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When freshman Jelena Durisic tore her ACL on Feb. 17 against Florida a major wrench was thrown into the North Carolina women's tennis team's plans.

With one false plant of her foot UNC's No. 4 singles player was out for the season" and coach Brian Kalbas was forced to significantly alter his singles lineup.

""My initial thought was how disappointing it was for Jelena" who is an incredible individual and has been such an inspiration for our team he said.

I'm disappointed for her this year" and it's disappointing for the team because she was a real strong point for us.""

Durisic was 6-1 before her season was cut short.

Kalbas placed junior Laura Reichert in Durisic's position" and juniors Meg Fanjoy and Sophie Grabinski alternated between position Nos. 5 and 6 this weekend.

Reichert lost her first match at No. 4 to 42nd-ranked Lauren Lui of Northwestern" but she rebounded Sunday with a straight-set victory against Notre Dame opponent Colleen Rielley.

Reichert said Sunday after her match that she is ready to take Durisic's place.

""I definitely was a little nervous to move up" she said. Mentally it takes a little bit of adjusting but other than that" it's pretty much the same. You just have to play with confidence.""

Along with Reichert"" Grabinski also has helped fill in for Durisic.

Kalbas said Grabinski has impressed him by coming back strong this season from three surgeries which ended her last two seasons.

""For her to get in there and get some confidence and her feet under herself is really good for her and the team" he said. Sophie is getting the opportunity" and it's good to see her moving up the lineup.""

Team matches without Durisic got off to a rough start for positions four" five and six as they went a combined 0-3 against No. 2 Northwestern on Friday. They fared better against No. 15 Notre Dame posting a 2-1 mark.

Reichert said the success the trio had against Notre Dame will give them confidence in the future.

The singles play was not the only part of the Tar Heels lineup to get shaken up. Kalbas changed all three doubles lineups for the weekend including breaking up his seventh-ranked pairing of Grabinski and Sanaz Marand.

Kalbas paired together his top-two singles players Marand and Katrina Tsang" and put Grabinski with Austin Smith.

""Before this weekend" we'd only won the doubles point one time against the top teams and that's not going to get it done" he said.

We're going to find some combinations that will give us the opportunity to win the doubles point.""

UNC won both doubles points in its matches this weekend"" but Kalbas said the lineup is always subject to change.

""I try not to hamstring things because I do think that if people are playing well" they should have a chance to move up he said.

Everybody's kind of young and inexperienced to a point" so I want to give the players that are playing well higher.""

Contact the Sports Editor

at sports@unc.edu


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