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The Daily Tar Heel

Top-ranked UNC women's tennis loses its first ACC match, 4-3, against Georgia Tech

Women's tennis BC

The North Carolina women's tennis team huddles before its match against Boston College in the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center on March 2.

In a match filled with talented individual players on both sides, teamwork and chemistry proved to be the difference.

Although the No. 1 North Carolina women’s tennis team split singles matches 3-3 with No. 6 Georgia Tech, the Tar Heels lost the crucial doubles point to open up the day’s play and ultimately lost, 4-3.

The match opened up promisingly enough for North Carolina (16-2, 5-1), as Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham, the second-ranked doubles team in the nation, took down Georgia Tech’s top-ranked tandem of Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones 6-2. The match was a dominant showing for Aney and Graham.

In the two other doubles matches, the Tar Heels would see 2-1 leads erased which lead to identical 6-4 losses for the UNC pairings of Alle Sanford and Marika Akkerman and Makenna Jones and Sara Daavettila.

This allowed Georgia Tech (12-3, 4-1) to take the lone doubles point, giving the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 advantage heading into singles play.

Although the final score was close, singles play lacked the drama one might have expected out of the top-10 matchup; Georgia Tech was able to win the first three singles matches, quickly jumping out to a 4-0 lead and dashing North Carolina’s hopes of a victory. 

The Yellow Jackets picked up big wins from Paige Hourigan over Sanford 6-3, 6-2; Nami Otsuka over Aney 6-2, 6-4; and Kenya Jones over Daavettila 6-3, 6-3.

Still, North Carolina’s strong showing at the match’s end should provide some momentum moving forward.  Chloe Ouellet-Pizer won 6-4, 6-2 over Victoria Flores for UNC’s first point of the day, which was quickly followed by Graham’s 7-5, 6-2 victory against Ida Jarlskog.

Finally, No. 18 Jones’ 6-2, 7-5 win over Johnnise Renaud brought the final score to 4-3. The team’s ability to keep playing with effort and intensity, despite a decided outcome in its first ACC loss, is a good sign for the future.

The top-ranked Tar Heels will look to quickly get back on track tomorrow against Virginia Tech at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center at 1 p.m.

@rwilcox_

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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