Photo: UNC winning ITA Indoor National Title in February. (Courtesy of GoHeels.com)
CHAPEL HILL – No. 2 North Carolina begins play in the 2013 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship Friday when the Tar Heels welcome MEAC champion South Carolina State to the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center at 1 p.m. Carolina, which enters the event with a record of 25-3, is looking to win its 13th consecutive opening round NCAA match, a streak that dates back to 2001.
UNC is serving as a regional host for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons and the ninth under four-time Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year Brian Kalbas. Led by ACC Player of the Year Gina Suarez-Malaguti, Carolina is a top-eight national seed for the fourth consecutive NCAA tournament.
The Tar Heels enter the 2013 Championship after having won the ITA National Indoor Championship in February and claiming the ACC regular season title with a 10-1 league mark. Carolina spent 10 weeks as the nation’s No. 1 team and sports wins over 19 ranked opponents.
In addition to Suarez-Malaguti, Zoe De Bruycker, Caroline Price and Whitney Kay each earned a berth in the 2013 NCAA Singles Championship. Suarez-Malaguti is the No. 7 seed in the event and will earn ITA All-America honors for the first time in her career. De Bruycker and Price were also All-ACC selections, the third such honor for De Bruycker and a first for Price, who enters the postseason with a team-best dual record of 20-2.
The winner of Friday’s UNC-South Carolina State match will face the winner of the Tennessee-VCU match in Saturday’s second round. The winner of the second round match, which is currently set for Saturday at 11 a.m., will advance to the NCAA final site in Urbana, Ill.
Tickets for the event are $5 for the general public and $3 for students and seniors. Gates will open one hour prior to play on both Friday and Saturday.
Friday, May 10
9 a.m. Gates Open
10 a.m. Tennessee vs. VCU
1 p.m. South Carolina State vs. North Carolina
Saturday, May 11
10 a.m. Gates Open
11 a.m. Second Round
The Tar Heels will be joined by 13 other teams and five individuals in the Arizona State Regional at Karsten Golf Course in Tempe. UNC received the No. 8 seed in the group; Duke is also in the ASU Regional as the No. 2 seed and the automatic qualifier from the ACC. The five best team scores and the best individual score will advance to the championship round.
The regional round consists of three 18-hole days of golf. North Carolina and the 13 other teams will tee off Thursday, May 16. The finals take place May 28-June 2 at The Capital City Club, Crabapple Course in Atlanta, Georgia.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/mens-golf-receives-bid-to-ncaa-regionals/