LAKE NONA, FL – After years of unparalleled success under Head Coach Brian Kalbas, the University of North Carolina Women’s Tennis team was finally able to surpass one of the final hurdles in front of them when they took down North Carolina State to claim the program’s first NCAA National Championship.
Having won seven ITA National Team Indoor Championships during Coach Kalbas’s 20-year tenure, the Tar Heels finally claim their long-awaited outdoor title after reaching the Semifinals of the NCAA Tournaments on six previous occasions.
In the championship match, the Tar Heels knew they needed to change some things up after falling to NC State in the ACC Tournament Championship for their only loss of the season.
Determined not to have a repeat performance of the ACC Championship, North Carolina completely reworked their doubles lineup for the NCAA Tournament, pairing many players together for the first time all season which proved to be crucial to the Tar Heels all NCAA Championship.
Moving Elizabeth Scotty from the No. 1 position to the No. 2 position alongside Carson Tanguilig, this new pairing pushed North Carolina ahead early as they won 6-1 over Nell Miller and Amelia Rajecki (No. 9) to give the Tar Heels momentum.
Not too long after, NC State was able to respond from the No. 1 position as Diana Shnaider and Alana Smith (No. 4) continued their dominance as a pair, taking down the newly formed duo of Fiona Crawley and Abbey Forbes 6-4 to make No. 3 doubles the decisive court.
At No. 3 doubles, Reese Brantmeier and Reilly Tran showed no signs of newness as a pairing, winning the big points when it counted to claim a 6-4 victory over Sophie Abrams and Abigail Rencheli to give North Carolina the 1-0 lead moving into singles play.
From singles play, the Tar Heels made sure to capitalize on this momentum, winning in straight sets on courts two and four to push the overall match score to 3-2 after Shnaider won on court one for the Wolfpack.
The clinch came from court three as Tanguilig battled back after dropping the second set to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 over Amelia Rajecki to give North Carolina the victory as teammates rushed to her side from every court at the USTA Collegiate Complex.
This National Championship marks the 49th NCAA National Championship for the North Carolina athletics program, while Kalbas becomes the 14th coach in North Carolina history to lead his or her team to a National Championship.
For complete match results continue reading below:
- #4 Shnaider/Smith (NCST) def. Crawley/Forbes (UNC) 6-4
- Scotty/Tanguilig (UNC) def. #9 Miller/Rajecki (NCST) 6-1
- Brantmeier/Tran (UNC) def. Abrams/Rencheli (NCST) 6-4
- #7 Diana Shnaider (NCST) def. #8 Reese Brantmeier (UNC) 6-3, 6-4
- #1 Fiona Crawley (UNC) def. #13 Alana Smith (NCST) 6-2, 7-6 (7-2)
- #28 Carson Tanguilig (UNC) def. #26 Amelia Rajecki (NCST) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
- #107 Elizabeth Scotty (UNC) def. #87 Abigail Rencheli (NCST) 7-6 (9-7), 6-3
- Sophie Abrams (NCST) vs. #100 Reilly Tran (UNC) 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 1-1, unfinished
- Gina Dittmann (NCST) vs. #38 Anika Yarlagadda (UNC) 6-3, 5-7, 3-2, unfinished