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Men’s tennis ends regular season with a win; Prepare for ACC Tournament

Emma Bulman
The men’s tennis team now looks forward to the ACC Tournament, which begins on Wednesday, April 17, in Cary, North Carolina.

On Saturday, the Clemson men’s tennis team put a bow on their 2024 regular season with a 5-2 win over Virginia Tech.

On Saturday’s finale, dubbed “Senior Day,” senior Ryuhei Azuma had an especially sweet ceremony as he defeated Virginia Tech’s Ryan Fishback 6-4, 6-0 on singles court No. 1 at the Duckworth Family Tennis Facility.

Combined with a win from duo Max Smith and Noa Vukadin, a clutch 7-5 doubles win between Marko Mesarovic and Matt Pitts secured the doubles point for the Tigers. As the sunny South Carolina gameday progressed, Mesarovic and Vukadin expanded on their doubles success with straight-set singles wins.

Although Virginia Tech was able to grab two points from the Tigers, they did not come easy. The only losses of the day for the home team came in the form of two grueling three-set wins for Virginia Tech as Smith fell to Alberto Orso 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, and Wissam Abderrahman fell to Maxime St. Hilaire 6-0, 1-6, 6-2.

The 5-2 victory concluded the Tiger’s 2024 season with an overall record of 13-13 (4-8 ACC).

“It was a nice day in Clemson to play our last home match this season and get a win,” head coach Brandon Wagner said.

“Now it’s time to get some work in before our guys get set to battle in the ACC Tournament next Thursday. They are hungry and will be hunting for more success.”

On Wednesday, Clemson will head to Cary, North Carolina, for the ACC Tournament and a shot at qualifying for the NCAA Tennis Championship. In their previous season, the Tigers went 11-15 (1-11 ACC), meaning they added three conference wins to their tally this year.

This year’s amplified success over ACC opponents gives the orange and purple an excellent opportunity to make a run. In last year’s tournament, the Tigers defeated Boston College in the first round before getting swept by formidable foe Florida State in the second round.

Ranked as a No. 9 seed in this year’s tournament standings, the Tigers have a first-round bye before squaring off against No. 8-ranked Notre Dame in the second round on Thursday morning. In their previous meeting with Notre Dame this season, the Tigers fell 4-1 to the Fighting Irish, with Vukadin earning the Tiger’s only point.

The winner of the match will play No. 1. ranked Virginia, who beat Clemson 5-2 earlier this week in a quarterfinal clash.

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Ethan Silipo, Senior Reporter
Emma Bulman, Art Editor
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