No. 16 Clemson Falls to No. 1 North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, NC - The 16th-ranked Clemson women’s tennis team fell to top-ranked North Carolina, 4-3, on Saturday at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center in Chapel Hill, NC. Clemson (9-6, 4-2 ACC) had its five-match winning streak snapped.
North Carolina (19-2, 5-1 ACC) improved to 18-37 against the Tigers all-time. Clemson travels to next No. 6 Duke for a noon match on Sunday in Durham, NC.
UNC took the doubles point with wins on court one and two. Liz Jeukeng and Tristen Dewar fell to No. 42 Caroline Price and Whitney Kay, 8-1 on court one. Zoe De Bruycker and Ashley Dai took down Yana Koroleva and Romy Koelzer, 8-6 on court two to clinch the point. The flight three match did not finish with Clemson trailing, 5-4, when the point was clinched.
In singles play, each team claimed three first sets. Jeukeng, Gumulya, and Miao each won the first set in their respective matches.
Yana Koroleva, ranked 16th in the nation, had her seven-match winning streak halted, as she fell to No. 9 Gina Suarez-Malaguti, 6-2, 6-4. Koroleva was up a break, 4-2, in the second set, but Suarez raced back to win four straight games.
Tristen Dewar fell next to Lauren McHale, 6-2, 6-3, on court five as North Carolina took a 3-0 lead. Dewar had won five in a row entering Saturday.
Gumulya, ranked 49th in the country, topped No. 25 Whitney Kay, 6-1, 6-3, to get Clemson on the board. Gumulya improved to 18-4 on the season and has won 29 of her last 33 matches. She also improved to 15-2 in her career in ACC play. Kay had been 11-1 this season in dual match play.
Koelzer dropped her first set in a tiebreaker to No. 33 Caroline Price, and then dropped the second set, 6-2, as North Carolina took a clinched the match with two matches still playing. Price entered as one of the hottest players in the country, winning 18 straight matches.
On court two, No. 42 Liz Jeukeng and No. 43 Zoe De Bruycker were locked in a three-set battle. Jeukeng won the first set, 6-4, before De Bruycker struck back with a 6-1 win in the second. In the third, Jeukeng earned a break on De Bruycker’s first service and took a 3-0 lead, holding serve twice. Each played then held for four straight games, with Jeukeng taking a 5-2 advantage. She would then break De Bruycker to hold on for a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 win.
Jeukeng improved to 13-3 in her young career, and 6-0 in ACC play. She’s also 7-2 against ranked players, and has won five in a row overall.
On court six, Miao won her first set over Tessa Lyons, 6-4, and came back from a 5-3 deficit to force a tiebreak in the second set, but Lyons took the set, forcing a third-set super tiebreaker. She won the tiebreaker, 10-7 to set the final margin, 4-3. Miao is now 12-8 on the season.
After playing Duke Sunday, Clemson returns home next weekend for matches with Virginia and Virginia Tech.
#1 North Carolina (19-2, 5-1 ACC) def. #16 Clemson (9-6, 4-2 ACC), 4-3
Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center - Chapel Hill, NC
1. #42 Price/Kay (NC) def. Jeukeng/Dewar (CU), 8-1
2. De Bruycker/Dai (NC) def. Koroleva/Koelzer (CU), 8-6
3. Suarez-Malaguti/Lyons (NC) led Miao/Gumulya (CU), 5-4, dnf
Order of finish: 1,2*
1. #9 Gina Suarez-Malaguti (NC) def. #16 Yana Koroleva (CU), 6-2, 6-4
2. #42 Liz Jeukeng (CU) def. #43 Zoe De Bruycker (NC), 6-4, 1-6, 6-2
3. #49 Beatrice Gumulya (CU) def. #25 Whitney Kay (NC), 6-1, 6-3
4. #33 Caroline Price (NC) def. Romy Koelzer, 7-6(5), 6-4
5. Lauren McHale (NC) def. Tristen Dewar (CU), 6-2, 6-3
6. Ani Miao (CU) def. Tessa Lyons (NC), 6-4, 6-7(4), 1-0 (10-7)
Order of finish: 1,5,3,4*,2,6