This past week, the North Carolina women’s tennis team ended its outdoor season and competed in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship held in Champaign, Ill., contributing two doubles teams and five individual athletes.
Beginning on May 23, a bracket of 64 athletes kicked off the first round of singles competition. Out of this number stood five Tar Heels: No. 51 Carson Tanguilig, No. 55 Fiona Crawley, No. 30 Elizabeth Scotty, No. 35 Reilly Tran and No. 5 seed Cameron Morra.
By the second day, only three remained.
As both Scotty and Crawley had equally impressive victories on their respective courts, Morra was upset by No. 69 Veronika Miroshnichenko from Loyola Marymount. Tran’s season also came to an end after a three-set defeat.
The most impressive win of the opening day came from UNC rookie Tanguilig, who knocked out No. 4 seed Daria Frayman from Princeton in just two sets, 6-4, 6-4.
Coinciding with the singles championship, the doubles competition began May 24 and the Tar Heels showed out in both events. The North Carolina singles trio of Tanguilig, Scotty and Crawley dominated their respective opponents, all advancing to the next round of 16. Later that same day, the No. 39 duo of Morra and Tanguilig defeated Rice’s No. 22 ranked team, while No. 2 Crawley and Scotty definitively won in the last match of the day.
Come day three of competition for North Carolina, and Crawley was the only one left standing. Both doubles teams fell as Tanguilig and Scotty both lost on their individual courts, but Crawley came out victorious in singles competition to reach the quarterfinals.
With just eight competitors left, Crawley continued her championship run after defeating Pepperdine’s No. 27 Lisa Zaar, and would go on to face No. 26 Connie Ma of Stanford in the semifinals. Ma proved to be a worthy opponent as she defeated Crawley in two sets to finish the Tar Heels' run in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship.
Who stood out?
In this championship, the high number of athletes UNC brought to the table was impressive enough, but the team’s performances defied all expectations — especially Crawley’s.
Starting as a No. 55 singles opponent, Crawley showed outstanding persistence and drive in her day-to-day success throughout the NCAA Singles Championship.
Finishing the year with a 47-7 overall singles record, and Division I leader in wins, she also became the sixth player in program history to reach semifinal competition.
When was it decided?
Although each singles athlete and doubles team fought hard throughout the tournament, the Tar Heels’ outdoor season came to an end once Ma defeated Crawley in the singles quarterfinals.
Why does it matter?
After coming off a victorious indoor season that was capped with a national championship, the North Carolina women’s tennis team was once again the team to beat throughout the outdoor season.
Ranked No. 1 as a team for a majority of the season, the team proved that they have extreme talent in more areas than one. Although the outcome may not have been favorable this time around, many key players will be coming back to Chapel Hill to hone their skills in search of redemption.
When do they play next?
Although this marks the end of the Tar Heels’ 2021-2022 season, the team will be back starting in the fall, with an official schedule announcement yet to come.