Champaign Is Calling For No. 1 Women’s Tennis

CARY, NC – North Carolina has yet to surrender a point through three matches of the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championship. Sophomore Fiona Crawley sent the top-seeded Tar Heels into the Elite 8 when she clinched the 4-0 win over No. 16 seed Florida in a NCAA Super Regionals match Friday afternoon from Cary Tennis Park.

North Carolina (27-2) reaches the quarterfinals for the 11th time in program history and will face No. 8 Pepperdine on Friday in Champaign, Illinois. The Waves knocked out ninth seed Miami, 4-0, on Friday, in Malibu, California.

“It’s so gratifying to see different people step up and achieve great things for this year’s team,” said UNC head coach Brian Kalbas. “It’s a great accomplishment to get to the finals site and the elite eight.”

Carolina was particularly impressive in the doubles portion of the match. Alle Sanford and Carson Tanguilig blitzed Florida’s Bente Spee and Marlee Zein by a 6-1 score on court two.

No.2 Fiona Crawley and Elizabeth Scotty dropped the opening point against No. 12 Alicia Dudeney and McCartney Kessler, but quickly responded by winning the final six points to grab the early 1-0 lead for the Tar Heels.

“I’m just so proud of our team. Doubles was amazing, probably the best doubles we’ve played all year long,” said Kalbas. Florida is so well coached and aggressive, but we took them out of their game in doubles.”

Anika Yarlagadda had the clinch point against South Carolina in the second round last Sunday. Today, she was first off from court six with a resounding 6-0, 6-2, victory over Emma Shelton.

No.30 Elizabeth Scotty methodically put away No. 81 Marlee Zein, 6-1, 6-3, to inch UNC ever so close to victory.

The Gators won first sets on courts one, three and five, but ultimately dug themselves too deep a whole to come out from.

No. 55 Crawley captured her opening set, 6-4, and was in the driving seat up 5-2 in the second set, before Carly Briggs rallied to knot the set at 5-5. Crawley, the nation’s leader in singles win, prevailed 7-5 that set off a celebration from her court four.

Carolina’s 10 previous quarterfinal appearances have all occurred in the last 20 years – 2002, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021.

Friday will be a rematch of last year’s NCAA Semifinal bout that went to Pepperdine, 4-3, in Orlando.

Singles Results
1. #5 Cameron Morra (UNC) vs. #12 McCartney Kessler (UF) 3-6, 6-2, 1-2, unfinished
2. #30 Elizabeth Scotty (UNC) def. #81 Marlee Zein (UF) 6-1, 6-3
3. #35 Reilly Tran (UNC) vs. Alicia Dudeney (UF) 3-6, 5-4, unfinished
4. #55 Fiona Crawley (UNC) def. Carly Briggs (UF) 6-4, 7-5
5. #51 Carson Tanguilig (UNC) vs. Sara Dahlstrom (UF) 6-7, 5-4, unfinished
6. Anika Yarlagadda (UNC) def. Emma Shelton (UF) 6-0, 6-2

Order of Finish: 6, 2, 4

Double Results
1. #2 Crawley/Scotty (UNC) def. #12 Dudeney/Kessler (UF) 6-1
2. Sanford/Tanguilig (UNC) def. Bente Spee/Zein (UF) 6-1
3. Morra/Tran (UNC) vs. Carly Briggs/Shelton (UF) 4-3

Order of Finish: 2, 1

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