UNC women's tennis wins first dual matches of season
Senior Caroline Price prepares to backhand an Elon return in Friday's match against the Phoenix.
North Carolina sophomore Hayley Carter had been patiently waiting for two months to take the court since she injured her wrist in November.
In fact, Carter just started practicing again a few days prior to No. 4 UNC's first two matches of its dual match season on Friday.
“We didn’t know if she was going to be able to play,” said Coach Brian Kalbas about Carter following a 7-0 UNC victory over Appalachian State.
But in Carter’s return to action, she didn't disappoint, beating Appalachian State's Clare Cox, just hours after the Tar Heels glided to their first victory Friday. UNC also beat Elon 6-1 earlier in the day.
As a precaution, Kalbas originally did not want Carter to start playing. But in between the two matches, Kalbas decided to have her play singles against Appalachian State.
“I would say that I was a little rusty, but whatever rust I made up for with excitement,” Carter said.
Carter dominated in her first match back while filling the No. 1 spot for sophomore Jamie Loeb. She walked off the court with an overwhelming 6-2, 6-1 win.
“She looked like she was not hurting at all, she played without any kind of favoring it, so that was a good sign," Kalbas said.
The Tar Heels only lost one match the entire day. It was a close match, but freshman Maggie Kane fell 7-5, 4-6 (10-5) to Elon's Kamilla Beisenova. But she said she wasn't going to let her loss follow her to the next match.
“I definitely learned from my mistakes from the first one, and I improved on it," Kane said.
Kane had more time to get ready for her second match, and the extra time to prepare was evident in her game. She dominated her opponent in her redemption match, walking away with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Appalachian State's Megan Mullen.
UNC also had inspiring performances by No. 8 nationally Jamie Loeb and No. 22. Caroline Price.
Loeb and Price both won their singles matches against Elon following a 6-2 win by the duo in their doubles match. Loeb bageled Kirsten Ward 6-0, 6-0 and Price beat Barbora Lazarova 6-1, 6-3.
Against Appalachian State, Loeb sat out in singles so Carter could play, but won her doubles match with Price in a 6-0 triumph. Price won her singles match against the Mountaineers 6-1, 6-1.
“It was good for us to get that competitive motion back and figure out what we need to do to get better,” Kalbas said.
And just as the team was able to jump back into action, Carter was able to come back from her injury and play at an elite level.
“I was just so excited to be back on the court, back playing for the greatest school in the world,” Carter said.
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