No. 3 Carolina Women’s Tennis Soaring With Freshman Jamie Loeb

The North Carolina women’s tennis team has risen to No. 3 in the national collegiate rankings with a 22-3 overall mark and an 11-1 record in ACC action.

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The Tar Heels owe a lot of their success to freshman standout Jamie Loeb, now ranked the No. 1 singles player in the nation.

The Carolina women are serving up a storm these days. Last weekend, the Tar Heels easily dismissed league rival Maryland 6-1 to send the seniors out with a bang on Senior Day in Chapel Hill.

But it’s young freshman Loeb who has been stealing the spotlight this season. Loeb sports an incredible 43-2 singles record, including a perfect 11-0 mark in the ACC.

A tennis season can be somewhat of a grind, but Loeb says the team is really starting to find its form with each and every match thanks to some intelligent tactics.

“We’ve improved our unity in the team. I think we’ve found our identity and who we are. I think we’re putting that all together, taking care of our bodies and being smart,” Loeb says.

Loeb says the close-knit nature of the team really provides a great working environment for her to compete. Loeb says there is nothing like hearing her teammates voice their support while she’s battling it out in a match.

“We’re basically a family. We love each other so much. I think our closeness helps us on court as well. We’re out there pushing each other and cheering for each other after every point. It’s such a good feeling, especially for me, when I hear my teammates cheering for me,” Loeb says.

Earlier this week at The Rammys, the freshman sensation beat out a star-studded list of Carolina athletes including women’s basketball phenom Diamond DeShields, for the title of Breakthrough Athlete of the Year. Loeb says she was at a loss for words.

“It’s an honor for me to even be nominated for it. I was kind of shaking when I heard my name called,” Loeb says.

Loeb, though, is not alone near the top of the collegiate singles rankings. Her teammate, Hayley Carter, is ranked No. 6 nationally and regularly pairs with Loeb to form a dynamic doubles combo. Loeb says the two are good friends, but push each other on the court – keeping a competitive edge.

Coming into her rookie year, Loeb was once the hunter. Now, everybody is gunning for her. But she says she’s not letting any pressure get to her.

“I use it as  motivation to keep getting better and not look at it as pressure and feeling like I have to stay at No. 1. I don’t have to do it. I just want it,” Loeb says.

Postseason play is rapidly approaching. Loeb says the team is practicing with an even greater intensity these days with an ACC, and possibly even national title on the line.

“We’re practicing with a purpose. We know what we want to get done and what we need to improve on,” Loeb says.

But before the ACC Championship, the Tar Heels hit the road for a Southern swing. A Thursday afternoon meeting with Georgia Tech in Atlanta will be followed by a Saturday showdown with Clemson in South Carolina.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/3-carolina-womens-tennis-soaring-freshman-jamie-loeb/

Serving Up A Storm: Carolina Tennis, A Force To Be Reckoned With

Carolina is making some noise on the tennis courts in 2014. Both the men’s and women’s squads are aiming at ACC, and possibly even national titles.

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The No. 11 men’s team, 13-2 on the season, is coming off a 7-0 demolition of Longwood Monday evening.

Earlier in the day, the Tar Heels took down No. 7 Texas 4-3 in a huge showdown between national title hopefuls.

It was a successful doubleheader thanks to a pair of talented freshmen, Ronnie Schneider and Jack Murray. The two dropped only a single game in four sets between them and also teamed up for an 8-0 doubles win.

The men will again take the court on Friday against No. 19 N.C. State in Raleigh.

The Tar Heel women wrapped up a winning weekend with a 6-1 victory over Virginia Tech Sunday to improve to 13-2 on the season and 5-1 in ACC play.

Freshman sensation Jamie Loeb says she and teammate Hayley Carter both push the team to new heights.

“Both of us keep pushing each other and pushing the team itself. Everybody is willing to improve and look to be the best. I feel that’s really helping us,” Loeb says.

Loeb owns a remarkable 34-2 record on the year and is the reigning ACC Player of the Week.

Head Coach Brian Kalbas, however, says it’s Carolina’s team depth that will pay dividends this spring.

“We have tremendous depth throughout our lineup. We’re very fortunate and excited to be able to count on everybody or anybody at any point in time,” Coach Kalbas says.

The ladies are in action Wednesday down in Charleston, where they will serve it up against Appalachian State and the College of Charleston.

As the winter turns to spring, look for the action on the Carolina courts to continue to heat up.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/serving-storm-carolina-tennis-force-reckoned/

Dynamic Freshman Duo Leads Tar Heel National Championship Defense

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.– The No. 3 Tar Heel women’s tennis team prepares to defend its national championship from a year ago at the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships this weekend.

And it’s a pair of freshmen leading the way for Carolina this season.

Jamie Loeb won the first two college grand slams in the UNC women’s tennis program’s history in her first semester on UNC’s campus. But what makes her such a special player? Head Coach Brian Kalbas weighs in.

