The No. 1 North Carolina women’s tennis team defeated Virginia Tech, 7-0, on Sunday, securing its sixth ACC regular season title in seven seasons.
The Tar Heels (26-1, 14-0 ACC) took the lead early on with two doubles wins to secure the doubles point against Virginia Tech (8-15, 2-12 ACC). The No. 7 duo of Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham won the first match for North Carolina, defeating Natalie Novotna and Rita Pinto, 6-1. Alle Sanford and Sara Daavettila defeated Sarah Baron and Samantha Gillas, 6-2 to clinch the doubles point for UNC. On Court Two, No. 6 Cameron Morra and Makenna Jones went up against Virginia Tech's Nika Kozar and Nina Sorkin and left the match unfinished, 4-2.
In singles, No. 6 Graham took the first victory, defeating No. 124 Novotna, 6-2, 6-2. Next off the court, No. 5 Jones beat Kozar, 6-1, 6-2. No. 12 Daavettila defeated Gillas, 6-2, 6-1, cementing the lead for the Tar Heels, 4-0. Sanford defeated Sorkin, 6-4, 6-2.
Although Aney lost the first set in singles to Pinto 6-3, she came back with a win in the second set, 6-1. In a third-set tiebreaker, Aney took the victory against Pinto, 10-4. Brought to another tie breaker, No. 36 Morra defeated Elizabet Danailova, 7-6(8) in the first set. In the second set, Morra beat Danailova, 6-2, to secure the final singles point win, bringing the Tar Heels to a 7-0 victory over Virginia Tech.
Who stood out?
Graham came out with victories for North Carolina early on, with the first doubles and singles win. Graham won her 100th career singles match in her 6-2, 6-2 victory against Novotna, joining teammates Aney and Chloe Oullet-Pizer who previously reached the 100-win mark. Graham paved the way for North Carolina with her win against Novotna, which began a clean sweep in singles matches.
When was it decided?
After securing the doubles point, North Carolina won straight sets in the first three matches of singles. It was decided after Daavetilla defeated Virginia Tech’s Gillas in singles, 6-2, 6-1, which brought the Tar Heels the decisive fourth point.
Why does it matter?
This match was good for North Carolina’s 17th consecutive victory against Virginia Tech. Additionally, the Tar Heels won the doubles point for the 27th time in a row.
North Carolina went undefeated in the ACC with 14 victories to end the regular season.
Not only did the Tar Heels secure the regular season title for the sixth time in the last seven seasons, but the team also secured the No. 1 seed in the ACC Championship next weekend. North Carolina has won the last three ACC Championships, totaling nine overall.
When do they play next?
North Carolina will compete in the ACC Championships next weekend in Cary, N.C. The Tar Heels received a double-bye to the quarterfinals and will play the winner of the second-round match between No. 9 seed Syracuse and No. 8 seed Georgia Tech on Friday at 2:30 p.m.
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