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The Daily Tar Heel

Blue Devils knock out UNC in tennis, 4-2

Last winter, the North Carolina women’s tennis team took home its first-ever Intercollegiate Tennis Association Indoor National Championship.

This weekend, the Tar Heels were on the cusp of doing it again — before running into Duke on Saturday.

The No. 3 Tar Heels fell 4-2 to the No. 10 Blue Devils in the quarterfinals of the Indoor National Championship tournament in Charlottesville, Va.

UNC bounced back the following day, defeating No. 4 University of Georgia 4-3 Sunday afternoon in the consolation round.

North Carolina’s freshman Jamie Loeb, who is ranked No. 2 in the country, lost her first match of the season to No. 3 Beatrice Capra of Duke.

Loeb was frustrated with her loss as well as the team’s but said that it was an experience the Tar Heels will learn from.

“Sometimes you need to take one step back to take two steps forward,” Loeb said.

“I think this was a good weekend for us even though we lost to Duke, in general, it will help us prepare for the rest of the season.”

Coach Brian Kalbas said that he was proud of his team for the toughness they displayed over the course of their three difficult matches last weekend.

The North Carolina team defeated Vanderbilt 4-3 on Friday; three of the six singles matches went into tiebreak — freshman Hayley Carter clinched the victory for UNC 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2).

The following day against the Blue Devils, three of the matches went into tiebreak as well, but this time the Tar Heels were on the losing end.

Sunday proved to be the most difficult and most rewarding match of all, with five of the six singles matches needing a tiebreak.

Kalbas said that he was extremely proud of his team’s resilience demonstrated Sunday and the fight that his players showed.

“We became a team today,” Kalbas said.

“We talked for quite a while after the Duke match about some things that we need to get better at — to show more unity, toughness and togetherness.

“We did that today, we definitely formed an identity of competitive toughness.”

Freshmen Loeb and Carter agreed that the ITA tournament was the most difficult weekend of play they have experienced as Tar Heels, both mentally and physically.

Loeb said that she thinks her team will use it as preparation for the future.

“This past weekend we were really tested,” Loeb said.

“It made us realize that things are not going to be easy and we need to set our minds that it is going to be a battle.”

sports@dailytarheel.com

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