“She hates to lose in practice. She hates to lose any points. She’s always striving to get better. She’s one that’s very talented, but she’s got a tremendous work ethic and she works really hard to improve. That’s what makes her kind of special,” Coach Kalbas says.

The dynamic duo of Loeb and Hayley Carter, who have amassed 23-1 and 23-4 records, respectively, continues to amaze Coach Kalbas. He says their performances have been extraordinary.

“It’s just amazing to have two freshmen come in and have such incredible success early on. I knew coming in that those two were very special. But what they’ve done in a short amount of time in college is pretty remarkable,” Coach Kalbas says.

Interestingly enough, Loeb and Carter actually team up as a doubles team, but Coach Kalbas says their friendly rivalry pushes both of their games to higher levels.

“They definitely push each other. They play doubles together. In practice, they make each other better. It’s tremendous to have freshmen who come in together and are so competitive. They want to beat each other up. It’s a healthy environment for those two,” Coach Kalbas says.

But Coach Kalbas says the Tar Heels are going to need to count on more than just Loeb and Carter to defend their national championship this weekend.

“In this type of format, playing three or four days in row, you are going to have to have everybody really counted on and competing and ready to go. It’s a grueling three or four days of tough competition every single day. We’re going to need our depth to really come through for us,” Coach Kalbas says.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/dynamic-freshman-duo-leads-tar-heel-national-championship-defense/

Freshman Jamie Loeb Leading Way for No. 3 UNC Women’s Tennis

CHAPEL HILL—No.3 Carolina women’s tennis dominated play in the opening week of dual matches, going 4-0. And a lot of their success can be traced to a freshman sensation.

UNC’s Jamie Loeb was named ACC Women’s Tennis Player of the Week on Tuesday. She recorded a perfect 3-0 mark in singles and went 3-0 in doubles with her partner Hayley Carter to lead UNC to overall team victories.

Loeb, the No.2-ranked player in the nation according to the ITA, says she’s learning not underestimate her abilities on court.

“Now I really know what to expect from myself, and that I shouldn’t underestimate my abilities,” Loeb says.

Loeb is currently 23-1 in singles action this year and 17-3 in doubles. But she credits her teammate Carter as someone who really means a lot to her and the rest of the Tar Heel team.

“Hayley is a great and also a great person. She’s very easy-going and a great teammate. She always wants the best for everybody. I think it’s good having someone like her on the team,” Loeb says.

Loeb says despite the roaring start to her college career, she doesn’t feel any added pressure, besides the pressure she already puts on herself to compete at the highest level in her sport.

“I don’t feel any added pressure. I’ve proven a lot so far. I still feel I have a lot more to prove. I’m still a freshman, so I don’t really have much to lose. I’m just going to go in with that mentality,” Loeb says.

Next up for Loeb and the Tar Heels is a match against No. 7 Texas A&M on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. Carolina will then seek to defend their National Team Indoor Championship Feb. 7-10 in Charlottesville, Va.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/freshman-jamie-loeb-leading-way-3-unc-womens-tennis/

Vegas, Baby! Carolina Women’s Tennis Faces Top-Flight Field

LAS VEGAS–The No. 3 UNC women’s tennis team is heading to Vegas and will take to the court this weekend for the 12th annual Freeman Memorial Women’s Tennis Championship Jan. 17-19 on the campus of UNLV.

The tournament boasts a strong field with six teams ranked in the top 10 playing in the seven-team field.

ACC rival Duke will serve it up along with Carolina and top-ranked Stanford.

Carolina freshman Hayley Carter is seeded third in the singles draw while Carter and Whitney Kay will team up in the doubles competition for the first time as the No. 4 seeds.

The tournament has attracted 12 of the top 50 individuals and two of the top-three ranked doubles teams. Action begins Friday at 1 p.m. with the finals slated for Sunday.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/vegas-baby-carolina-womens-tennis-faces-top-flight-field/

Carolina Women’s Tennis Checks In At No. 3 Nationally

CHAPEL HILL– Carolina women’s tennis is ranked No. 3 in the first ITA Tennis team rankings of the 2014 season.

In addition, standout freshmen Jamie Loeb and Hayley Carter are slated No.2 and No.5 in the singles rankings. In total, four Tar Heels carry a singles ranking.

In the doubles rankings, Whitney Kay and Caroline Price check in at No. 10 with Loeb and Carter right behind them at No. 12.

Loeb finished the fall with an impressive 19-1 record and defeated the top-ranked player Robin Anderson of UCLA twice in the process. Carter wasn’t too bad herself, amassing a 19-3 record.

The Tar Heels serve it up once again at the Freeman Memorial Championship on Jan. 18-20 in Las Vegas.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-womens-tennis-checks-3-nationally/

Jamie Loeb Wins National Indoor Singles Title

FLUSHING, NY - Freshman Jamie Loeb of North Carolina won her second-straight college tennis major at the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.

