Fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong secured her second top-25 victory of the month, but it wasn’t enough, as No. 9 Miami fell to top-ranked North Carolina, 6-1, Friday evening at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
A 2021 NCAA Tournament Final Four team, the Tar Heels feature five singles players in the top 35, all above No. 46 Eden Richardson, UM’s top-ranked athlete.
North Carolina has allowed more than one point on only two occasions this season. While Miami (11-3, 6-2 ACC) continued that trend, the final margin was misleading. On most courts, matches were tight and could have easily gone the other way.
In doubles, the Tar Heels (18-0, 7-0 ACC) handily won, boasting the No. 1 duo in the country.
Top-ranked Fiona Crawley and Elizabeth Scotty shot out to a 4-1 lead, before Miami’s No. 20-ranked pair of Achong and fifth-year senior Eden Richardson took the next two out of three games. Down 5-3, Crawley and Scotty’s blend of power and quickness proved too much, as they took the match, 6-3.
On Court 2, third-year sophomores Diana Khodan and Maya Tahan, ranked No. 62, were down an early break but came back to level the score at 3-3. However, Cameron Morra and Alle Sanford won three games in a row to clinch the doubles point for the Tar Heels.
The match on Court 3 was left unfinished, with sophomores Audrey Boch-Collins and Isabella Pfennig on a four-game winning streak after going down 5-0 against Carson Tanguilig and Reilly Tran.
In singles, North Carolina quickly extended its lead to 2-0 on Court 6, as Anika Yarlagadda downed Khodan 6-1, 6-2.
No. 52 Achong garnered Miami’s lone point of the night versus No. 16 Scotty. After taking the first set, 6-4, on deuce to break Scotty’s serve, Achong eked out another tight second set for a 6-4, 7-5 triumph, marking the second-highest-ranked victory in her collegiate career.
From there, the Hurricanes wouldn’t win again.
On Court 5, Tahan battled with No. 33 Tanguilig, but narrowly lost 6-7 (5-7), 4-6. Shortly after, No. 64 Pfennig, who jumped 48 spots in this week’s rankings, fought a tough second set after being dominated in the first. In the end, No. 10 Tran won in straight sets, 6-2, 7-6 (7-1), putting North Carolina up 4-1 to continue its undefeated season.
The remaining matches were played out.
After a back-and-forth two sets, No. 34 Crawley breezed through the third-set tiebreaker to take the match 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5), over Boch-Collins.
On Court 1, Richardson, five days removed from a top-5 triumph that earned her ACC Player of the Week honors, valiantly fought No. 12 Morra till the end, eventually succumbing 3-6, 6-4, 4-6.
With the loss, Miami moves to 14-20 against the Tar Heels all-time. Friday marked the first time the Canes didn’t score at least three points in a match this season.
“UNC was too good for us tonight,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We need to recover and get ready for a great opportunity against Duke at home Sunday.”
The Hurricanes face the No. 10 Blue Devils – their third straight top-11 opponent – at 11 a.m. Sunday morning at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center,