The No. 1 North Carolina women’s tennis team (28-2) traveled to Champaign, Ill., to narrowly defeat the No. 8 Pepperdine Waves (23-7), 4-3, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Team Championship on Friday.
For the fourth time in four NCAA Championship matches, the Tar Heels took an early 1-0 lead over Pepperdine after winning the doubles match.
The No. 2 duo of sophomore Fiona Crawley and junior Elizabeth Scotty made quick work on their court, defeating the opponent, 6-1. After one of Pepperdine’s team members suffered an apparent leg injury and had to retire from the match, a 4-1 defeat by UNC duo senior Cameron Morra and sophomore Reilly Tran was all North Carolina needed to win the doubles point.
However, the Waves came crashing in during the singles matchups. With Pepperdine wins on courts one and three, the Tar Heels trailed for the first time in this championship run.
The team didn’t stay down for long though, as No. 30 Scotty put a point on the board with an outstanding performance against Pepperdine’s No. 15 Shiori Fukuda, 6-3, 6-4.
Another UNC point came from No. 51 first-year Carson Tanguilig, who defeated No. 59 Victoria Flores in three sets, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
On court four, No. 55 Crawley dropped the second dual match of her career in an upset loss to No. 85 Savannah Broadus. Crawley was defeated after two sets, squaring the match score to 3-3.
The deciding factor turned out to be junior Anika Yarlagadda, who claimed a win over Pepperdine’s Nikki Redelijk, who was inserted into the Wave’s lineup after an injury occurred early in the doubles.