The victory caps an amazing fall season for the freshman from Ossining, N.Y., roughly 30 miles from the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing.

Loeb faced Robin Anderson of UCLA in a repeat of their Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships matchup, which Loeb won 6-4, 6-0.

On Sunday, Loeb struck first early, breaking the Bruin two straight times to take a 4-1 lead. Anderson fought back and recovered one break but served to stay in the first set at 3-5. An ace took her to game point, but she followed that up with a double fault and then netted a forehand to give Loeb a set point. Loeb would win the set after winning a long rally, 6-3.

In the second set, Anderson kept fighting to defend her title and she broke Loeb for the early lead, only to be broken twice in a row to trail 4-1 as Loeb proved too powerful and steady from every part of the court. Both women held serve for 5-2, putting all the pressure on Anderson’s shoulders to hold, but Loeb broke again to capture the title, 6-3, 6-2.

In facing Anderson again for the second-straight major, Loeb said she thought her opponent played a lot better today. “When we played at All-Americans, I think she was a little more nervous, especially at the beginning of the match,” she said. “She wasn’t serving as well; I think today she served a lot better. Overall, I think both matches were really great.”

Loeb did not drop a set throughout the tournament and she now boasts a 19-1 start to her collegiate career.  When talking about her successful fall, Loeb said she’s been improving in practice and working very hard.

“During matches, I’m more confident now and I believe more in my shots and in myself,” she said. “I’m using my legs more on my serve, making my first serve a weapon, but also consistent. I’m just mixing it up with my placement and using more variety with my shots in general.”

Loeb has won 16-consecutive singles matches beginning with her run to the Riviera/ITA All-Americans title in October.

Loeb has beaten the Nos. 1, 2 (twice), 3 and 4-ranked players this fall according to the preseason ITA Rankings.

Classmate and doubles partner Hayley Carter hasn’t been too bad herself. She made the semifinals of the National Indoors, before falling to Anderson, and will finish the fall season with a 19-3 singles record.

Carolina returns to action Jan 18-20 at the Freeman Memorial Championship in Las Vegas.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/jamie-loeb-wins-national-indoor-singles-title/

Carolina Tennis Making Noise at Regionals

Photo courtesy of GoHeels.com

CHAPEL HILL– UNC men’s and women’s tennis have been making some noise on the court lately. Tar Heels Hayley Carter and Jamie Loeb won the doubles draw at the ITA Carolina Regionals earlier this week.

Played at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center, Carter and Loeb paired to win the title by defeating their own teammates in the final. They took an 8-4 victory over Laura Slater and Kate Vialle.

But Carolina’s Carter wasn’t finished there. She later went on to play in the singles final. Carter fell in three tight sets to Beatrice Capra, the top-seeded player from Duke.

As for the men, UNC sophomore Brett Clark made it all the way to the singles final at Cary Tennis Park before losing to East Carolina’s Joran Vliegen by a score of 7-5, 6-4.

In his run through the tournament, Clark defeated three nationally ranked players.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-tennis-making-noise-at-regionals/

Freshman Jamie Loeb Makes Tar Heel History

Photo courtesy of UNC Athletic Communications

PACIFIC PALISADES, CA– UNC freshman Jamie Loeb is starting her first year at Carolina in style. Loeb claimed the 2013 Riviera/ ITA Women’s All-American Championships to become the first freshman since 2004 to win the singles title.

Loeb beat top-seeded Robin Anderson representing UCLA, 6-4, 6-0, to wrap up her nine-day odyssey to the championship. What’s more, Loeb has now etched her place in Carolina Athletics history.

She became the first Tar Heel in school history to take home the illustrious Women’s All-American Championships.

And Loeb seemed to really take her game to the next level as the tournament progressed, refusing to drop a single set in main draw play as the competition level rose. She was a giant killer, eliminating the top three seeds in the competition during her memorable title run.

With the record-breaking triumph, Loeb earned an automatic bid to the USTA/ ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships from Nov. 7-10 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/freshman-jamie-loeb-makes-tar-heel-history/

Carolina Women’s Tennis Seeks L.A. Success

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey A. Camarati

LOS ANGELES — The Tar Heel women’s tennis team is heavily featured at the 2013 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championship beginning Saturday at Riviera Tennis Club.

Freshmen Hayley Carter and Jamie Loeb will be joined by 62 other players competing in the pre-qualifying singles draw held Saturday and Sunday. Each player will need to win three matches in order to gain entrance into the main qualifying draw. Carter and Loeb will also be playing in the doubles qualifying.

Sophomore Whitney Kay already has entry into the main qualifying singles draw and she will be teaming up with Caroline Price in the doubles main draw later in the week.

Price has already booked her spot in the singles main draw that will begin Thursday, Oct. 3.

All the Tar Heel players will be hoping to gain automatic entry into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships to be held Nov. 7-10 in Flushing, New York.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-tennis-take/