The No. 1 UNC women’s tennis team (18-0, 7-0 ACC) traveled to Coral Gables for a top ten matchup with No. 9 Miami (11-3, 6-2 ACC) on Friday. The Tar Heels defeated the Hurricanes 6-1.
North Carolina headed into Friday’s match undefeated on the season, with hopes of maintaining that perfect record in a tough road match against Miami.
To start Friday’s match, UNC’s dynamic doubles duo of sophomore Fiona Crawley and junior Elizabeth Scotty, helped lead North Carolina to win the doubles point. Crawley and Scotty won their doubles match over Miami’s junior Daevenia Achong and senior Eden Richardson 6-3.
Senior Cameron Morra and senior Alle Sanford also partnered up in doubles play, defeating their opponents, Miami sophomores Maya Tahan and Diana Khodan, and winning 6-3.
In singles play, UNC and Miami went back and forth on all six courts. The Hurricanes gave Crawley and Scotty a bit of trouble in their singles match ups, both losing set one. Miami’s Achong proved to be too much for Scotty to handle, leading to the Hurricane’s first and only point on the night.
Sophomore Reilly Tran got off to a slow start against Miami’s sophomore Isabella Pfennig, starting 0-2 in the first two sets. Both sets were back and forth with constant score changes happening in each game, but Tran was able to battle back to get the win against Pfennig in two sets and lock in another singles point for North Carolina.
Who stood out?
Junior Anika Yarlagadda entered Friday’s match as the only unranked North Carolina starter in the ITA rankings this week, but after a 5-0 dominating start in the first set of her singles matchup with Khodan from Miami, Yarlagadda was able to come out with the win and a singles point for UNC. Winning her first set 6-1 and her second set 6-2, Yarlagadda was an important factor for the Tar Heels to beat Miami on the road.
When was it decided?
Although the Hurricanes were able to keep each set close, after the Tar Heels won the doubles point they were able to carry that momentum into singles play. With strong play from North Carolina starters, even when they found themselves coming from behind, along with earning that coveted doubles point, UNC was able to come out with a major victory on the road.
Why does it matter?
Facing off against the top ten Hurricanes in Coral Gables was a tough test for the Tar Heels. This match at Miami was also the start of a four-match road series, as North Carolina will not return to Chapel Hill until April 8 when they host Clemson.
With less than a month until the ACC Championship, UNC will look to maintain their perfect record to close out the regular season in the coming weeks.
When do they play next?
North Carolina remains on the road, as the undefeated Tar Heels will travel to Tallahssee to play Florida State on Sunday, March 27 at noon.
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