No. 3 North Carolina trounces Syracuse, 6-1, in regular-season finale

Courtesy of SU Athletics

Knutson upset the No. 8 singles player in the country on Sunday.

No. 3 North Carolina trounced Syracuse, 6-1, in the final tennis match of the regular season for the Orange.

Showcasing five ranked singles players — two in the top 10 — and the No. 1 doubles pairing in the nation, the Tar Heels (27-2, 13-1 Atlantic Coast) took the doubles point and swept No. 3 through No. 6 singles. Syracuse’s (8-13, 5-9) only point came from No. 87 Gabriela Knutson’s three-set upset of No. 8 Sara Daavettila.

To start the match in doubles, the top-ranked pairing of Hayley Carter and Jessie Aney made quick work of No. 49 Knutson and Miranda Ramirez, winning 6-2. The story was the same in the second doubles match for SU, as Anna Shkudun and Dina Hegab got shut out, 0-6. The SU loss gave UNC the doubles point and the third match was abandoned with Masha Tritou and Nicole Mitchell leading, 4-3.

Then in singles, Shkudun, Tritou, Hegab and Libi Mesh all were dropped in straight sets. Mesh and Hegab both lost, 4-6, 2-6. Shkudun fell, 3-6, 6-7 and Tritou dropped her match, 2-6, 5-7.

In No. 1 singles, No. 77 Ramirez took on the country’s second best player in Carter. The latter quickly dispatched Ramirez, 6-4, 6-2.

It took a decisive third set for Knutson to upset No. 8 Daavettila after the opponents split the first sets, 2-6, 6-3. Knutson carried her momentum from the second set win to seize the third set and match, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. Upsetting the No. 8 player in the country will surely bump Knutson up in the rankings at a critical point in the season.

SU begins ACC tournament play on Wednesday in Rome, Georgia.


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