Hurricanes falter against North Carolina 4-0

Fifth-year senior Bojan Jankulovski returns the ball during the third game of the first set of his singles match versus senior Benjamin Sigouin at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on March 11, 2022.
Fifth-year senior Bojan Jankulovski returns the ball during the third game of the first set of his singles match versus senior Benjamin Sigouin at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on March 11, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Miami (12-3, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) took to the courts at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Friday night for its fourth match in the last seven days. Coming off emotional victories against No. 20 NC State and No. 26 Memphis, the Hurricanes lost some of their intensity against No. 31 North Carolina (7-5, 2-1 ACC).

In doubles, UNC dominated on all three courts. UM continued to struggle to find rhythm and identity in its pairings. The newly formed duo of fifth-year senior Benjamin Hannestad and graduate Dan Martin fell to No. 8 Brian Cernoch and Mac Kiger, 6-4, on Court 1. Freshman Martin Katz and fifth-year senior Bojan Jankulovski lost next, 6-3, on Court 3 to end the doubles point in favor of North Carolina.

Fifth-year senior Benjamin Hannestad returns the ball during the fifth game of the first set of his singles match versus senior Mac Kieger at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on March 11, 2022.
Fifth-year senior Benjamin Hannestad returns the ball during the fifth game of the first set of his singles match versus senior Mac Kieger at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on March 11, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

In singles, the Tar Heels jumped out to advantages on Courts 3, 4 and five. Juan Martin Jalif would be the first of the Canes to fall. On Court 5, sophomore Logan Zapp (UNC) made quick work of the fourth-year junior, 6-2, 6-3.

Hannestad would lose quickly after, falling 6-4, 6-1, on Court 3. Within minutes, fourth-year junior Oren Vasser would also lose, 6-1, 6-2, to give UNC the match in the blink of an eye.

On Court 1, No. 99 Martin was playing sensational tennis. He was locked in a third-set battle against No. 22 Brain Cernoch, 6-2, 2-6, 1-0. Jankulovski was also holding strong on Court 2, maintaining a break of serve in the second set, 4-6, 3-2, when the match was called. Katz would not relent either, leading his match, 6-4, 1-2, on Court 6.

Graduate student Dan Martin returns the ball during the seventh game of the first set of his singles match versus senior Brian Cernoch at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on March 11, 2022.
Graduate student Dan Martin returns the ball during the seventh game of the first set of his singles match versus senior Brian Cernoch at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on March 11, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

While the final score may have read 4-0 UNC, the three Canes remaining all had opportunities to win their matches. The perfect alignment of straight-set victories in singles cut the night short. If the doubles point had gone the other way, it may have been Miami leaving the night with a 4-3 victory instead.

However, UM has struggled with doubles all year, and UNC won the matches they needed to.

Miami will need to shake off the disappointment and refocus on Sunday when they face the No. 40 Duke Blue Devils. The match starts at 12 p.m. at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.