CHAPEL HILL - The University of North Carolina women's tennis team had an impressive start to the 2012 Kitty Harrison Invitational, as all three singles players advanced to the semifinals of their respective draws on Friday morning at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
In the Blue Draw, Carolina senior Lauren McHale did not drop a set, defeating Tereza Birchacova of Minnesota 6-4, 7-6 (5), and then Virginia Tech's Isel Martinez-Marcos 6-2, 6-0. She will look to advance to the final tomorrow afternoon against Annie Mulholland of Duke.
In the bottom half of the Blue Draw, Tessa Lyons advanced through the first round courtesy of a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Niltooli Wilkins from UNC-Greensboro. In the second round, the junior from Wallingford, Pa. dropped the opening set to Leeza Nemchinov of William and Mary before rebounding to win 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1.
Fellow junior Laura Slater was equally as impressive in the White Draw, besting Minnesota's Aria Lambert 6-3, 6-1, before defeating Hope Johnson of William and Mary 6-4, 6-0. The England native draws Marshall's Ellie Ball in the semifinal round.
In doubles play, McHale and Lyons beat partners Anik Cepeda and Nemchinov of William and Mary 9-7. The pair will play their semifinal match tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.
All three of Carolina's singles players will return to action Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Admission is free to tomorrow's play.