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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 2 UNC women's tennis find doubles success in Freeman Memorial Championship

The No. 2 North Carolina women’s tennis team travelled to Las Vegas to participate in the 2017 Freeman Memorial Championship, where Jessie Aney and Hayley Carter won the doubles competition.

What happened?

The Tar Heels found some success on the first day of the tournament despite showing some early struggles. First-year Alexa Graham defeated Stanford first-year Emily Arbuthnott 6-4, 7-5, while sophomore Jessie Aney grabbed another singles’ win for the Tar Heels by defeating UCLA first-year Terri Fleming 6-4, 6-3. Aney also teamed up with senior Hayley Carter to defeat Ohio State's Aliona Bolsova and Sofia Bianco 7-5 in doubles competition.

The Tar Heels continued to post a solid showing the next day, as junior Cassandra Vasquez and redshirt-senior Rachael James-Baker each recorded a win in singles competition. Aney and Carter also continued their success together on the second day by outlasting the UNLV duo of Carol Yang and En-Pei Huang with a score of 7-6. The duo went on to defeat Pepperdine's Mayar Sherif Ahmed and Christine Maddox in the finals.

Who stood out?

The entire Tar Heel roster played hard throughout the weekend, but Aney and Carter proved to be the most efficient players on the team, especially when it came to doubles competition. Aney and Carter have worked well together in the past, with Carter entering the weekend as the defending champion in singles and doubles play. The duo also won the national championship at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championship a few months ago, and the teamwork displayed by both of them provided plenty of momentum as the tournament entered its final day.

When was it decided?

The competition would prove to be unforgiving for the Tar Heels on the last day of the tournament, as North Carolina was shut out in both singles and regular doubles competition. However, Aney and Carter continued to play strong, as they easily defeated the Duke duo of Chalena Scholl and Kaitlyn McCarthy in the semifinals. They followed up the victory with a narrow 7-6 victory over the Pepperdine duo of Mayar Sherif Ahmed and Christine Maddox in the finals, sealing the championship in doubles competition

Why does it matter?

Coach Brian Kalbas praised the Tar Heels' performance throughout the weekend and complimented how they overcame adversity and put on a strong performance despite weather interfering with their practice schedule. Kalbas also complimented Aney and Carter's performance, saying that while the two are complete opposites when it comes to playing styles, their great chemistry between is the main catalyst of their success. Kalbas added that the team will continue to practice and improve upon their shortcomings as the season progresses.

Where do they play next?

The Tar Heels will hope to continue their success with back-to-back matches in Chapel Hill on August, 21. The team will square off against Ball State at 10 a.m. and UNC-Greensboro at 4 p.m.


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