ORLANDO, FLA.–North Carolina’s women’s tennis team won its first NCAA championship on Saturday as the Tar Heels beat NC State, 4-1, in a classic final between two familiar rivals at the USTA Campus.
Three consecutive singles wins by Fiona Crawley, Carson Tanguilig and Elizabeth Scotty’s provided the winning margin after UNC had won the doubles point to start the day and the Wolfpack had tied the score at 1-1.
The Tar Heels, who have won the last four ITA Indoor Team National Championships, captured their first outdoor title to cement their place as perhaps the top women’s tennis program in the nation.
It was the third meeting of the season between the Tar Heels and Wolfpack. UNC beat NCSU, 7-0, during the regular season in Chapel Hill, only to see NC State hand Carolina its lone loss of the season prior to Saturday, beating the Tar Heels, 4-1, in the ACC Championship match in late April.
UNC was making its first appearance in the NCAA championship match since 2014.
The Tar Heels won the doubles point to take an early, 1-0 lead. Despite a loss at No. 1 doubles, Scotty and Tanguilig beat NCSU’s Nell Miller and Amelia Rajecki, 6-1, at No. 2, while Reese Brantmeier and Reilly Tran downed Sophie Abrams and Abigail Rencheli, 6-4, at No. 3.
NC State won three quick first sets in singles action and seemed to seize momentum in the match. In the first singles final, Diana Shnaider tied it at 1-1 for the Wolfpack with a 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 1 over Reese Brantmeier.
Later, Crawley pulled out a clutch, tiebreak win in the second set and beat Alana Smith, 6-2, 7-6, at No. 2 to give Carolina the lead again, 2-1. Tanguilig and Scotty followed with quick wins in succession at No. 3 and No. 4 to clinch the national title.
𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑 𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬#GoHeels x #GDTBATH pic.twitter.com/4bAhAGFtTZ
— Carolina Women’s Tennis 🐏🎾 (@UNC_wtennis) May 21, 2023
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