IRVINE, Calif. – Red-hot UNC Wilmington knocked off its second ranked opponent in three outings Friday with a 4-3 men’s tennis victory over No. 64 UC-Irvine at Anteater Tennis Stadium.
The Seahawks won their seventh straight match to improve to 9-3 on the season and completed a two-game sweep of their spring break trip to the West Coast. UC-Irvine, fell to 6-9 this spring.
“I’m really proud of our guys and how they came to play,” said Mait DuBois, UNCW’s second-year coach. “Today was another great team effort. You can feel our team’s confidence building, and we really went after a very talented UC-Irvine team.
“Our young guys are showing a lot of maturity, with all four of our singles wins coming from freshmen and sophomores. The three-set wins clinched the match for us, but the business-like performances from Kinshuk (Sharma) and Ryan (Ybarra) really gave us some great momentum.
“Ryan is playing his best tennis of the spring today and really brought together the things he has been working on.”
The Seahawks lost all three doubles matches, but rallied with four singles victories to keep their winning streak intact.
After sophomore Kinshuk Sharma won for the ninth time in his last 10 matches with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Stephen Skege, sophomore Alex Wetherell also won his ninth in 10 outings in a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 triumph over Zac Tsai.
The wins set up the match-clincher by sophomore Michael Pereira, who nailed down the match for the second straight time over a ranked team with a come-from-behind 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 decision over UCI’s Wes Miller.
The Seahawks open a three-match homestand on Wednesday (Mar. 18) when they entertain Drake at 2 p.m.