The No. 3 North Carolina women's tennis team defeated No. 21 South Carolina, 4-1, in Columbia, S.C., on Saturday.
The Tar Heels began the day with a strong showing in doubles competition, as sophomore Jessie Aney and senior standout Hayley Carter put on a dominant performance against the Gamecock duo of junior Hadley Berg and sophomore Paige Cline. Aney and Carter scored an easy 6-3 victory, while the Tar Heel pair of first-year Alexa Graham and junior Cassandra Vasquez racked up another win at No. 2 doubles to clinch a point for UNC.
South Carolina tied things up with a win at No. 6 singles, but the Tar Heels rattled off three wins in a row to clinch the match.
Who stood out?
Graham was able to carry over her success into singles competition, as she defeated Gamecock first-year Silvia Chinellato, 6-3, in the first set and had an advantage over her in the second set before her matched was called off.
First-year Sara Daavettila quietly put on an impressive performance, besting senior Caroline Dailey in straight sets and earning the Tar Heels a second point. The rest of the Tar Heels faced a tough battle from a strong Gamecocks team.
When was it decided?
Many Tar Heels struggled in their first set in singles, as three players, including Carter, were not able to score victories. Aney won the first set in her matchup against Cline, but a victory by Cline in the second set forced a third that decided the game.
Aney found her stride in the third set, as she shut out Cline, 6-0, to give the Tar Heels a 4-1 victory against the Gamecocks.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels victory against the Gamecocks puts them at 11-1 on the season, with the only loss coming against No. 1 Florida on Feb. 13. The victory also marked the final match for the Tar Heels before the start of conference play. Coach Brian Kalbas said South Carolina exhibits a similar playing style to many ACC teams, and he believes the Gamecocks provided the Tar Heels a good test for their future opponents down the road.
Where do they play next?
The Tar Heels will face N.C. State in Raleigh on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.