The No. 1 North Carolina women’s tennis (20-0) defeated the Clemson Tigers (11-6) 6-1 Sunday afternoon in Clemson, South Carolina.
Getting off to a hot start in doubles play, No. 3 junior Fiona Crawley and sophomore Carson Tanguilig secured an early lead.
Only needing to win one more game to put the match away, the UNC duo struggled to finish, making costly errors and hitting a series of long balls to give up two late games. Crawley and Tanguilig finally stopped the bleeding and won the last game, exiting with a 6-3 victory.
Coming back from an early deficit, graduate student Abbey Forbes and junior Reilly Tran clinched the doubles point for North Carolina on court three, also winning 6-3.
Stepping in for No. 1 Crawley, No. 33 first-year Reese Brantmeier swept her opponent in straight sets to earn the first singles point for the Tar Heels. Only dropping one game in both sets, Tran increased the lead with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Clemson senior Lana Sipek. On court two, No. 15 Tanguilig officially clinched the match for North Carolina, winning in straight sets.
No. 22 senior Anika Yarlagadda added another win to her resumé, defeating the Tigers’ first-year Leigh Van Zyl 6-2, 6-3. Surviving a ten-point tie-break, Forbes came out on top 6-2, 2-6, 10-5.
Ending her undefeated singles streak this season, senior Elizabeth Scotty fell to junior Daniella Medvedeva in the tie-break with a final match score of 4-6, 6-1, 9-11.
Who stood out?
Brantmeier was dominant at the No. 1 spot in singles on Sunday. The first-year was on the offensive for the majority of the match, forcing Clemson senior Eleni Louka off-balance. Brantmeier showed fluid movement up to the net, and she combined cross-court strokes with volleys to smother Louka.
With the win in Sunday’s match, the Wisconsin native has only lost one singles match this season.
When was it decided?
Clinching for the second time this weekend, Tanguilig grabbed the fourth point for North Carolina.
Tanguilig crushed her opponent in the first set, 6-1. However, in similar fashion to her doubles match, the UNC sophomore struggled to finish the match. While Tanguilig was up 5-1, Clemson junior Cristina Mayorova began to chip away at the deficit, winning three games..
Now only up 5-4, the North Carolina player disrupted Mayorova’s win streak to finally end the singles match. Tanguilig walked away with another match clinch and a 6-1, 6-4 victory.
Why does it matter?
Sunday’s match displayed the depth of UNC’s team. Even without the No. 1 singles player in the country, Crawley, the Tar Heels dominated their opponent – only dropping one singles match.
Nearing the half-way point in the ACC season, the Tar Heels remain undefeated in conference play.
When do they play next?
On March 24, UNC will face No. 47 Boston College at 3 p.m. in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
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