CHAPEL HILL --- No. 2 North Carolina advanced to the second round of the NCAA Women's Tennis Championship for the 13th consecutive season with a 4-0 victory over South Carolina State Friday at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. Whitney Kay, Zoe De Bruycker and Tessa Lyons were singles winners for the Tar Heels, who will face Tennessee Saturday at 11 a.m. for a spot in the NCAA round of 16.
Carolina (26-3) dropped just six games in a dominant doubles point to take the early lead. No. 58 Kay and Caroline Price were 8-4 winners on court one before Lyons and Gina Suarez-Malaguti finished their 8-0 victory on court three. Lauren McHale and Laura Slater led 7-2 on court two when the point was halted.
"Any time your last match is a loss you are eager to get back on the court," head coach Brian Kalbas said after the win. "I was proud of the focus we came out with after being off for a few weeks."
The Tar Heels took the opening set on all six singles courts from the MEAC champion Lady Bulldogs (17-5). No. 39 Kay actually dropped two of the first three games of her match against Klara Dohnalova before winning the final 11 games in dominant fashion to score a 6-2, 6-0 victory on court three.
No. 49 De Bruycker made it 3-0 soon after with a 6-2, 6-0 win of her own on court two. From there it was a race to clinch the dual, and Lyons just edged her teammate Kate Vialle.
Lyons lost just one game on court six and rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 win over Laura Bosneag to clinch the match and send the Tar Heels into the second round.
Suarez-Malaguti, Vialle and McHale were all up a set when the match was abandoned.
UNC will face SEC at-large selection Tennessee in Saturday's second round. The No. 31-ranked Lady Vols, who are 13-11 on the season, defeated Atlantic-10 champion VCU, 4-0, in Friday's first match.
No. 2 North Carolina 4, South Carolina State 0
1. #58 Caroline Price/Whitney Kay (UNC) def. Maria Craciun/Klara Dohnalova (SCSU), 8-4
2. Lauren McHale/Laura Slater (UNC) led Katarina Barborikova/Kateryna Nakonechna (SCSU), 7-2, DNF
3. Gina Suarez-Malaguti/Tessa Lyons (UNC) def. Laura Bosneag/Victoriia Khatcei (SCSU), 8-0
Order of finish: 1, 3
1. #7 Gina Suarez-Malaguti (UNC) led Maria Craciun (SCSU), 6-3, 1-2, DNF
2. #49 Zoe De Bruycker (UNC) def. Katarina Barborikova (SCSU), 6-2, 6-0
3. #39 Whitney Kay (UNC) def. Klara Dohnalova (SCSU), 6-2, 6-0
4. Lauren McHale (UNC) led Kateryna Nakonechna (SCSU), 6-0, 1-2, DNF
5. Kate Vialle (UNC) led Victoriia Khatcei (SCSU), 6-1, 5-3, DNF
6. Tessa Lyons (UNC) def. Laura Bosneag (SCSU), 6-1, 6-0
Order of finish: 3, 2, 6
North Carolina Women's Tennis