North Carolina (7-0) exacted a bit of revenge in defeating Cal (4-1) in what was a rematch of the 2016 championship match last February in Madison, Wisconsin.
Choe Ouellet-Pizer posted the first singles win of the day for the Tar Heels, 6-1, 6-3, over Maria Smith on court six to lift Carolina’s lead to 2-0 over the Bears.
UNC surrendered its first point in seven dual matches this season when Maya Jansen won in straight sets over Rachael James-Baker on court five, 6-0, 7-5.
The ever steady and fifth-ranked Hayley Carter swung momentum back in favor of Carolina when the senior earned a 6-2, 7-6 (2) win over No. 36 Maegan Manasse on court one.
With the Bears left with no room for error the rest of the way, Olivia Hauger came up with a 6-4, 6-3, victory over No. 48 Alexa Graham on court four, cutting the UNC lead to 3-2.
It would come down to courts two and three on who would advance to the semifinals. Both matches reached a third set and it was Carolina’s 17th-ranked Jessie Aney that ended up the hero on Saturday as she outlasted Denise Starr, 6-2, 6-7 (7), 6-4 on court three.
No. 2 Sara Daavettila was also in position to win on court two when Aney clinched the match. After losing the first set, 7-5, Daavettila stormed back to regain control with a 6-3 win in the second set and was up 5-2 in the third.
For the second day in a row, the Tar Heels waisted no time in grabbing the doubles point for the early 1-0 advantage over the Bears.
Carter and Daavettila took down the 49th-ranked duo of Jansen and Manasse, 6-2 on court one, while Ouellet-Pizer and James-Baker earned a 6-1 victory over Starr and Alex Nelson on court three.
Carolina will face seventh ranked and sixth seeded Ohio State on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
#5 Hayley Carter (UNC) def. #36 Maegan Manasse (Cal) 6-2, 7-6 (2)
#2 Sara Daavettila (UNC) vs. #20 Karla Popovic (Cal) 5-7, 6-3, 5-2, unfinished
#17 Jessie Aney (UNC) def. Denise Starr (Cal) 6-2, 6-7 (7), 6-4
Olivia Hauger (Cal) def. #48 Alexa Graham (UNC) 6-4, 6-3
Maya Jansen (Cal) def. Rachael James-Baker (UNC) 6-0, 7-5
Chloe Ouellet-Pizer (UNC) def. Maria Smith (Cal) 6-1, 6-3
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 1, 4, 3
Carter/Daavettila (UNC) def. #49 Jansen/Manasse (Cal) 6-2
Aney/Vazquez (UNC) vs. #20 Hauger/Popovic (Cal) 3-4
James-Baker/Ouellet Pizer (UNC) def. Starr/Nelson (Cal) 6-1
Order of Finish: 3,1