Senior Jessie Aney and junior Alexa Graham have been friends for many years.
Now, as teammates and doubles partners, they provide a spark of energy that the No. 1 North Carolina women's tennis team thrives on. On Wednesday, this spark proved to be the difference maker in an impressive 4-1 win against No. 3 Duke.
Despite the huge pressure surrounding a top-three rivalry matchup, No. 9 Aney and Graham were unfazed. The two were seen smiling, laughing and high-fiving after every point during the doubles match. The chemistry between Aney and Graham gave them the energy they needed to take control of the match and win, 6-2, against the duo they faced. The duo of junior Sara Daavettila and sophomore Alle Sanford also secured a 6-2 win to grab the doubles point for UNC.
“Jessie and I have been friends from way before college, and we always just have a blast together,” Graham said. “... When we are out there having fun, instead of worrying about winning or losing, that’s the biggest key to our success.”
Aney carried this momentum into a strong singles performance of her own. After losing the first set, she made a comeback to win the match in three sets. Other singles wins were earned by No. 14 Daavettila and No. 20 Cameron Morra. After Aney's win, the senior credited the energy she picked up from the fans and teammates around her as the key to her come-from-behind victory.