No. 12 Wake Forest men's tennis team started off slow and never fully recovered in a loss to No. 38 NC State, 4-3.
Wake (13-6) led off on the wrong foot, losing the doubles point for the first time since March 6th. The Wolfpack quickly took a 2-0 lead with a 6-3, 6-1 win at fourth singles over Skander Mansouri.
But No. 27 Noah Rubin, up over 30 spots from the last ranking, defeated No. 60 Robbie Mudge 6-2, 6-4 at first singles to keep the Deacs in contention.
Wake had a chance to take the lead with their two junior veterans in decisive third sets. But both No. 8 Romain Bogaerts and No. 80 Jon Ho were upset by lower ranked players 6-2 in the final set, clinching the match for NC State.
The Deacs closed the gap with wins at the bottom of the lineup. The giant German Christian Seraphim won in Isner-like fashion 7-6, 6-7, 10-5 at fifth singles. Meanwhile, freshman Keivon Tabrizi finished the match with a 7-6, 6-2 victory.
This marks the second consecutive match the Demon Deacons have lost 4-3 at a rival North Carolina school, after getting edged by No. 6 Duke last weekend. This is Wake's first loss to a team outside the Top 12.
The Demon Deacons hope to get back on track with winnable road matches against Georgia Tech and Clemson next week.