In the quarterfinals match up at Boar’s Head Sports Club, the Tar Heels (11-0) dropped the doubles point for the second day in a row and just the second time this season. Freshman William Blumberg and junior Robert Kelly, ranked 21st nationally, fell 6-3 to the third-ranked California duo of Filip Bergevi and Florian Lakat on court one. On court two, senior Jack Murray and Ronnie Schneider had a tough time climbing back from a 3-1 deficit after the Golden Bears broke Schneider’s serve. Their 6-3 loss gave California the opening point and the advantage.
In singles, freshman Simon Soendergaard was the first Tar Heel to register a win, beating No. 42 Filip Bergevi on court 3. After a close 6-4 win in the first set, Soendergaard cruised to take the second set 6-2, beating a ranked player for the first time in his UNC career.
Sophomore Blaine Boyden followed suit on court six. A big ace on a deciding point gave the sophomore the 6-2, 7-5 win over California’s Connor Heap and put the Tar Heels up 2-1.
The Golden Bears quickly evened up the score as No. 27 Andrew Goransson defeated UNC’s Blumberg 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 on court two.
UNC 3 Cal 2 Murray holds for 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win pic.twitter.com/ypHoFqb4jW— UNC Men's Tennis (@carolinatennis) February 18, 2017
With the last three courts in third sets, Murray outlasted California’s Bjorn Hoffman at No. 5 to put the Tar Heels a point away from securing the match. The senior fought off two game points and broke Hoffman to go up 6-5 in the third set. A strong service game gave Murray the 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win.
Kelly clinches it 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 pic.twitter.com/O0qi4ALKF0— UNC Men's Tennis (@carolinatennis) February 18, 2017
With no room for error, California’s No. 11 Florian Lakat pushed his match against Schneider into a third set tiebreak on court one. But before their match was concluded, Kelly hit a cross-court winner against 40th-ranked Billy Griffith on court four. His 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory clinched the match for the Tar Heels.
Carolina returns to action on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. for a semifinals matchup against the winner of the Virginia-UCLA match.
#5 North Carolina 4, #4 California 2
Order of match finish: (1, 2)
1. #3 Bergevi/Lakat (Cal) def. #21 Blumberg/Kelly (UNC) 6-3
2. Goransson/Griffith (Cal) def. Murray/Schneider (UNC) 6-3
3. Hoffmann/Nishimura (Cal) vs. Boyden/Soendergaard (UNC) 5-4, unfinished
Order of match finish: (3, 6, 2, 5, 4)
1. #16 Ronnie Schneider (UNC) vs. #11 Florian Lakat (Cal) 6-4, 1-6, 6-6, unfinished
2. #27 Andre Goransson (Cal) def. William Blumberg (UNC) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
3. Simon Soendergaard (UNC) def. #42 Filip Bergevi (Cal) 6-4, 6-2
4. Robert Kelly (UNC) def. #40 Billy Griffith (Cal) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
5. Jack Murray (UNC) def. Bjorn Hoffmann (Cal) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
6. Blaine Boyden (UNC) def. Connor Heap (Cal) 6-2, 7-5
Records: UNC 11-0, California 4-1