Atlantic Coast Conference regular season champion and top national seed Wake Forest needed just an hour and 40 minutes to eliminate UNCW, 4-0, in a first-round match of the Winston-Salem Regional men's tennis tournament Friday at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.
The Demon Deacons, who raised their record to 28-2, will face No. 2 seed Kentucky on Saturday at 5 p.m. for the right to advance to the Sweet Sixteen in Athens, Ga. The Wildcats routed Georgia State, 4-0, in the earlier match of the day played outside under misty weather.
UNCW, champions of the Colonial Athletic Association, concluded a bounce-back campaign at 14-9 after making its sixth NCAA appearance.
The second meeting between the two schools was forced inside due to inclement weather in the area and the Demon Deacons showed they were accustomed to playing regularly at their indoor facility.
“You can’t duplicate this kind of experience,” said UNCW 10th-year Head Coach Mait DuBois, the 2017 CAA Coach-of-the-Year. “You have to be here and experience it. It’s so valuable. We needed it…it’s good for us. I’m proud of our guys. Wake Forest is very talented and has a very good shot at winning it all.”
The Demon Deacons took the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles matches to nab the early point and then tacked on three singles victories for the shutout.
Junior Skander Mansouri, ranked 13th nationally, downed Seahawk freshman Ignasi de Rueda, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 3 singles for the clincher after Wake claimed singles wins at No. 5 and No. 1. Four of WFU’s six singles players are ranked, headed by No. 5 Petros Chrysochos at the top of the lineup.
Freshman Raphael Calzi enjoyed the most success for the Seahawks on Friday. The newcomer from Mondercange, Luxemburg, split sets with Wake’s Christian Seraphim, ranked 84th in the nation, before the match was called.
The Seahawks are now 1-6 lifetime in the NCAA Regionals after returning to the national tournament for the first time since 2014.
Match Notes: The match was delayed 1:10 due to wet courts before being moved inside…Wake Forest was the only ACC opponent for the Seahawks this season…The loss snapped a three-match winning streak for the Seahawks…It marked the NCAA debut for every player on the Seahawk roster…The Seahawks won four games in doubles.
No. 1 Wake Forest 4, UNCW 0
1. #5 Petros Chrysochos (WF) def. Andres Torres (UNCW) 6-2, 6-0
2. #45 Borna Gojo (WF) vs. Agustin Savarino (UNCW) 6-2, 5-0, unfinished
3. #13 Skander Mansouri (WF) def. Ignasi de Rueda (UNCW) 6-2, 6-4
4. #84 Christian Seraphim (WF) vs. Raphael Calzi (UNCW) 2-6, 6-0, 1-0, unfinished
5. Dennis Uspensky (WF) def. Daniel Groom (UNCW) 6-0, 6-1
6. Alan Gadjiev (WF) vs. Michael Copeland (UNCW) 6-4, 1-3, unfinished
1. #4 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (WF) def. Agustin Savarino/Ignasi de Rueda (UNCW) 6-1
2. Borna Gojo/Alan Gadjiev (WF) def. Andres Torres/Michael Morphy (UNCW) 6-1
3. Petros Chrysochos/Dennis Uspensky (WF) vs. Gabe Hocevar/Michael Copeland (UNCW) 3-2, unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (5,1,3)