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Women’s tennis wins the 2018 ITA Indoors National Championship

The University's women's tennis team won its third ITA National Team Indoor title in program history on Monday.

Carolina's women's tennis team celebrates
Carolina's women's tennis team celebrates after winning its third ITA National Team Indoor Championship. (GoHeels.com)

MADISON, Wisconsin – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill won its third ITA National Team Indoor Championship with a 4-2 victory over Pepperdine in Monday’s title match.

No. 5 North Carolina (10-0) entered today’s afternoon match in familiar territory having played in the event final four of the last five seasons, while fourth seed Pepperdine (6-1) was making its first appearance in program history.

Junior Jessie Aneywon the deciding point when her opponent, Dzina Milovanovic, sent her back-hand return wide left, triggering the customary Tar Heel huddle celebration. No. 21 Aney earned the three-set victory, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, on court five.

Carolina remained perfect in doubles this spring by winning two of the three matches. Pepperdine took court two, but the Tar Heels answered immediately when Marika Akkerman and Makenna Jones picked up a 6-2 victory on court three.

Over on court one, the match was tied 5-5 until No. 30 Aney and Alexa Graham held serve to take the lead, and then won the opening point at 40-40 to gain the 1-0 edge over the Waves.

No. 6 Pepperdine knotted the match at 1-1 when Evgeniya Levashova picked off No. 10 Jones 6-0, 6-2, on court three.

No. 78 Graham continued her amazing play with another straight set win, 6-4, 6-3, over No. 75 Laure Gulbe on court four. Graham won all four of her matches over the last four days and is a perfect 10-0 in duals this season.

No. 52 Sara Daavettila faced a steep deficit in her opening set, but climbed out admirably and went on to win 7-5, 6-2, over No. 20 Mayar Sherif Ahmed on court two.

Pepperdine’s No. 27 Ashley Lahey outlasted Carolina’s No. 6 Alle Sanford in three sets, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, to cut the Tar Heel lead to 3-2, meaning the match would be decided on courts five and six.

UNC’s Chloe Ouellet-Pizer also played into a third set against Adrijana Lekaj, but that match wound up unfinished when Aney sealed the Tar Heel victory.

North Carolina previously won ITA Indoor national titles in 2013 and 2015.

Singles Results
#27 Ashley Lahey (Pepp) def. #6 Alle Sanford (UNC) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
#52 Sara Daavettila (UNC) def. #20 Mayar Sherif Ahmed (Pepp) 7-5, 6-2
Evgeniya Levashova (Pepp) def. #10 Makenna Jones (UNC) 6-0, 6-2
#78 Alexa Graham (UNC) def. #75 Laure Gulbe (Pepp) 6-4, 6-3
#21 Jessie Aney (UNC) def. #82 Dzina Milovanovic (Pepp) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
Chloe Ouellet-Pizer (UNC) vs. Adrijana Lekaj (Pepp) 0-6, 7-6 (5), 2-3, unfinished

Order of Finish: 3, 4, 2, 1, 5

Doubles Results
#30 Aney/Graham (UNC) def. #5 Lahey/Sherif Ahmded (Pepp) 7-5
Levashova/Milovanovic (Pepp) def. #20 Daavettila/Sanford (UNC) 6-2
Akkerman/Jones (UNC) def. Lekaj/Gulbe (Pepp) 6-2

Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1