No. 15 North Carolina Starts NCAA Tournament Run With Win
Chapel Hill, N.C. - The 15th-seeded North Carolina men's tennis team kicked off its 2012 NCAA Tournament play with an impressive 4-0 victory over the College of Charleston at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center Saturday afternoon. The Tar Heels used singles victories from Oystein Steiro, Joey Burkhardt and Jose Hernandez and a comprehensive doubles point to secure the victory over the Cougars.
Head coach Sam Paul knew that the Southern Conference regular season and tournament champions would not be an easy draw in the opening round. "They're a well coached team, a talented team. We knew they'd play us hard."
The doubles tandem of Esben Hess-Olesen and Zach Hunter got things started for the Tar Heels, posting a quick 8-1 victory on court three over Cougars Alon Faiman and Stephen Hardy. Hernandez and Burkhardt followed moments later with their own 8-1 win to clinch the point for Carolina.
Brennan Boyajian and Cameron Ahari led a 5-4 battle on court two when doubles play was halted.
In singles play, Steiro dropped just one game in route to a 6-1, 6-0 victory on court six to extend the Tar Heel lead. Burkhardt followed with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Charleston's Crescente Lesser to pull the Heels to within one point of clinching the match.
Hernandez did the honors for the Tar Heels, cruising to a 6-3, 6-0 victory to put the Heels into the round of thirty-two.
Hess-Olesen led 6-3, 1-4 on court two and William Parker had a 6-3, 3-1 lead on court five when play was discontinued. Brennan Boyajian dropped his first set 4-6, but had a 3-0 lead early in the second set.
Earlier in the day, the No. 17 Tennessee Volunteers claimed a 4-1 victory over the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks to advance to Sunday's round of thirty-two matchup. Doubles victories by the team of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese and partners Jarryd Chaplin and Edward Jones gave the Volunteers the opening point of the morning. Tennessee then employed singles victories by Reese, Jones, and Taylor Patrick to secure the victory.
The Seahawks claimed their only point of the afternoon on a 6-4, 6-1 Pedro Mol victory in singles play.
Carolina and Tennessee will play tomorrow afternoon with the Tar Heels looking to advance to their first Sweet Sixteen since 2007. "It'll be a heck of a match," said Paul. "They're a well coached team again, and we just have to get prepared to come play our game. We had a lot of fans out here today and I hope they come back out and watch us tomorrow."
The match will be at 1 P.M. at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
No. 15 North Carolina 4, College of Charleston 0
1. #20 Hernandez/Burkhardt (UNC) def. Parker/Trintingnac (C of C), 8-1
2. Boyajian/Ahari (UNC) vs. Delme/Kenny (C of C), 5-4 dnf
3. Hess-Olesen/Hunter (UNC) vs. Faiman/Hardy (C of C), 8-2
Order of finish: 3, 1
1 . Jose Hernandez (UNC) def. Mickael Trentignac (C of C), 6-3, 6-0
2. Tom Delme (C of C) vs. Brennan Boyajian (UNC) 6-4, 0-3 dnf
3. Esben Hess-Oleses (UNC) vs. Kyle Parker (C of C), 6-3, 1-4 dnf
4. Joey Burkhardt (UNC) def. Crescente Lesser (C of C), 6-3, 6-2
5. William Parker (UNC) vs. Alon Faimon (C of C), 6-3, 3-1 dnf
6. Oystein Steiro (UNC) def. Billy Kenny (C of C), 6-1, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 4, 1
No. 17 Tennessee 4, No. 44 UNC Wilmington 1
1. #12 Libietis/Reese (UT) def. Blank/Cooprider (UNCW), 8-4
2. Chaplin/Jones (UT) def. Mol/Reilly (UNCW), 8-5
3. Nagovnak/Swartz (UT) vs. Pereira/Aita (UNCW), 5-5 DNF
Order of finish: 1, 2
1 .#28 Mikelis Libietis (UT) vs. #95 Rafael Aita (UNCW), 6-4, 2-3
2. #72 Hunter Reese (UT) def. Chris Cooprider (UNCW), 6-1, 6-3
3. Brandon Fickey (UT) vs. Kosta Blank (UNCW), 6-3, 0-6, 1-2
4. Pedro Mol (UNCW) def. Jarryd Chaplin (UT), 6-4, 6-1
5. Edward Jones (UT) def. Kaue Pereira (UNCW), 6-2, 6-3
6. Taylor Patrick (UT) def. Zach Hublitz (UNCW), 6-4, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 4, 5, 2