North Carolina would not be denied in winning its fourth-consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Tennis Championship on Sunday from Cary Tennis Park.
Freshman Cameron Morra, the only player in the lineup that had not previously won a league title, clinched the 4-2 victory for the Tar Heels’ 10th championship in program history. Morra overcame a steep deficit in giving away the first set but rallied for the victory to earn Most Valuable Player honors of the tournament.
Head coach Brian Kalbas notched his fifth title, having won the crown in 2011, 2016, 2017, 2018 and now 2019. The four straight wins is the longest streak in the ACC since Duke won 14 in a row from 1988-2001.
North Carolina (29-1) remained unbeaten in doubles in 2019 to grab an early 1-0 lead.
Seventh-ranked Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham set an early tone in the match for the Tar Heels by posting a 6-3 win on court one. Not long after Sara Daavettila and Alle Sanford closed out doubles action with a 6-3 win on court three.
Sanford continued her fine late-season form with a convincing win on court six over freshman Margaryta Bilokin, 6-3, 6-2. Bilokin entered Sunday fourth in the conference with 20 dual wins this spring.
Duke (23-3) picked up a win from Ellyse Hamlin on court five, but No. 6 Makenna Jones registered her second win of the season over No. 12 Maria Mateas, 6-2, 7-5, on court one to give Carolina a 3-1 edge.
The final point proved to be the most difficult for the Heels. Duke’s No. 27 Kelly Chen closed out No. 14 Sara Daavettila on court three to once again cut into the Carolina lead at 3-2.
No. 7 Alexa Graham was trailing 4-0 in her third set against No. 25 Meible Chi on court two, when No. 41 Morra shut the door on senior Kaitlyn McCarthy and the Blue Devils on court four, winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
The NCAA selection show takes place on Monday, April 29. The Tar Heels are expected to host a regional on May 4-5 at Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.