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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 2 UNC women’s tennis sweeps Campbell and ECU as Kalbas earns 500th career win

20230113_Tran_UNC-vs-Elon-Womens-Tennis-13.jpg
Junior Fiona Crawley returns a volley during her singles match against Elon University’s Sibel Tanik at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center on Friday, January 13, 2023. UNC beat Elon 4-2.

The No. 2 UNC women’s tennis team finished off its successful first weekend of the indoor season with a pair of wins against East Carolina University and Campbell University. The doubleheader took place at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. 

UNC is now starting off spring play with a 4-0 record on the season, securing Brian Kalbas’ 500th win as UNC’s head coach.

The doubleheader meant the team spent over eight hours in the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center after playing matchups on Friday and Saturday versus Elon and Appalachian State Universities. However, the Tar Heels kept momentum to secure 7-0 wins against both of their opponents on Monday.

“Coming off the pair of Friday, Saturday matches I was definitely very sore yesterday, definitely took a light hit,” senior Elizabeth Scotty said. “I think just preparing and taking it each match at a time, not getting in your head when it gets closer to the end is super important especially during these long days.” 

The first match saw UNC first-year Reese Brantmeier and graduate student Abbey Forbes defeat ECU’s Ines Bachir and Alisha Hussain, 6-1. Junior Reilly Tran, along with Scotty, followed with a swift 6-0 win, defeating Martina Muzzolon and Isabella Rivera Ortiz to secure the doubles point. UNC swept in the singles matchups, with all of the players garnering decisive two-set victories and boxing out ECU for the 7-0 win.

Kalbas was not the only one with a big milestone; Brantmeier secured her first wins as a Tar Heel. She defeated Bachir in 6-1, 6-3 singles wins and then secured back-to-back 6-0 set points versus Campbell’s Lena Karlovcan in match two — in addition to her doubles wins with Forbes.

“Obviously, Reese getting her first wins at UNC, she did great,” Kalbas said. “We just started practice about a week ago, so a lot of that off-season preparation is there. You can see us get better every match, and it’s great to get the team playing in matches again.”

No. 1 singles player Fiona Crawley, senior Sophia Patel and junior Sara McClure all played in both singles sets and secured decisive wins in both matchups. 

“Spring is just a different animal, it’s such a different feeling playing six in a line, you know,” Crawley said. “I think that just getting more match-tough is the best thing for our team, and Coach knows that.”

UNC similarly dominated in match two against Campbell, with the Brantmeier-Forbes duo securing another 6-0 doubles victory following a 6-1 victory by Patel and sophomore Lindsay Zink to secure the doubles point and set up another singles sweep. No. 8 ranked Carson Tanguilig posted 6-1, 6-0 victories versus Mariana Ossa — followed by a set of 6-0 wins from Tran and Brantmeier — clinching the match for the Tar Heels. 

After a five-match series at home to open the season, the Tar Heels women’s tennis team is nothing if not living up to their name. Currently on a 58-game home winning streak and boasting six ranked singles players on their roster, the team moves into the 2023 season feeling strong in their abilities and their communication as a team and with their coach.

“We tell (Kalbas) what we want to do, who’s healthy, who’s feeling good, how we’re feeling, and what we feel like we need to prioritize, and he takes that into account,” Crawley said. “We all have really good communication, just so flawlessly coming back together to start off this season.”

UNC will play their fifth home match, versus N.C. Central University on Wednesday, Jan. 18, before heading to Auburn, Alabama to compete against Auburn University and University of Wisconsin on Jan. 21 and 22.

@riyajayanthi

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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