ACC Women’s Tennis: Top Two Seeds Reach Finals

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Top-seeded UNC, second-seeded Miami play for title on Sunday

CARY, N.C. (theACC.com) – The finals of the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Tennis Championship will be a battle of nationally elite teams.

Second-ranked North Carolina and seventh-ranked Miami advanced with wins in Saturday’s semifinal round and are set to meet in Sunday’s 10 a.m. championship match at Cary Tennis Park.

The Tar Heels (28-2), the top seed in the ACC Championship field, turned back fifth-seeded Virginia, 4-1, while Miami (19-4) topped third-seeded Georgia Tech by a 4-2 score.

UNC took a 4-3 win when the teams met in Chapel Hill on February 26. The victory was the first in what is now an 18-match winning streak. The Hurricanes have lost only one other match since facing the Tar Heels and will carry a 15-game winning streak into Sunday morning’s contest.

Sunday’s championship match will be streamed live by ESPN3. Former United States Davis Cup team captain Patrick McEnroe will serve as analyst. McEnroe, who captained the U.S. Davis Cup championship team in 2007, will be joined by Shawn Kenney, a veteran play-by announcer who has covered multiple sports on ESPN platforms, will work the ACC Tennis Championships for the second straight year. Stacey Schefflin will handle sideline reports.

A capsule look at Saturday’s quarterfinal action:

No. 1 North Carolina 4, No. 5 Virginia 1
In addition to running their overall winning streak to 18 games, the Tar Heels posted their 16th straight win versus ACC opposition. UNC has not lost since dropping a 5-2 decision at Michigan on February 20.

The Tar Heels captured the doubles point, then took charge in singles play to earn the victory with the help of straight-set singles wins by Jessie Aney on the No. 3 court and Marika Akkerman at No. 5. Ashely Dai also picked up a win at No. 6 when the Cavaliers’ Cassie Mercer was forced to withdraw from the match due to an ankle injury.

Julia Elbaba earned Virginia’s lone point with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Whitney Kay in a battle of All-ACC first-teamers. Elbaba pushed her school-record singles match win total to 129 for her career. The Cavaliers, ranked 16th nationally, slipped to 16-10 for the season but are in solid position for an at-large selection to next month’s NCAA Championship.

No. 2 Miami 4, No. 3 Georgia Tech 2
Silvia Fuentes played a leading role for the Hurricanes, first teaming with Ana Madcur for the win that clinched the doubles point, and then winning in three sets at No. 4 singles to clinch the match.

Fuentes and Madcur turned back Alexis Prokopuik and Natasha Prokhnevska for a 7-5 win on the No. 3 doubles court. Fuentes took Miami’s fourth singles point with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Kendal Woodard.

Miami also got straight-set singles wins from Sinead Lohan at No. 2 and Clara Tanielian at No. 5.

Georgia Tech stayed in the match behind straight-set wins by Johnnise Renaud at No. 1 and Rasheeda McAdoo at No. 2. The Yellow Jackets, with a 17-8 overall record and ranked 15th nationally, will now await word on their NCAA tournament placement.