For the second year in a row, the No. 6 Georgia Tech women’s tennis team came into the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center and downed No. 1 North Carolina.
Georgia Tech defeated UNC 4-3 in Chapel Hill last April, ending a 50-match home win streak for the Tar Heels. And this year’s loss gave UNC its first ACC loss of the season.
“They were full strength today,” head coach Brian Kalbas said. “We knew what they were capable of doing, and they beat us here last year. We allowed them to play their game to their strengths. It was more them winning it than us losing it.”
In a highly anticipated doubles match, the face-off between No. 2 duo Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham against No. 1 Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones lived up to the hype.
Aney and Graham jumped out to an early 3-1 lead, and Hourigan and Jones couldn’t get back into the match. Aney and Graham downed the No. 1 pair, 6-2.
“Jessie and I were really looking forward to the match all week,” Graham said. “We knew it was gonna be a big one, and we came out motivated. We laugh a lot on the court, and it keeps it light and easy. We’re never really stressing or anything.”
Kalbas isn’t surprised that the pair has been so successful this season. He believes it all comes down to their chemistry and toughness.
“They have a lot of fun together,” Kalbas said. “Their styles match up. Alexa is really good at setting Jessie up, and Jessie has a lot of free reign when Alexa is serving well.”
Even with the excitement coming off of Aney and Graham’s win, UNC wasn’t able to win the critical doubles point. Both pairs of Marika Akkerman and Alle Sanford, Sara Daavettila and Makenna Jones were defeated 6-4, and the Yellow Jackets won the first point of the match.