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.20 or better.

Meanwhile, rising sophomore Blaine Boyden was named an ITA Scholar-Athlete from the men’s team.

Both programs had tremendous seasons with Carter spending most of the year as the top-ranked singles player in the country. The women’s team finished the season as the fourth-ranked team in the country, while the men’s side finished the season ranked No. 5.

Being an ITA Scholar-Athlete requires that the student-athlete be a varsity letter winner, have a GPA of at least 3.50 and have been enrolled at their present school for at least two semesters.


Both UNC Tennis Teams Finish in Top 5, Seven Tar Heels Named All-Americans

The season may not have ended exactly according to script for the UNC men’s and women’s tennis teams, but their work was certainly rewarded in the year-end polls.

After setting a school record with 31 wins–including 21 straight before its Round of 16 loss to Virginia in the NCAA Tournament–the women’s squad (31-3) was ranked No. 4  in the final Oracle/ITA Collegiate Women’s Tennis Rankings released on Wednesday.

The men’s team finished out the season ranked fifth after making a third straight NCAA Quarterfinal appearance–where the Tar Heels were sent home by Georgia.

Hayley Carter was UNC’s highest ranked individual, ending the year as the No. 2 women’s player in the nation.

She posted a 49-5 singles record and advanced to the NCAA Singles Championship Final last weekend–where she came up short against Virginia’s Danielle Collins.

Ronnie Schneider earned All-American honors for advancing to the Round of 16 in last week's NCAA Singles Tournament. (Jeffrey A. Camarati/ UNC Athletics)

Ronnie Schneider earned All-American honors for advancing to the Round of 16 in last week’s NCAA Singles Tournament. (Jeffrey A. Camarati/ UNC Athletics)

Along with her teammate Whitney Kay, Carter was also was named an All-American in doubles competition. They combined for a 37-7 record on their way to the NCAA Doubles Semifinals–ending the year No. 3 in the rankings.

On the men’s side, senior Brett Clark and sophomore Robert Kelly earned All-America honors for their own performance as a doubles pairing.

Clark and Kelly were ranked No. 4 in the final rankings, but had a chance to be No. 1. Unfortunately, an injury to Kelly forced them to withdraw ahead of the NCAA Doubles Championship Final.

Their recognition gives the Tar Heels five All-Americans on the men’s side.

Ronnie Schneider finished the year ranked No. 23, but was honored for reaching the Round of 16 in the NCAA Singles Tournament, while Brayden Schnur (ranked No. 30) and Jack Murray earned the distinction for reaching the Quarterfinals in the NCAA Doubles Tournament.


UNC Men’s Tennis Loses in NCAA Quarterfinals

The UNC men’s tennis season came to an end on Sunday.

The Tar Heels were facing Georgia in the NCAA Quarterfinals attempting to become the second team in ACC history to reach an NCAA Final Four.

But the Bulldogs were too much for Carolina. Georgia took the opening doubles point and then won the first three singles matches for the overall victory.

While Carolina was serving for wins on two courts, it wasn’t enough as Georgia was able to secure the victory.

It was one of the most successful seasons in UNC history as Carolina won the Indoor National Championship earlier this year.


Tar Heel Men’s Tennis Advances to Third Straight NCAA Quarterfinal

The UNC men’s tennis team isn’t ready to go home just yet.

Continuing the best season in program history, the No. 2 Tar Heels defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs 4-0 in the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 on Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Now halfway home in their quest for the outdoor national championship–after winning the indoor title in February–UNC (28-4) also set a new school record with its 28th win.

It was also the third straight 4-0 win for the Tar Heels during the tournament, as they have yet to drop a single team point on their way to the quarterfinals.

Mississippi State (18-9) was able to win one of the three doubles sets, and even forced UNC’s team of Brayden Schnur and Jack Murray into a tiebreak.

The Tar Heels prevailed, however, and went on to cruise to a trio of straight-set victories in the singles portion of the event.

Brayden Schnur played a role in two of UNC's four team points on Friday. (Jeffrey A. Camarati/ UNC Athletics)

Brayden Schnur played a role in two of UNC’s four team points on Friday. (Jeffrey A. Camarati/ UNC Athletics)

Schnur, UNC’s top ranked player at No. 26 in the country, was the first to finish–getting a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 34 Mate Catura.

Soon after, No. 46 Brett Clark defeated No. 70 Nuno Borges 6-4, 6-4 for his 116th career singles victory as a Tar Heel.

Jack Murray then locked up UNC’s third consecutive trip to the NCAA quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-3 win against Niclas Braun.

It was quite the response by a Tar Heel squad which saw their women’s counterparts–also among the favorites to bring home a championship–prematurely sent home on Thursday.

Up Next:

UNC returns to action on Sunday, May 22–facing off against the winner of USC and Georgia at 5 p.m.

Match Notes:

  • Schnur’s win over Catura was his seventh victory over a ranked opponent this season, second on UNC behind Ronnie Schneider’s nine such wins.
  • Robert Kelly, who has a 36-7 singles record for UNC this year, was not in the singles lineup Friday.





UNC Men’s Tennis Knocks Off Tulane in NCAA Second Round

It’s on to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the No. 3 UNC men’s tennis team.

