CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --- No. 8 North Carolina advanced to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships final for the second time in program history Sunday with a comprehensive 4-0 win over No. 3 Duke at the Boar's Head Sports Club. Carolina got singles wins from Zoe De Bruycker, Whitney Kay and Lauren McHale after dominating in doubles to earn a spot in Monday's final against No. 2 UCLA.
Unlike the last two days, Carolina (8-0) wasted no time in getting the early lead thanks to some stellar doubles play. The No. 51 combo of McHale and Tessa Lyons dropped Hanna Mar and Monica Turewicz, 8-2, on court three. De Bruycker and Gina Suarez-Malaguti then clinched the point with an 8-3 win on court two over Marianne Jodoin and Annie Mulhollland.
"We came out and just played so well in doubles, and it really carried over into singles," head coach Brian Kalbas said after the match. "We were very focused, especially at the top of the lineup, and we played very sound tennis all day."
Carolina took the opening set from the Blue Devils (6-1) on the top four courts and got straight-set victories from McHale, Kay and De Bruycker to advance to the final for the first time since 2010.
No. 111 McHale was first to finish, beating Mulholland on court four, 6-2, 6-2. No. 21 Kay followed with a 6-4, 7-5 win over No. 40 Ester Goldfeld on court three.
That left it up to Suarez-Malaguti and De Bruycker to earn the clinching point, and it was De Bruycker who edged out her classmate. The Saratoga, Calif., tri-captain bested No. 53 Clayton, 6-4, 6-2, while Suarez-Malaguti just missed out on a win over No. 10 Mar, as she led 6-2, 5-3 when play was suspended.
UNC will now face second-ranked and top-seeded UCLA in Monday's final. The defending champion Bruins were 4-1 winners over fourth-seeded Georgia in Sunday's first semifinal. Monday's final is set for an 11 a.m. start and live scoring is available on VirginiaSports.com.
No. 8 North Carolina 4, No. 3 Duke 0
1. #8 Ashley Dai/Whitney Kay (NC) vs. Mary Clayton/Ester Goldfeld (DUKE), 7-4, unfinished
2. Gina Suarez-Malaguti/Zoe De Bruycker (NC) def. Marianne Jodoin/Annie Mulholland (DUKE), 8-3
3. #51 Tessa Lyons/Lauren McHale (NC) def. Hanna Mar/Monica Turewicz (DUKE), 8-2
Order of finish: 3, 2
1. #11 Gina Suarez-Malaguti (NC) vs. #10 Hanna Mar (DUKE), 6-2, 5-3, unfinished
2. #28 Zoe De Bruycker (NC) def. #53 Mary Clayton (DUKE), 6-4, 6-2
3. #21 Whitney Kay (NC) def. #40 Ester Goldfeld (DUKE), 6-4, 7-5
4. #111 Lauren McHale (NC) def. Annie Mulholland (DUKE), 6-2, 6-2
5. Monica Turewicz (DUKE) vs. #36 Caroline Price (NC), 7-5, 5-4, unfinished
6. #63 Marianne Jodoin (DUKE) vs. #65 Ashley Dai (NC), 7-6 (9-7), 3-0, unfinished
Order of finish: 4, 3, 2