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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 2 UNC women's tennis slips past Georgia Tech, advances to ACC Championship final

Makenna Jones UVa. 2

Makenna Jones hits a volley against Virginia on April 13 at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.

The No. 2 North Carolina women’s tennis team defeated No. 4 Georgia Tech in a regular season rematch, defeating the Yellow Jackets 4-3 to advance to the ACC Championship match. Earlier this season, Georgia Tech handed UNC just its second loss of the season. 

What happened?

Just like in the quarterfinals the day before, UNC (25-3, 13-2) dropped the doubles point to Georgia Tech (21-5, 12-3) and went into singles play down the first point. 

Even though No. 3 doubles pair Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham defeated Georgia Tech’s top-ranked doubles pair earlier this season, the Yellow Jackets got their revenge. Aney and Graham were defeated 6-2. No. 22 ranked doubles pair Sara Daavettila and Alle Sanford also lost their match 6-3, while Marika Akkerman and Makenna Jones won 6-2. 

Aney got the Tar Heels off to a good start in singles play when she took down her Georgia Tech opponent in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, on Court Five.  

Next, No. 41 Daavettila won on Court Three in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3. Chloe Ouellet-Pizer then put UNC up 3-1 when she defeated her opponent 6-3, 7-5.

Up 3-1, momentum was in UNC’s direction, and it looked as if North Carolina would make the ACC Championship game once again. But Georgia Tech wasn’t done yet. The Yellow Jackets took the next two matches on Courts Two and Four, and the score was tied at 3-3. 

It all came down to Makenna Jones. And as she has done since taking over the No. 1 spot, she remained poised. In a close match against Georgia Tech’s No. 13 Paige Hourigan, Jones won 7-6, 7-5 and secured the Tar Heels’ spot in the ACC Championship. 

Who stood out?

As usual — Makenna Jones played well. In a close match that could have gone either way, she stayed calm and consistent and was able to clinch the win for her team. Jones is now a perfect 10-0 on the season while playing on Court One, and she will have a 14-match win streak headed into the team's next match against Duke. 

Why does it matter?

UNC is headed to the ACC Championship match. If the Tar Heels can come out on top, it will be the program’s third tournament win in a row — a mark of sustained success the last several years in the conference.

But the Tar Heels face the Duke Blue Devils, who handed UNC its third loss of the season last week, a bad 5-2 loss in Durham. UNC faced off against Duke twice during the regular season, and each team recorded a win. It should be an intense game filled with lots of talent and emotion for a big final game before NCAA's.

When do they play next?

UNC takes on Duke in the championship on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Cary Tennis Park. 


@DTHSports |

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