Terps Upset Bid Falls Short
March 26, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryand men's tennis team was on the cusp of one of the biggest wins in program history, but the 18th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels held off a furious rally and foiled the Terrapins upset bid with a 4-3 victory on Friday evening.
Down 3-1, the Terps (13-5, 1-3) tied the Atlantic Coast Conference match on singles victories from Sergio Wyss and Ryan Lissner, but UNC's Andrew Crone was able to outlast Mathias Sarrazin at the No. 6 position in a third-set tiebreaker and send the Tar Heels (12-2, 2-0) to their seventh straight victory.
"You want to put yourself in a position to win and we did that," first-year Maryland head coach Kyle Spencer said. "We had a great team effort. Everyone fought. There were no holes in the lineup."
In fact, five of the six singles matches lasted three sets, with the final three being hotly contested.
Playing at No. 3 singles, Collins held off a rally from Stefan Hardy who won a second-set tiebreaker. But Collins was able to prevail 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 7-5.
Lissner and Sarrazin played simultaneously with the match hanging in the balance.
As Lissner regained control of his No. 5 singles match against Cameron Ahari to post a 7-6 (7-2), 2-6, 6-2 win, Sarrazin was breaking the serve of Crone to take a 2-0 lead early in the third set of the final match of the day. But Crone broke back to even the set at 2-all.
After each player continued to hold serve, the set advanced to a tiebreaker where Crone took control, winning the match 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-1).
"Our guys were passionate today," Spencer said. "North Carolina has a great program and we fought them until the end."
While North Carolina features a mostly-veteran roster, Maryland counters with four freshmen among its top six singles players.
The young Terrapin squad struggled in the early going against North Carolina, dropping the doubles point and losing two of the first three singles matches, but two of those were to ranked foes.
UNC's Clay Donato, the 39th-ranked player in the nation, knocked off freshman Tommy Laine 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 at the No. 1 position, and Maryland's Jesse Kiuru fell to No. 85 Jose Hernandez 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 at No. 2.
Wyss' upset of Brennan Boyajian at No. 4 singles helped turn the tide for the Terps. Boyajian came in ranked No. 106 nationally in singles, but Wyss was victorious 6-0, 0-6, 6-3.
"We're making progress," Spencer said. "I hope we can come out with the same intensity against Duke."
The Terps will play host to the 24th-ranked Blue Devils at noon Sunday at the Tennis Center at College Park.