CHAPEL HILL --- No. 8 North Carolina won a tight doubles point and took four singles matches in straight sets to post a 5-2 win over No. 16 Michigan Sunday afternoon at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. Gina Suarez-Malaguti and Zoe De Brucyker clinched doubles with a 10-8 tiebreak win on court two before the Tar Heels took care of business in singles.
No. 21 Emina Bektas and Brooke Bolender bested No. 8 Ashley Dai and Whitney Kay at No. 1 doubles, 8-2, before Carolina (5-0) rallied on the other two courts. No. 51 Lauren McHale and Tessa Lyons topped Ronit Yurovsky and Kristen Dodge on court three, 8-4, to set up the dramatic finish on court two.
De Bruycker and Suarez-Malaguti trailed 6-3 in the tiebreak before winning three straight points to even the breaker at 6. Michigan (3-1) got a fourth match point at 7-6 but the Tar Heel seniors spoiled that one as well and eventually took the tiebreak, 10-8, and the match, 8-7.
No. 65 Dai got Carolina off to a hot start in singles as the Temple City, Calif., freshman drilled Mimi Nguyen on court five, 6-1, 6-1. No. 11 Suarez-Malaguti then pushed it to 3-0 in the dual with an impressive 6-2, 6-2 win over Bektas on court one.
No. 36 Caroline Price clinched the win on court four after rallying to win a second-set tiebreak. The Duluth, Ga., sophomore was in control early against Michigan's Sarah Lee, winning the opening set, 6-1. Price then outlasted Lee in the breaker to take the match, 6-1, 7-6.
No. 21 Kay gave the Tar Heels their final point of the day on court three, besting Bolender in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
Michigan got wins from #61 Yurovsky on court two and #94 Amy Zhu on court six to round out the scoring.
Both teams will now turn their attention to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships next weekend in Charlottesville, Va. With the win Sunday, UNC is expected to receive a seed in Tuesday's draw.
No. 8 North Carolina 5, No. 16 Michigan 2
1. #21 Emina Bektas/Brooke Bolender (MICH) def. #8 Ashley Dai/Whitney Kay (NC), 8-2
2. Zoe De Bruycker/Gina Suarez-Malaguti (NC) def. Sarah Lee/Mimi Nguyen (MICH), 8-7
3. #51 Tessa Lyons/Lauren McHale (NC) def. Ronit Yurovsky/Kristen Dodge (MICH), 8-4
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
1. #11 Gina Suarez-Malaguti (NC) def. Emina Bektas (MICH), 6-2, 6-2
2. #61 Ronit Yurovsky (MICH) def. #28 Zoe De Bruycker (NC), 6-1, 3-6, 10-6
3. #21 Whitney Kay (NC) def. Brooke Bolender (MICH), 6-3, 6-4
4. #36 Caroline Price (NC) def. Sarah Lee (MICH), 6-1, 7-6
5. #65 Ashley Dai (NC) def. Mimi Nguyen (MICH), 6-1, 6-1
6. #94 Amy Zhu (MICH) def. #101 Tessa Lyons (NC), 7-5, 6-3
Order of finish: 5, 1, 4*, 3, 2, 6