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UNC Women’s Tennis: Tar Heels set to compete for national title this week

The Carolina women are into the quarterfinals as they look to win their first NCAA team title.

Internazionali BNL D’Italia 2023 - Day Five Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Today at 5 PM ET, the North Carolina Tar Heels women’s tennis team will continue their quest for a championship as they take on Texas in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament in Orlando.

Over the weekend, UNC booked their place in the final eight with a win over Florida. The #1 overall seeded Heels beat the #16 Gators 4-1 to advance to Orlando.

In case you’re unaware, the way college tennis works is that each team matchup is decided by a best of seven matchup. The two schools play six singles matches for a point each, and three doubles match, which combine in a best two of three for a seventh point. Whichever team wins four points gets the win.

UNC lost the doubles point after the third and decisive match went the distance and into a tiebreaker. However, the Heels quickly got back on their horse when the singles matches started and swept those to clinch a win. Reese Brantmeier, Reilly Tran, Anika Yarlagadda, and Fiona Crawley all won in straight sets to give UNC the win. Carolina were also leading in the other two unfinished matches, but Crawley — the #1 ranked singles player in the country — clinched the matchup when she beat UF’s Carly Briggs.

That set in place a matchup of Texas, which will be a rematch from last year’s Final Four. Last year, the Tar Heels were again the #1 overall seed in the tournament and cruised through the first three rounds before narrowly beating Pepperdine in the quarterfinals. That set up a matchup against Texas, but the Longhorns pulled off the upset. The battle went right down to the end, with the final two matches left on court both reaching a third and decisive set. However, UT’s Allura Zamarripa narrowly beat UNC’s Carson Tanguilig. Texas then went on to beat Oklahoma and win the national title.

This year’s matchup will feature 11 of the top 125 singles players in college tennis this year and potentially five of the top 90 doubles teams. UNC will go in as favorites and they tends to have the higher ranked players in those various matchups, in addition to being the #1 overall seed. However as was shown last year, you still have to win on the court.

The faceoff against Texas will also be a chance at revenge for the men’s tennis team. Texas just knocked out the UNC men in the Sweet 16 over the weekend.

Should UNC get past Texas, they would face the winner of #4 Georgia and #5 Michigan in the semifinals. On the other side of the bracket is #2 Texas A&M, #3 NC State, #7 Stanford, and #11 Iowa State. The semifinals will be held on Friday, and the championship on Saturday. Best of luck to the Tar Heels!