Over the weekend, UNC's spring sports had a pretty good Saturday but a horrific Sunday as the Heels' baseball, softball, and men's lacrosse teams all lost high-profile games.
But first, the good news. Saturday was a good day for UNC:
- Carolina's 4th-ranked women's tennis team defeated Washington 4-1 in Chapel Hill to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Last year, the team advanced all the way to the Final Four for the first time in program history. The Tar Heel netters will play either Vanderbilt or Tennessee on Friday in Palo Alto, California.
- Carolina's women's lacrosse team, seeded 3rd in the NCAA playoffs, defeated Virginia 15-7 in Chapel Hill in first round action. UNC will host Loyola of Maryland on Saturday with another national semifinal berth on the line.
- UNC softball advanced to the ACC tournament championship game in Atlanta for the first time since 2002 with a 7-3 win over an NCAA-bound Maryland team. Freshman pitcher Lori Spingola struck out a Terp batter in the bottom of the 7th with the bases loaded to preserve the win.
But then came the harbinger of doom. The Carolina baseball team followed up a stellar performance at Georgia Tech on Friday night with another gem on Saturday - for 8 1/2 innings. UNC led 8-3 in the 7th and was up 8-4 headed into the bottom of the 9th, and was 35-0 on the season with the lead in the last inning. But then the Heels fell apart as Tech scored five runs to take the game 9-8.
Like David Toms standing over a 3-footer in The Players, UNC's teams missed golden opportunities on Sunday and could not close the deal.
First, UNC's men's lacrosse team dropped its NCAA opener at home against Maryland, 13-6. Carolina never led and although they kept it close for a half, the Terps went on a six-goal spurt early in the 3rd to end the Heels' season. The good news for Carolina is that the Heels put together back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time in nearly two decades.
UPDATE(THF): How bad was it yesterday? UNC fell for the hidden ball trick against Maryland.
If it makes you feel any better. Maryland bit Duke on it last year.
Later, the baseball team apparently couldn't shake the demons of Saturday's collapse in dropping a 3-0 decision to Georgia Tech. Carolina managed only five hits and only got one runner as far as 3rd base. UNC headed into the weekend with a real shot at a national seed (meaning they would host games all the way through to the College World Series) but dropping 2 of 3 to the Jackets pretty much snuffs out that hope. Despite a gaudy 40-12 overall record, the Heels are only 17-10 in the ACC and in 4th place in the absolutely loaded Coastal Division.
Finally, the Carolina softball team mustered only 3 hits in falling to upstart Florida State in the ACC Tournament title game 4-1, losing not only the ACC title but a probable NCAA tournament bid in the process. UNC was on the tournament bubble but with the Noles taking the automatic bid, Carolina was left out of the field of 64. The good news is that three Tar Heels were named to the all-tournament team, including freshmen Logan Foulkes and Lori Spingola, so the future looks bright for Carolina softball.
So, a big weekend looms ahead with NCAA play for women's tennis and lacrosse, and league-leading Virginia coming to Chapel Hill for a huge baseball series in which UNC can once more try to make a pitch for a national seed.