WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. --- Lauren McHale will look to defend her singles title as the North Carolina women's tennis team begins play at the 2012 USTA/ITA Carolina Regional Championships Friday at the Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center. In addition to McHale, fellow senior Zoe De Bruycker is also a former champion, taking the crown as a sophomore in 2010.
All seven UNC entrants into the singles event were placed directly into the main draw and all three doubles pairs received first-round byes, meaning no Tar Heels will be in action for Thursday's qualifying round. The main draw for singles will be released upon completion of qualifying play Thursday evening.
On the doubles side, the freshman duo of Ashley Dai and Whitney Kay are the No. 2 seed and will open the event Friday against Ronia Hutterli and Erica White of Gardner-Webb. De Bruycker and Laura Slater start the tournament against UNC Greensboro's seeded team of Niltooli Wilkins and Alex Whitehead, while McHale and Tessa Lyons face Charlotte's Natsuko Takayanagi and Alexandra Zinn.
Sophomore Caroline Price will look to build on her strong effort at the ITA/Riviera All-American Championships earlier this month in California. Senior Gina Suarez-Malaguti will not play this weekend due to injury.
Check back to GoHeels.com for updated draws and results throughout the event.