the no. 29 NC State men’s tennis team fell to the No. 6 Wake Forest Demon Deacons 5-2 in its third straight ACC loss on Thursday, March 21.
The Wolfpack (10-5, 1-3 ACC) headed into the Thursday afternoon match looking to bounce back from its two previous losses, but after establishing an early lead, the top-10 ranked Demon Deacons (20-4, 4-0 ACC) got the better of the Pack, winning in dominant fashion.
Wake Forest, who continues to remain undefeated in ACC play, managed to start the match out hot, winning two of the three doubles matches to secure the first point. Doubles, which has been a strong area for the Wolfpack this season, was clinched rather easily by the Demon Deacons.
Wake Forest took court three of doubles first, after Matthew Thomson and Jakob Schnaitter managed to take down graduate student Collin Shick and senior Yannai Barkai 6-3.
Court two was then clinched in a similar fashion as freshman Fons Van Sambeek and junior Martins Rocens fell to Jurabek Karimov and Siddhant Banthia 6-4.
Because of that win, Wake Forest clinched the point and the court one match featuring the No. 25 Wolfpack pairing of junior Robin Catry and sophomore Luca Staeheli was abandoned, finishing with the two duos tied at five all.
Wake Forest took its second point of the match when Melios Efstathiou defeated Staeheli 6-3, 6-4 on court two. After dropping the first set, Staeheli took a 4-0 lead in the second, hoping to mount a comeback. But Efstathiou thwarted the comeback and managed to win six straight games to take the match.
The Demon Deacons then secured a 3-0 match lead after fifth-year Rrezart Cungu took down Wolfpack freshman Damien Salvestre 6-4, 6-4 on court four.
Schnaitter took the game-clinching match for Wake Forest on court five, taking down Van Sambeek 6-2, 5-7, 6-1, in a three-set thriller. After Wake Forest clinched the match, the Wolfpack finally earned its first point of the match as No. 88 Catry took down No. 53 Edward Nava 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Wake earned its fifth and final point of the match when No. 111 Banthia defeated sophomore Braden Shick 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. The Wolfpack then earned its second point of the match on court one. Despite the match already being finished, senior Rafa Izquierdo Luque managed to take down No. 78 Jurabek Karimov 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.
After a disappointing week with three straight top-25 away matchups and three straight losses, the Wolfpack will look to bounce back. Following a short break, the squad will look to regain its form when it takes on Northwestern on March 21 at 3 pm at the JW Isenhour Tennis Center in Raleigh.