The North Carolina women’s tennis team dominated at the ITA Carolina Regional Championships, sweeping the singles and doubles championships.
On Thursday, the Tar Heels traveled to Winston-Salem for the ITA Regional Championships. North Carolina brought eight single competitors and five doubles teams to the event at Wake Forest Tennis Center.
This was the first ITA Regional since 2019 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the UNC women rose to the challenge the event presented. On day two, the Tar Heels’ advanced four singles players as well as four doubles teams to the quarterfinals.
On Saturday, three UNC singles players advanced even further to the semifinals. These North Carolina players were top-seeded sophomore Fiona Crawley, No. 2 senior Cameron Morra and No. 4 first-year Carson Tanguilig.
The same day resulted in two Tar Heel doubles teams advancing to the finals. One of these teams consisted of Morra and Tanguilig, while the other was made up of Crawley and junior Elizabeth Scotty.
Both of these doubles teams won their respective main draw doubles finals on Sunday. North Carolina faced Duke in both matchups, and top-seeded doubles team Morra and Tanguilig crushed the eighth seed, 6-0, 6-2. Crawley and Scotty were the fourth seed and defeated the third seed, 7-5, 6-2. Along with their doubles wins, Morra and Crawley also won their singles matches to advance to Monday’s championships.
In the singles championship matchups on Monday, Morra faced off against Jaeda Daniel of N.C. State. The intense main draw one final took nearly three hours and a full three sets.
Despite losing the first set, Morra was able to capture both of the last two sets to become the champion. Crawley’s main draw two final was less of a nail-biter, with a 6-4, 6-4 win against No. 2 seed Ayana Akli of South Carolina.
As a result of their wins, Morra and Crawley earned invitations to the ITA National Fall Championships in San Diego, CA from Nov. 4-7. They will be joined by their doubles partners Tanguilig and Scotty, as well as sophomore Reilly Tran, who qualified for singles in the national championship by winning the Milwaukee Tennis Classic.
Who stood out?
Morra won the singles championship in the 2019 ITA Regional, and her performance this weekend was reminiscent of that success. Morra was the No. 2 seed for the single competitors, and she and first year Carson Tanguilig were the top-seeded doubles team at the event.
She and Tanguilig won their main draw one doubles final, and Morra was also successful in her singles final.
Top-seeded Fiona Crawley also lived up to expectations this weekend. She dominated the singles competition and easily secured the main draw two singles final title. Her top-seeded position was well deserved, and like Morra, she will advance to the ITA National Fall Championship for singles and doubles alike.
When was it decided?
The Tar Heels had a strong performance for the entirety of the weekend. Though their eight single competitors and five double competitors were reduced to two of each by the finals, the high-seeded UNC women who made it to this final round proved successful, allowing North Carolina to walk away with both singles and doubles titles.
Why does it matter?
The UNC women’s tennis team sweeping the ITA Regional will not go unnoticed. This is one of the most significant events of the fall season, topped only by the ITA Fall National Championships.
Both singles champions and doubles champion teams will compete at the championship, along with Tran. This past weekend proved the potential of the Tar Heels.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will head to San Diego for the ITA Fall National Championship, which begins on Nov. 4.
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