Tar Heel women advance to NCAA tennis Final Four

May. 17, 2014 @ 05:04 PM

North Carolina’s Hayley Carter gave herself quite a birthday present Saturday.

In the quarterfinals of the NCAA women’s tennis championships, the now 19-year-old freshman closed out a three-set win at No. 2 singles to give No. 7 North Carolina a 4-2 quarterfinal victory over second-ranked Alabama at Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

The Tar Heels (28-5) earned the program’s second trip ever to the Final Four, joining the 2010 squad, and will face No. 3 Virginia at 1 p.m. Monday.

“It’s amazing,” Carter said after beating Alabama’s Danielle Spielmann, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. “I don’t think the birthday could get any better.”

It didn’t start out great. Carter and No. 1 doubles partner Jamie Loeb, the No. 3 team in the nation, lost for the first time this spring, ending a 17-0 run. Still, UNC was able to earn the doubles point with wins from Ashley Dai and Tessa Lyons at No. 3 and the 13th-ranked tandem of Caroline Price and Whitney Kay at No. 2, who won in a tiebreaker.

Carolina won the first set in four of the six singles matches, but little came easy against the Crimson Tide (25-5). Alabama drew even with a win at No. 4 singles, but Loeb, the No. 1 player in the nation, put UNC back up with a victory at No. 1.

Kate Vialle made it 3-1 Tar Heels with a win at No. 5 before the Tide got a win at No. 3 to make it 3-2. Carter broke Spielmann to open the third set at No. 2 and stayed in command the rest of the way.

“I’m really proud of how we fought,” UNC coach Brian Kalbas said, “and stayed hungry the whole way.”


WOMEN’S TENNIS

NCAA Quarterfinals

 No. 7 North Carolina 4, No. 2 Alabama 2

(At Athens, Ga.)


DOUBLES — 1. No. 4 Maya Jansen/Erin Routliffe (A) def. No. 3 Jamie Loeb/Hayley Carter (UNC), 8-5; 2. No. 13 Whitney Kay/Caroline Price (UNC) def. No. 39 Mary Anne Daines/Danielle Spielmann (A), 8-7(5); 3. Ashley Dai/Tessa Lyons (UNC) def. No. 71 Luicelena Perez/Emily Zabor (A), 8-2

SINGLES — 1. No. 1 Jamie Loeb (UNC) def. No. 65 Mary Anne Daines (A), 6-2, 6-3; 2. No. 5 Hayley Carter (UNC) def. No. 93 Danielle Spielmann (A), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2; 3. No. 77 Erin Routliffe (A) def. No. 59 Caroline Price (UNC), 6-4, 7-6(3); 4. No. 110 Maya Jansen (A) def. Whitney Kay (UNC), 6-4, 6-3; 5. Kate Vialle (UNC) def. Emily Zabor (A), 6-1, 6-4; 6. No. 109 Luicelena Perez (A) vs. Tessa Lyons (UNC), 4-6, 7-5, 0-1, unf.

Records — North Carolina 28-5, Alabama 25-5.