DURHAM— After the No. 1 North Carolina women’s tennis team lost 5-2 to No. 4 Duke on Friday night, sophomore Makenna Jones felt a bittersweet taste — personal success mixed with team failure.
The Tar Heels and the Blue Devils entered Friday night tied for first place in the ACC, with the winner securing the ACC regular season championship.
UNC jumped out to a promising start. The Tar Heels secured their first point of the night in the doubles round. The pairs of Jones/Marika Akkerman and No. 1 Jessie Aney/Alexa Graham both defeated their opponents, 6-4 and 7-6(5), respectively, to give UNC the doubles point.
But despite UNC’s quick start, the team lost its first five individual matches to fall behind, 5-1.
“Didn’t get off to some good starts,” head coach Brian Kalbas said. “In some of the matches, they got three quick points on the board. But we battled. We fought back. We got down in some of those third sets and came back. I’m just proud of our team. A tough place to play. They were obviously very talented.”