The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Friday, Dec. 8, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Women's Tennis Sweeps ACC Foes

This weekend at Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center, the Tar Heels served both of those teams

6-1 losses, improving their record to 12-5 overall and 3-2 in the ACC.

Playing under a hot sun, No. 14 North Carolina's intensity proved too much for the Cavaliers and the Terrapins.

UNC more than earned the doubles point Sunday, winning all three doubles matches against Maryland.

Playing at the No. 2 seed doubles, Tar Heel sophomore Marlene Mejia and freshman Julie Rotondi defeated Maryland's Pam Floro and Olivia Duboukov with relative ease. Floro and Duboukov lacked accuracy in their serves and swatted more balls into the net than anywhere else.

The Terrapins seemed beat down in singles play, moving slowly and giving up on many balls, but the Tar Heels played as fiercely as ever.

"It was hot, and that took a toll on them," UNC coach Roland Thornqvist said. "But our kids did great."

Freshman Lee Bairos and senior Courtney Zalinski each won 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 5 and No. 6 seed singles.

Rotondi earned the clinching point for UNC at the second-seeded singles, defeating Floro by moving the ball around the court.

"Having my confidence back was the key this weekend," Rotondi said.

She said her renewed confidence enabled her to go after some tough shots that turned out to be winners.

Kate Pinchbeck won 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 against Catherine Valentine in Sunday's only three-set match.

"The heat made it a little difficult, but it wasn't as bad as (Saturday) because (Valentine) didn't make me run as much," said Pinchbeck, comparing Valentine to Virginia's Christie Schweer.

Pinchbeck defeated Schweer 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 to give UNC its final point in Saturday's victory against Virginia.

The Cavaliers seemed fired up when they hit the court, but the Tar Heels quickly doused that flame, winning all three doubles matches and capturing the doubles point.

Bairos' 6-3, 6-3 victory elevated the Tar Heels to 2-0 in the match.

After struggling to finish a heated first set, Mejia (28-10) won 7-5, 6-2 against Henriette Williams.

Junior Kristin Koenig secured UNC's victory with a 6-3, 6-3 victory against Virginia's Jennifer Turchband.

This weekend's victories avenged the Tar Heels' 5-4 and 6-3 losses to Maryland and Virginia last season.

Rotondi said the wins reflect the team's progress.

"We're such a young team, and we've made a big jump," Rotondi said.

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

Sunday's match was the last at home for the team's only seniors, Zalinski and her doubles partner Erin Niebling, who have a 10-3 record together.

The Sports Editor can be reached at