WOMEN'S TENNIS: No. 7 Stanford 4, No. 2 North Carolina 2

UNC women's tennis falls for last time of 2017 season against Stanford

hayley_carter_record

Hayley Carter (right) celebrates with her teammate Maggie Kane after breaking the ACC record for most singles wins during an April 22 match against Pittsburgh.

The North Carolina women’s tennis team (33-3, 13-1 ACC) and Stanford (26-2, 10-0 PAC 12) entered Sunday’s match ready for a battle.

After just over four hours of competing at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts in Athens, Georgia, Stanford proved to have more magic left in its tank, as the Tar Heels fell for the third and final time in the NCAA quarterfinals, 4-2.

“I’m proud of our team, especially that we never gave up,” North Carolina head coach Brian Kalbas said. “We were down many match points in several matches and we kept fighting. It was really a tribute to our team, the character we have and the mental toughness we continued to have the entire season.”

For only the second time all year, senior Hayley Carter and Jessie Aney lost their doubles match on Court One, 6-1. The upset — paired with a 6-1 North Carolina loss on Court Two — gave Stanford the opening it needed to seize the ever-so-crucial doubles point.

In singles, Carter made quick time of her opponent on Court One, defeating No. 38 Caroline Doyle 6-1, 6-0, to tie the match at one apiece. Immediately after, though, Stanford’s No. 54 Taylor Davidson defeated Aney in straight sets (6-2, 7-5) to put the Cardinal in the driver’s seat for good.

The other three matches that finished each went to third sets. In the end, Stanford came out on top on Courts Two and Five, which effectively punched the Cardinal’s proverbial ticket to the NCAA semifinals. Stanford later defeated Ohio State, which will send them to the NCAA finals Tuesday.

North Carolina’s early exit in the tournament marked the end of a Tar Heel season that made history. Holistically, the Tar Heels were able to keep the ship steady throughout the course of the season, refocusing after each of its two regular season losses against Florida and Georgia Tech. North Carolina won more games than it ever has in program history (33) and garnered its second consecutive and eighth all-time ACC Tournament Championship in the process.

However, the loss did not quite end the career of one of North Carolina’s most decorated athletes. Carter, along with Aney and first-year Sara Daavettila, will compete in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship that begins Wednesday in Athens, Georgia.

@alexzietlow05

sports@dailytarheel.com

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