The No. 1 North Carolina women’s tennis team beat No. 14 Virginia, 5-2, on Friday in Charlottesville, Va. for its sixth ACC win.
North Carolina (18-1, 6-0 ACC) took an early lead against Virginia (10-4, 4-3) after narrowly sweeping the doubles matches. Head coach Brian Kalbas changed the lineup, breaking apart the usual Makenna Jones-Cameron Morra duo. Kalbas instead paired junior Jones with sophomore Alle Sanford, and first-year Morra with junior Sara Daavettila.
Jones and Sanford finished their match first, beating Virginia’s Vivian Golzman and Sofia Munera, 6-4. The No. 9 pair of senior Jessie Aney and junior Alexa Graham defeated No. 58 Chloe Gullickson and Amber O’Dell, 7-5. The two wins gave the Tar Heels the double point and a a 1-0 advantage over Virginia going into singles. Daavettila and Morra left their match unfinished.
Virginia took the lead in singles with two wins against No. 20 Morra and senior Chloe Ouellett-Pizer, bringing the score to 2-1. Morra lost, 6-1, 6-3, to O’Dell. Ouellet-Pizer lost, 6-3, 6-1, to Munera.
But Virginia’s success would be short lived. No. 14 Daavettila won the first singles match for the Tar Heels against Gullickson, 6-3, 6-3. Aney was next to finish, defeating Bleser, 7-5, 6-0, to grab a 3-2 lead for the Tar Heels.
Cementing the lead, No. 5 Jones defeated Vivian Glozman, 6-4, 6-2, to bring the Tar Heel lead to 4-2. No. 6 Graham finished the match with a win over No. 33 Kelley, 6-2, 7-6.
Who stood out?
Jones produced results for UNC on the front end and the tail end, getting the ball rolling with a doubles win to kick off the competition and bringing it home for the Tar Heels with her singles match victory against Virginia’s Glozman.
Aney and Graham also won their doubles and singles matches. Aney’s singles match win against Bleser brought North Carolina back in the lead, and paved the way for Jones to clinch the win for the Tar Heels.
When was it decided?
The match was decided when Jones defeated Glozman in singles, giving the Tar Heels a 4-2 lead with one match left to play. Even if Kelley pulled off the upset over Graham, North Carolina would still finish on top.
Why does it matter?
This is the second time that Jones and Sanford have played together in the 2019 dual season, their first since being paired in doubles against Louisville. The duo has found success thus far, defeating their Louisville opponents, 6-0, and Virginia’s Golzman/Munera, 6-4.
Additionally, North Carolina is hot on a nine-game win streak. With the win against Virginia, the Tar Heels preserved their perfect record in the ACC with six conference wins.
When do they play next?
Next, the Tar Heels will face off against Clemson this Sunday at 1 p.m. in Chapel Hill.
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