The seventh-seeded North Carolina women’s tennis team, 29-5 on the season, defeated defending national champion Stanford 4-3 Monday afternoon in the Final Four and will now play for its first national championship against fifth-seeded UCLA on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
A spot in the finals came down to the singles match on court one between the Tar Heels’ top- ranked Jamie Loeb and Stanford’s third-ranked senior Kristie Ahn.
Ahn outlasted Loeb in the opening set, winning in a tiebreak 7-6. But Loeb rolled by Ahn from there, double-bageling her in the final two sets 6-0, 6-0 to clinch the overall match victory for the Tar Heels and send Carolina to their first title match in program history.
The doubles point proved crucial yet again for the Tar Heels as the early 1-0 lead was necessary for a UNC team that dropped three singles matches to square proceedings up at 3-3 with the Loeb-Ahn match serving as the decider.
No. 2 UNC singles player Hayley Carter continued her dominant play by dismissing Stanford’s Krista Hardebeck 6-2, 6-1.
Carter now sports an impressive 46-6 record while Loeb’s win was her 50th of the season. The freshman duo has propelled the Caroline team to new heights this season and now, they sit on the doorstep of the ultimate prize, a national title.
Women’s Semifinal: #7 NORTH CAROLINA (29-5) def. #11 STANFORD (20-3), 4-3 – McWhorter Courts
Doubles (Order of finish: 2,3,1)
1. #3 Jamie Loeb/Hayley Carter (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #10 Kristie Ahn/Carol Zhao (STANFORD), 8-5
2. #13 Whitney Kay/Caroline Price (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #50 Taylor Davidson/Ellen Tsay (STANFORD), 8-2
3. Caroline Doyle/Krista Hardebeck (STANFORD) def. Ashley Dai/Tessa Lyons (NORTH CAROLINA), 8-4
Singles (Order of finish: 2,4,3,6,5,1)
1. #1 Jamie Loeb (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #3 Kristie Ahn (STANFORD), 6-7(4), 6-0, 6-0
2. #5 Hayley Carter (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #51 Krista Hardebeck (STANFORD), 6-2, 6-1
3. #59 Caroline Price (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #21 Carol Zhao (STANFORD), 6-4, 6-4
4. #50 Taylor Davidson (STANFORD) def. Whitney Kay (NORTH CAROLINA), 6-3, 6-2
5. #54 Ellen Tsay (STANFORD) def. Kate Vialle (NORTH CAROLINA), 6-2, 7-6(4)
6. #57 Caroline Doyle (STANFORD) def. Tessa Lyons (NORTH CAROLINA), 6-2, 6-3