On Friday the first two rounds of singles were contested and the Tar Heels posted five wins and three losses. Kane and Harmon were both eliminated in the first round of their respective flights, but the trio of Graham, Ouellet-Pizer and Aney all advanced to the second round.
While Ouellet-Pizer fell to Izumi Asano of UNLV, doubles partners Aney and Graham outlasted her by one round, each bowing out in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
In doubles, fourth-seeded Makenna Jones and Ouellet-Pizer won their first-round match on Friday, but lost narrowly to UNLV’s Aiwen Zhu and En-Pei Huang in a 7-6 quarterfinal battle. UNC’s Cassandra Vazquez and Kane also participated, but fell to the three-seed in the first round.
Who stood out?
Aney and Graham had the best performance of any singles player or doubles duo, as they advanced to the doubles semifinal.
Graham and Aney each also advanced to the quarterfinals of the singles bracket, meaning they both made the farthest run of any Tar Heel on either the singles or doubles side.
“In this competition, getting two girls into the quarters, the final eight, was fantastic,” head coach Brian Kalbas said, “and having a doubles team in the semis was really good and overall I felt like this was a really good performance for the team.”
When was it decided?
On Sunday, the final day of the tournament, Graham and Aney fell in the semifinal round to Babic and Blanco, the third seed in the tournament and 20th-ranked doubles team in the nation. The pair fell, 6-2.
Why does it matter?
“I think it really did a good job for all of our players getting back to practicing and competing,” Kalbas said. “I think it definitely bodes well for our team’s chemistry … We do a lot of things to try to bond together, and that gives me a lot of confidence that our team will be as close as it’s ever been.”
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels kick off the regular season on Jan. 20, when they travel to Virginia to take on William & Mary at 10 a.m. and Richmond at 3 p.m.
@DTHSports | firstname.lastname@example.org