ATHENS, Georgia — The North Carolina womens tennis team will play for its first national championship after defeating Stanford, 4-3, on Monday in a semifinal match at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Seventh-seeded North Carolina (29-5) will face fifth-seeded UCLA in the national title match on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
A spot in the finals came down to the singles match on court one between the Tar Heels top-ranked Jamie Loeb and Stanfords third-ranked Kristie Ahn.
Ahn outlasted Loeb in the opening set, winning the tiebreaker 7-4 for the 7-6 win.
Loeb picked up a break point to start the second set and was unflappable from that point, winning 6-0 and 6-0 in the final two sets to send the Tar Heels into their first title match in program history.
North Carolina made a dramatic comeback on court one to earn the doubles point and a 1-0 advantage over the defending national champion Cardinal.
UNC raced to an 8-2 victory on court two as the 13th-ranked duo of Whitney Kay and Caroline Price improved to 22-6 on the season, downing Stanfords 50th-ranked team of Taylor Davidson and Ellen Tsay.
The Cardinal knotted the doubles portion of the match with an 8-4 win on court three, meaning the deciding point would come down to court one.
Ahn and Carol Zhao of Stanford, ranked 10th in the country, jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but the third-ranked tandem of Hayley Carter and Loeb stormed back with the final six points to earn an 8-5 victory. The dynamic freshman duo improved to 32-4 on the season.
Carter made it 2-0 in favor of the Tar Heels with a 6-2, 6-1, victory on court two over No. 51 Krista Hardebeck.
Stanford got on the board with a win on court four, but No. 59 Caroline Price swung the momentum back in favor of the Tar Heels with a 6-4, 6-4, victory on court three over No. 21 Carol Zhao.
Within minutes of each other, Stanford picked up wins on courts six and five to knot the match at 3.
N.C. State junior Renada Davis became the schools career home run leader with her 50th round-tripper while the Wolfpack dropped two games against 7th-ranked and No. 4 overall seed Georgia on Sunday.
The squad concludes the season with a 36-18 record, after claiming the programs second consecutive trip to an NCAA Regional.
Host Georgia (49-13) won the first game 9-1 to force a winner-take-all contest. The Bulldogs, who rank third in the nation in home runs per game, scored all of their runs in the game off of home runs.
In the second game of the day, Georgia continued its hot hitting as the squad scored two runs in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead. The Bulldogs used a big fourth inning to extend the lead to 6-0.
The Bulldogs scored two more runs in the fifth to win by the mercy rule, 8-0.
Duke alumnus Mollie Pathman was recently inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nations oldest academic honor society, along with nearly 200 other Duke students.
Pathman is competing with the Boston Breakers of the National Womens Soccer League.
Former Duke defender Stefanie Fee was named to the 18-player roster that will represent the United States at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in the Hague, Netherlands, from May 31-June 15.
Former Duke All-America diver Abby Johnston won bronze in 3-meter synchronized diving on Sunday at the FINA Mexico Grand Prix in Guanajuato.