The North Carolina women’s tennis team fell to UCLA in a 4-3 decision Tuesday afternoon in Athens, Georgia, coming up just short of the program’s first national championship.
With the defeat, the Tar Heels finished the season at 29-6. That mark serves as the best record in the program history for Head Coach Brian Kalbas’ squad.
Perhaps the shocker of the day was at No. 1 singles, where Carolina’s Jamie Loeb lost 6-2, 6-2 to UCLA’s Robin Anderson. Loeb’s 25-match winning streak was snapped to a player she had previously beaten twice last fall en route to individual tournament titles.
Despite the setback, the Tar Heels battled on to tie the match with straight set wins from Hayley Carter and Kate Vialle that tied the match at 2-2.
The match hinged on three final matches. Each of the courts was sent to a third set, but it was UNC’s Caroline Price who couldn’t hold on at court three, despite a valiant effort against Kyle McPhillips that saw her fight off three championship points.
When Price’s final forehand sailed long, UCLA earned its second national title.
Although the team championships are finished, individual glory is still at stake for many of the Tar Heels. Top seed Loeb, 50-2 on the year, will be looking to rebound from Tuesday’s disappointment while Carter will also feature in the singles draw.
Singles play begins Wednesday afternoon with doubles action starting up Thursday.