The No. 3 North Carolina women’s tennis team defeated Miami, 6-1, in Coral Gables, Fla. Friday’s meeting was a rematch of the 2016 ACC Championship final where the Tar Heels (17-1, 4-0 ACC) were also victorious over the Hurricanes (4-6, 3-2 ACC).
UNC got off to a quick start in doubles play as senior Hayley Carter and sophomore Jessie Aney, the nation’s No. 1 doubles team, made easy work of Sinead Lohan and Maci Epstein, defeating Miami’s No. 1 team, 6-0. Junior Cassandra Vazquez and first-year Alexa Graham sealed the opening point for their team with a 6-3 win, as redshirt senior Rachael James-Baker and first-year Sara Daavettila were down 5-2.
With No. 24 Aney up 6-3, 2-0, her opponent, Epstein, was forced to retire, which doubled UNC’s lead to 2-0. In a battle of first-year players, UNC’s Makenna Jones was victorious over Dominika Paterova in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. The Hurricanes’ lone point of the day came when No. 66 Estela Perez-Somarriba defeated No. 4 Sara Daavettila in three sets, with Daavettila only winning one game in the last two sets. That cut UNC’s lead to 3-1, with three matches yet to finish.
Who stood out?
Carter earned another win over a top-10 for the season and yet again stepped up in a crucial moment when her team needed her most. No. 33 Graham, who has steadily moved up in the rankings in her first season at Chapel Hill, continued her trend of picking up wins in the middle of the UNC lineup and being a steady force for the Tar Heels.
When was it decided?
In a battle of top-10 players, and a rematch of the 2016 NCAA Singles Championship semifinals, it was No. 2 Carter who earned a tightly-contested straight-sets win over No. 7 Lohan to clinch the match for her team. No. 33 Graham and sophomore Chloe Ouellet-Pizer both won three-set matches to round out the day for the Tar Heels, with Graham taking both of her sets by 6-0 margins.