SKILLMAN, N.J. --- The North Carolina women's tennis team will open the 2013 dual match season ranked No. 8 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national poll, the ITA announced this week. In addition to the team ranking, seven Tar Heels appear in the singles poll and two pairs feature in the doubles poll.
Senior Gina Suarez-Malaguti leads the way at No. 11 in the singles poll following an 8-2 fall that included wins over three ranked opponents. Freshman Whitney Kay is next at No. 21, followed by senior Zoe De Bruycker at No. 28, sophomore Caroline Price at No. 36, freshman Ashley Dai at No. 65, junior Tessa Lyons at No. 101 and senior Lauren McHale at No. 111.
On the doubles side, the freshman duo of Dai and Kay open the year ranked No. 8 in the nation after going 10-2 in the fall and advancing to the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. McHale and Lyons, who finished 6-1 in the fall, are ranked No. 51.
Carolina's seven ranked singles players are the most of any team in the nation. Top-ranked and defending national champion Florida is the only team in the country with six ranked singles players.
The Tar Heels will play in the NCTC Invitational in Palm Springs, Calif., and the Freeman Memorial Championships in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 18-20, before opening the dual match season Wednesday, Jan. 23, with a doubleheader. Carolina will host UNC Greensboro at 2 p.m. before facing Elon at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center at 7.