CARY, N.C. – Within a 10-minute span, a spot in the ACC title match was decided as No. 4 Georgia Tech and No. 2 North Carolina faced off in an ACC semifinal on Saturday. Tech grabbed the early lead securing the doubles point against UNC, but it wasn’t enough as the Tar Heels captured a 4-3 decision in the ACC semifinal match. The Jackets moved to 21-5 overall this season.
DOUBLES ACTION: Tech rolled to a pair of victories in doubles play as No. 1 Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones took the first match by a 6-2 tally over No. 3 Jessie Aney/Alexa Graham from the top seed. The Jackets sprinted out of the gate with a 3-0 lead before the Tar Heels got on the scoreboard. Leading 5-2 in the match, the Jackets broke serve to secure a 6-2 victory and give the early edge to Tech. UNC evened doubles play, grabbing a 6-2 win from the three seed, leaving the doubles point to be decided at the No. 2 seed where No. 63 Ida Jarlskog and Victoria Flores battled No. 22 Sara Daavettila/Alle Sanford.
Flores/Jarlskog led 3-1 in the match and pushed their lead out to 5-2. UNC held serve to setup a 5-3 score, but Jarlskog served out the match for a 6-3 triumph to clinch the doubles point and 1-0 lead for Tech.
SINGLES ACTION: North Carolina claimed the first three singles victories to finish, reversing a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead. Aney notched a straight-set win over Nami Otsuka at No. 5 before Daavettila put UNC up 2-1 with a straight-set win over Johnnise Renaud at No. 3. After dropping the first set 6-3 at the six seed, Flores rallied in the second set against Chloe Ouellet-Pizer, but couldn’t pull out the win, falling 7-5 in the second set as the Tar Heels gained a 3-1 lead.
In a 10-minute span, the final three matches competing wrapped up. The Jackets rallied and evened the score at 3-all when Jarlskog fought back after dropping the first set, 6-1, to No. 92 Graham at the four seed. The freshman captured the next two sets, 6-3, 6-4, to secure her match before Jones pocketed a hard-fought match at the two seed for a 3-3 score. Jones rolled in the first set against Sanford, 6-3, but dropped the second set in a tiebreak before rebounding with a 6-3 third set win, leaving the top-seeded match to be the deciding victory.
No. 13 Hourigan led 6-5 in the first set against No. 7 Jones from the No. 1 position, but the Tar Heel pulled out the set in a tiebreak to gain the early advantage. Hourigan once again gained the early lead in the second set, but Jones battled back to take the set 7-5 and secure the win for North Carolina.
UP NEXT: The NCAA women’s tennis selection show will air on Tuesday, May 1 at 5 p.m. on NCAA.com.
No. 4 GEORGIA TECH vs No. 2 NORTH CAROLINA RESULTS
Match Score: North Carolina 4, Georgia Tech 3
1. No. 1 Paige Hourigan/Kenya Jones (GT) def. No. 3 Jessie Aney/Alexa Graham (UNC) 6-2
2. No. 63 Ida Jarlskog/Victoria Flores (GT) def. No. 22 Sara Daavettila/Alle Sanford (UNC) 6-3
3. Marika Akkerman/Makenna Jones (UNC) def. Johnnise Renaud/Nami Otsuka (GT) 6-2
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
1. No. 7 Makenna Jones (UNC) def. No. 13 Paige Hourigan (GT) 7-6, 7-5
2. No. 82 Kenya Jones (GT) def. No. 27 Alle Sanford (UNC) 6-3, 6-7, 6-3
3. No. 41 Sara Daavettila (UNC) def. Johnnise Renaud (GT) 7-5, 6-3
4. Ida Jarlskog (GT) def. No. 92 Alexa Graham (UNC) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. No. 96 Jessie Aney (UNC) def. Nami Otsuka (GT) 6-3, 7-5
6. Chloe Ouellet-Pizer (UNC) def. Victoria Flores (GT) 6-3, 7-5
Order of finish: 5, 3, 6, 4, 2, 1
Records: Georgia Tech (21-5); North Carolina (25-3)