The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday May 27th

No. 1 UNC women's tennis advances to the NCAA Super Regionals

<p>Junior Elizabeth Scotty prepares to return the ball against senior Kelly Chen of Duke at the Kitty Harrison Invitational on Sept. 25, 2021.&nbsp;</p>
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Junior Elizabeth Scotty prepares to return the ball against senior Kelly Chen of Duke at the Kitty Harrison Invitational on Sept. 25, 2021. 

This past weekend, the No. 1 North Carolina women’s tennis team (26-2, 12-1 ACC) hosted and defeated both South Carolina State (9-10, 4-2 MEAC) and No. 28 South Carolina (15-11, 8-5 SEC) in the NCAA Regionals. 

What happened?

As the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Team Championship for the second year in a row, the Tar Heels hosted and competed in regional competition at the Cary Tennis Park on Saturday and Sunday.

The first matchup of the weekend was No. 32 Iowa State (16-7) versus South Carolina early Saturday morning. The Gamecocks dominated and won 4-0, which secured them a spot to play in the final match of the regional on Sunday. 

For UNC, the regional competition did not begin until the team faced South Carolina State at 1 p.m. on Saturday. 

Making quick work of the doubles, the Tar Heels took an early 1-0 lead over the Bulldogs. Once rain entered the picture after the doubles matchups concluded, the competition was relocated and restarted in Chapel Hill at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center’s indoor courts. 

Nevertheless, the weather did not put a hold on North Carolina’s momentum.

On courts four, five and six, respectively, junior Anika Yarlagadda, senior Alle Sanford and junior Kacie Harvey each posted straight-set victories to secure a 4-0 win over South Carolina State. 

To kick off the second and final day of the NCAA Regionals, North Carolina faced South Carolina on Sunday.

The doubles win gave the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead over the Gamecocks to begin the match. 

As singles play came to an end, the score began pulling away in UNC’s favor as sophomore Fiona Crawley and first-year Carson Tanguilig both earned points on their individual courts. 

All it took to round out North Carolina’s win over the Gamecocks was a win in the second set by Yarlagadda, which brought the final score to 4-0. 

Who stood out? 

As they have all season, the doubles team of Crawley and junior Elizabeth Scotty was the drive behind the Tar Heels’ momentum. Thanks to the early lead this duo took against South Carolina, North Carolina was able to cruise to an easy victory in the final match of regional competition.

When was it decided?

For both matchups, the Tar Heels were strong and swift in their defeats over South Carolina and South Carolina State. 

Coming out swinging with domination of the doubles competition, UNC also maintained its high ground in the singles. Although there were some moments of hope for the opposing teams, consistency throughout the singles matches was what made No. 1 North Carolina the definitive winner of the weekend. 

Why does it matter?

Not only will this successful weekend maintain the Tar Heels’ No. 1 spot in the team rankings, but will also give them the opportunity to host a super regional site.

North Carolina is making its 23rd successive appearance in the NCAA Team Championship and 18th in a row under the leadership of head coach Brian Kalbas. The Tar Heels will continue their streak of competing at the NCAA Super Regionals, as they have advanced beyond the regionals every season since 2010. 

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will go on to compete in the NCAA Super Regionals at their host site on May 13, against the Florida Gators.

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com



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