The Tar Heels continued their march toward the National Championship on Sunday, becoming one of 16 teams left standing after their 4-0 victory over the Tulane Green Wave in the second round of the NCAA Team Tournament.

Despite a tough challenge from Tulane, which has the nation’s No. 3 ranked player, Dominik Koepfer, UNC’s depth ultimately provided the difference at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center–improving the Tar Heels’ record to 27-4 this season.

Tulane finishes its season with a mark of 16-9.

The Tar Heel duo of Robert Kelly and Brett Clark–the country’s No. 3 doubles team–defeated Koepfer and his teammate, Chi-Shan Jao, 6-4 to clinch the doubles point for UNC.

Anu Kodali, a freshman, played a part in two of UNC's four team points against Tulane. (Jeffrey A. Camarati)

Anu Kodali, a freshman, played a part in two of UNC’s four team points against Tulane. (Jeffrey A. Camarati)

By that time, Anu Kodali and Ronnie Schneider had already dispatched of Tulane’s Sebastian Rey and Ian Van Cott, finishing their doubles match with a 6-2 win–putting Kelly and Clark in position to put the Tar Heels on the board first.

Tulane, however, with Koepfer and Constantin Schmitz–ranked 99th in the nation–forced UNC’s Schneider and Brayden Schnur–each among the country’s top 30 players–into tight competition in the singles portion of the event.

Typically in singles competition the Tar Heels rely on Schnur and Schneider as two “guaranteed” points.

That’s where the depth came into play, as three other UNC players were able to finish off wins in their matches before the top-ranked foes could finish theirs .

Kodali was the first to pick up an individual win, defeating Tyler Schick 6-1, 6-2 to put the Tar Heels up 2-0–while Clark (6-1, 6-4) and Kelly (7-6, 6-0) finished up wins soon after to seal the team victory.

Up Next:

The Tar Heels now willl head to Tulsa–where they’ll face the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Friday, May 20 at 5:00 p.m.

Match Notes:

  • At the conclusion of the match Schnur was about to begin his 3rd set with Koepfer, with the score 4-6, 6-3.
  • Schneider and Schmitz were still in the second set, with Schneider ahead 7-6, 3-3.





UNC Men’s Tennis Advances Past College of Charleston

Looking to build off its title at the National Indoor Championships last fall, the No. 3 UNC men’s tennis team began its march through the NCAA Tournament with a 4-0 win over the College of Charleston Cougars.

The Tar Heels didn’t drop a single set in the match, as they improved to 26-4 this season–ending Charleston’s seven-match winning streak that included its first ever Colonial Athletic Association Championship.

The Cougars finish the season with a record of 19-7.

Jack Murray clinched the match for UNC with his 6-3, 6-0 win over Zack Lewis. (Jeffrey A. Camarati/ UNC Athletics)

Jack Murray clinched the match for UNC with his 6-3, 6-0 win over Zack Lewis. (Jeffrey A. Camarati/ UNC Athletics)

UNC’s top two players, Brayden Schnur and Ronnie Schneider, helped clinch the doubles point for the Tar Heels by teaming with Jack Murray and Anu Kodali.

Schnur and Murray defeated Charleston’s team of Vasily Kichigan and Josh Record 6-1, while Schneider and Kodali won their match against Zack Lewis and Charlie Ghriskey by a score of 6-3.

In the singles portion of the match–where six different matches are played simultaneously–UNC’s Robert Kelly was the first to clinch a victory after his dominating performance against Kichigan, in which he won 6-0, 6-1.

Schneider finished his match against Rodrigo Encinas–a 6-1, 6-1 blowout–soon after, while Murray didn’t need much longer to seal the deal.

The junior from Beverly Hills, Michigan knocked off Zack Lewis 6-3, 6-0 to send the Tar Heels through to Sunday’s second round.

Up Next:

Awaiting UNC on Sunday is the Tulane Green Wave (15-8), a group that defeated Dartmouth 4-0 early Saturday morning.

Game Notes:

  • UNC’s singles competitors not only won each of their first sets, they were each ahead in their second sets when the match was clinched, and thus stopped.






UNC Men’s Tennis Places 3 in Singles Tournament

Three members of the UNC men’s tennis team will be among the 64 participants in the NCAA Men’s Singles Tennis Championship. The invitations were announced Wednesday.

Senior Brett Clark is joined by Carolina juniors Ronnie Schneider and Brayden Schnur in receiving at-large selections to the tournament.

Clark will also be taking part in the doubles bracket with sophomore doubles partner Robert Kelly.

The singles and doubles tournament will take place following the conclusion of the team championship, in which UNC is the number two overall seed.

UCN will host the College of Charleston on May 14 in the first round of the team tournament.

The singles and doubles brackets will begin play on May 25 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


UNC Men’s Tennis Receives No. 2 NCAA Tournament Ranking

UNC men’s tennis is the number 2 overall seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

The Tar Heels will host the first two rounds of the tournament May 14 and 15.

UNC will take on College of Charleston May 14 at noon.

Tickets are $5 per person and include all matches on a particular day. Children 6 and under are admitted free.
The Tar Heels are 25-4 this season and are currently ranked No. 3 nationally. They have advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals in each of the past two years.