CHAPEL HILL --- No. 1 North Carolina made quick work of No. 11 Duke, defeating the shorthanded Blue Devils, 4-0, Wednesday afternoon at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. Lauren McHale and Zoe De Bruycker were singles winners for Carolina, and the duo was honored before the match along with fellow senior Gina Suarez-Malaguti.
With Duke (14-7, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) featuring just five healthy players, the Blue Devils were forced to forfeit matches at No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles. That left Carolina (22-2, 8-1 ACC) needing to win just one of two doubles contests, and the Tar Heels were able to do that with ease. No. 52 Caroline Price and Whitney Kay defeated Marianne Jodoin and Annie Mulholland, 8-1, to clinch the point for UNC. The doubles tally combined with the forfeit win at No. 6 singles gave Carolina a quick 2-0 lead.
McHale was the first Tar Heel to finish in singles, as the Englewood Cliffs, N.J., senior hammered Nicole Lipp on court five, 6-0, 6-1.
Carolina and Duke split the first set on the remaining four courts, with No. 40 De Bruycker and No. 52 Price taking the opening frame on courts two and four. The Tar Heels needed just one of those two matches to go their way, and it was the senior De Bruycker who scored the clinching victory.
The No. 40 veteran from Saratoga, Calif., played one of her most complete matches of the spring, taking out No. 101 Mary Clayton in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, to give Carolina the dual match win.
Price led 7-5, 4-2 over No. 107 Jodoin on court four and No. 33 Kay led Mulholland 4-6, 6-0, 3-1 when the match was abandoned.
The win puts UNC a full match ahead of Virginia, Clemson and Miami heading into this weekend's matches at Boston College and Maryland. The Tar Heels face BC Friday afternoon at 5 before meeting Maryland Sunday at 10 a.m. Carolina can clinch the regular season title and the No. 1 seed in next week's ACC Championship with a pair of victories.
No. 1 North Carolina 4, No. 11 Duke
1. Lauren McHale/Ashley Dai (NC) vs. Mary Clayton/Hanna Mar (DUKE), 5-5, unfinished
2. #52 Caroline Price/Whitney Kay (NC) def. Marianne Jodoin/Annie Mulholland (DUKE), 8-1
3. Gina Suarez-Malaguti/Tessa Lyons (NC) def. No player/No player (DUKE), by forfeit
Order of finish: 3, 2
1. #9 Gina Suarez-Malaguti (NC) vs. #25 Hanna Mar (DUKE), 5-7, 1-2, unfinished
2. #40 Zoe De Bruycker (NC) def. #101 Mary Clayton (DUKE), 6-3, 6-2
3. #33 Whitney Kay (NC) vs. Annie Mulholland (DUKE), 4-6, 6-0, 3-1, unfinished
4. #52 Caroline Price (NC) vs. #107 Marianne Jodoin (DUKE), 7-5, 4-2, unfinished
5. Lauren McHale (NC) def. Nicole Lipp (DUKE), 6-0, 6-1
6. Tessa Lyons (NC) def. No player (DUKE), by forfeit
Order of finish: 6, 5, 2