On Sunday, the North Carolina women’s lacrosse, men’s lacrosse and women’s tennis teams all clinched ACC tournament titles against schools they had lost to earlier in their respective seasons.
And oh, how sweet it was.
The North Carolina women’s lacrosse team and Syracuse met in the ACC Tournament championship game for a third consecutive time Sunday. Four of the previous five matchups — three regular season games and two tournament championships — were decided by two goals or less. Most recently, the Tar Heels fell to the Orange on their senior day on April 15. Syracuse spoiled UNC’s 18-game winning streak in conference play that extended back to 2015.
Sunday, however — behind a 9-0 run to close the contest — the No. 3 Tar Heels (16-2, 9-1 ACC) dominated the Orange 18-11.
Matching its female counterpart, the men’s lacrosse team (8-7, 3-3 ACC) snagged a decisive victory over Notre Dame, 14-10.
The Fighting Irish handed these Tar Heels their seventh loss of the season eight days ago. Things seemed bleak for North Carolina then. But now, with an ACC Championship under their belts, the Tar Heels have all but guaranteed themselves a spot in the NCAA Tournament and a chance to defend their 2016 NCAA title.
And finally, the North Carolina women’s tennis team (30-2, 13-1 ACC) won its second consecutive and third all-time ACC Championship with a comeback win over Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets handed the Tar Heels their second loss of the year on April 1. Oddly enough, the loss proved to be a turning point for North Carolina, and the team hasn’t looked back.
To cap off a wild weekend for Tar Heel athletics, the No. 4 North Carolina baseball team swept No. 3 Clemson at Boshamer Stadium, and the NFL draft — in which six Tar Heels found NFL homes — came to a conclusion.
In varying degrees and forms, a number of North Carolina teams have experienced a year of redemption. Just take a look at what happened in Glendale earlier this month.
The conference championship wins beg the question: Will these three teams’ NCAA Tournament stories end just as poetically?
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