The No. 55 University of Miami men’s tennis team kicks off play in the 2013 ACC Men’s Tennis Championship against No. 54 North Carolina on Thursday, April 25 at 9 a.m. at Cary (N.C.) Tennis Park. Miami (13-12, 2-8 ACC) finished ninth in the league standing and drew the No. 9 seed, while North Carolina (11-12, 4-6 ACC) finished eighth and earned the No. 8 seed.
The winner of Thursday’s matchup will face No. 2 Virginia in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Last Time Out
Miami closed its 2013 regular season schedule with a highly competitive match against then-No. 1 Virginia last Sunday, but ultimately dropped a tough 6-1 final. The Hurricanes fought hard on every court in both singles and doubles competition, but were only able score one point on the afternoon.
Highlighting singles play for the Hurricanes was junior Gabriel Flores and sophomore Wilfredo Gonzalez. Although Flores was not able to pull out a victory, the Guaynabo, Puerto Rico native fought a tough match against the nation’s then-top-ranked player in Jarmere Jenkins. In both sets, the two players exchanged leads but Jenkins was able to break Flores’ serve in the final two games and prevailed, 7-6, 7-5.
Gonzalez, who owns a team-leading 16-8 dual singles record and a 12-1 home mark, put Miami on the board with a hard-fought three set victory over then-No. 58 Ryan Shane at third singles. The 6-3 right-hander jumped out to a 6-4 win in the first set, but Shane responded with 6-4 win of his own in the second frame. Standing tall in the deciding set, Gonzalez polished off Shane with another 6-4 victory, giving Miami its only point of the afternoon.
For the first time in 15 weeks, Virginia, who has won 103 consecutive ACC matches, lost its footing as the nation’s top-ranked team in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll. This regression may be attributed to the the stiff challenge the Hurricanes posed to Virginia last weekend.
Hurricanes in Neutral Matches
Miami has recorded a perfect 3-0 record in matches played at neutral sites. In fact, the Hurricanes began the 2012-2013 season with a doubleheader in Gainesville at the University of Florida, followed by the ITA Kick-off Weekend tournament in Columbus, Ohio.
The Hurricanes scored the victory at UF by sweeping Bethune-Cookman, 7-0, while downing then-No. 71 Louisiana-Lafayette, 4-3, in the ITA Kick-off Weekend tournament.
Later in the season, Miami traveled to Lubbock, Texas for a pair of matches. In the second match of a back-to-back, Miami battled to a 5-2 win over New Mexico, giving the Hurricanes their third neutral match victory.
Scouting the Tar Heels
North Carolina enters Thursday’s matchup on a two-match winning streak and winners of four of their last six. Last weekend the Tar Heels grabbed a 5-2 victory over then-No. 25 Wake Forest, before sweeping Boston College, 7-0, in its last match of the regular season.
No. 43 Esben Hess-Olesen highlights North Carolina’s singles lineup, while the Tar Heels doubles lineup features a pair of ranked tandems in No. 70 William Parker and Nelson Vick and No. 86 Brett Clark and Hess-Olesen.
North Carolina owns a 1-1 record in neutral matches this season.
Earlier this Season
Miami and North Carolina faced off earlier this season in Chapel Hill, N.C., in a match that ended in a 5-2 victory for the Tarheels.
Scoring for Miami was Gabriel Flores with a 0-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Brett Clark at No. 2 singles, while senior Victor Mauz notched a 7-6, 6-4 at sixth singles over Andre Gores.