In the end, the rankings didn’t matter. The hot team came out on top.
Headed into the NCAA Round of 16, the top-ranked North Carolina women’s tennis team had won six matches in a row and outmatched their previous two opponents, giving up just two points combined to start a run toward the championship. A No. 2 seed, the Tar Heels met No. 15 Stanford in Winston-Salem on Thursday and lost. It wasn't close, either.
The Cardinals had won 16 matches in a row entering the matched and rolled on as the better team, sending UNC home and closing out its season with a 4-1 loss. To start postseason play, UNC head coach Brian Kalbas said nothing would be given to them. It turned out he was right.
From the start, in fact, nothing was given to the Tar Heels. The doubles point was a nail biter.
Coming into NCAAs, UNC had dropped three straight doubles points in a row, digging an early hole it had to build its way out of. But since then, instead of falling behind early, the team has captured the early advantage in rounds one and two. Against Stanford, things were looking up early too.