The No. 3 North Carolina women’s tennis team defeated Miami, 6-1, in Coral Gables, Fla. Friday’s meeting was a rematch of the 2016 ACC Championship final where the Tar Heels (17-1, 4-0 ACC) were also victorious over the Hurricanes (4-6, 3-2 ACC).
UNC got off to a quick start in doubles play as senior Hayley Carter and sophomore Jessie Aney, the nation’s No. 1 doubles team, made easy work of Sinead Lohan and Maci Epstein, defeating Miami’s No. 1 team, 6-0. Junior Cassandra Vazquez and first-year Alexa Graham sealed the opening point for their team with a 6-3 win, as redshirt senior Rachael James-Baker and first-year Sara Daavettila were down 5-2.
With No. 24 Aney up 6-3, 2-0, her opponent, Epstein, was forced to retire, which doubled UNC’s lead to 2-0. In a battle of first-year players, UNC’s Makenna Jones was victorious over Dominika Paterova in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. The Hurricanes’ lone point of the day came when No. 66 Estela Perez-Somarriba defeated No. 4 Sara Daavettila in three sets, with Daavettila only winning one game in the last two sets. That cut UNC’s lead to 3-1, with three matches yet to finish.
Who stood out?
Carter earned another win over a top-10 for the season and yet again stepped up in a crucial moment when her team needed her most. No. 33 Graham, who has steadily moved up in the rankings in her first season at Chapel Hill, continued her trend of picking up wins in the middle of the UNC lineup and being a steady force for the Tar Heels.
When was it decided?
In a battle of top-10 players, and a rematch of the 2016 NCAA Singles Championship semifinals, it was No. 2 Carter who earned a tightly-contested straight-sets win over No. 7 Lohan to clinch the match for her team. No. 33 Graham and sophomore Chloe Ouellet-Pizer both won three-set matches to round out the day for the Tar Heels, with Graham taking both of her sets by 6-0 margins.
Why does it matter?
This win over a ranked opponent, kept North Carolina with a perfect record in league play this season. It also improved the program’s ACC regular-season winning streak to 32 matches. Dominating conference opponents has been a trend for the team this season. The point the team surrendered today is only the second point UNC has given up in four conference matches.
The win also improved the team’s winning streak to seven in a row against Miami, which means that Carter, a senior, has yet to lose a match to the Hurricanes.
Where do they play next?
UNC will continue its tour of the sunshine state with a matchup against Florida State on Sunday at 12 p.m.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.