CHAPEL HILL --- No. 1 North Carolina defeated its eighth ranked opponent of the season Sunday when the Tar Heels topped No. 29 Baylor, 5-2, at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. UNC got singles wins from Zoe De Bruycker, Whitney Kay, Caroline Price and Ashley Dai to improve to 13-1 on the season. Baylor fell to 4-10 on the year.
Doubles was a roller coaster affair with Carolina winning on courts two and three by matching 8-5 scores. Both matches were close throughout, but the Tar Heels were able to pull away late to secure the point. Gina Suarez-Malaguti and Kate Vialle defeated Megan Horter and Kiah Generette on court three before Dai and Price topped Alex Leatu and Alex Clay to clinch the point.
Meanwhile, it looked as though Kay and Lauren McHale were well on their way to a convincing win over No. 23 Ema Burgic and Victoria Kisialeva on court one. The Tar Heel pair led 7-0 before Baylor mounted an incredible comeback to win in a tiebreak, 8-7 (2).
Fortunately for Carolina, the dramatic rally did not prove harmful in singles, as the Tar Heels took the opening set on five of six courts.
No. 101 Dai was first off in singles, topping Maria Biryukova on court five, 6-2, 6-1, for her eighth win of the spring against no losses. No. 25 Price was next to finish, continuing an unbeaten run of her own with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Generette on court four. The Duluth, Ga., sophomore is now a perfect 12-0 in 2013.
No. 32 De Bruycker then clinched the dual with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Kisialeva on court two. No. 19 Kay gave Carolina its final point of the day on court three, topping No. 119 Horter in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3, to improve to 9-0 in duals.
The final two matches needed tiebreaks to decide a winner. On court one, No. 4 Suarez-Malaguti and No. 12 Burgic went to a match tiebreak that ended 11-9 in favor of the Lady Bear. Tessa Lyons rallied from a set down on court six before falling in a third-set tiebreak, 6-1, 0-6, 7-6 (3), to Leatu.
Carolina will be away from home for the next 19 days as the Tar Heels travel to San Diego, Calif., for a spring break match against Texas Tech on March 13. UNC when then visit NC State on March 21 before facing Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., on March 24.
UNC's next home match is March 29, when the Tar Heels host Virginia Tech at 11 a.m.