CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – No. 125 junior Guy Iradukunda and redshirt junior Lucas Poullain each earned impressive victories as the No. 27 Florida State men’s tennis team (13-6, 3-2 ACC) fell 5-2 at No. 11/4 North Carolina (17-2, 4-1 ACC) on Sunday afternoon.
Battling on court one against No. 19 Ronnie Schneider of UNC, Iradukunda took the first set 7-5, but Schneider responded to take the second 6-4. The third set went to a tiebreak, which Iradukunda controlled from the jump en route to the 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(3) victory, the highest-ranked win of his Seminole career so far.
Poullain faced off with UNC’s Simon Soendergaard on court four and was the first Seminole point of the match. Poullain controlled the match all the way through to win 6-3, 6-1 and was the second match off the court.
“I was really pleased with Lucas today,” Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “He played well early and basically kind of ran away with the match in the second set.
“Guy beat a top 20 player, a several time All-American on his home court. (Schneider) is a hard guy to beat and one is one of Guy’s better wins in college.”
Poullain (13) and Iradukunda (11) are first and second on the team in wins this season.
North Carolina entered the match looking to avenge last year’s defeat at the hands of the Seminoles, as the then-No. 51 Noles upset the No. 1-ranked Tarheels 4-3 in Tallahassee last March. The Florida State victory was the first in school history over the No. 1 team in the nation.
The Seminoles started a new lineup in the match, as Iradukunda and senior Jack Haffey saw time on court three in doubles, and senior Jake Albo made his first singles appearance of the season on court six, where he played well but lost 6-3, 6-1 to UNC’s Blaine Boyden.
On the other courts, No. 52 sophomore Aziz Dougaz, redshirt junior Jose Gracia, and freshman Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar each fought hard but were unable to come up with wins.
“I thought the effort of Jose and Rana was really good today,” Hultquist said. “This senior group at UNC is one of the best they’ve ever had. (They are a) really good team. Rana played an excellent match against Murray. Jose had the chance to win both sets against Kelly who is very experienced. We came up a bit short but good to get back home this weekend against Notre Dame.”
The Seminoles return to the Scott Speicher Tennis Center looking to get back into the win column against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Friday April 7 at 5:30 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.
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