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No. 11 Tigers Fall Just Short of Upset Against No. 3 North Carolina

April 10, 2011

CHAPEL HILL, NC – It took a third-set tiebreaker win at flight one by No. 3 North Carolina to hold on for a 4-3 win against No. 11 Clemson (17-8, 5-4 ACC) on Sunday in Chapel Hill. The Tigers went toe-to-toe with the Tar Heels (204, 9-1 ACC), who won by the closest of margins.

North Carolina took the doubles point, but Clemson made a quick statement in singles, with 100th-ranked Klara Vyskocilova upsetting No. 81 Shinnan Featherston at flight three, 6-4, 6-3. No. 51 Keri Wong followed that with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Jelena Durisic at flight two, giving Clemson a 2-1 lead.

Three of the other four matches went to a deciding third set. Tessa Lyons defeated Masha Belaya at flight six, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, to pull the match even at 2-2.

No. 125 Lauren McHale then defeated Caroline Magnusson in an extremely close, 6-4, 6-4 match at flight five, giving North Carolina a 3-2 lead with matches at flight four and one in a third set.

Nelly Ciolkowski overcame a 6-4 first set loss to take the next two, 7-5, 6-0 over Gina Suarez-Malaguti to pull the match even at 3-3.

The match came down to two top-15 players in Clemson’s No. 10 Josipa Bek and UNC’s 15th-ranked Zoe De Bruycker in a rematch of the ITA Carolina Region Singles Championship in October. De Bruycker looked like she might cruise early, with a 6-1 win in the first set. But Bek battled back in the second for a 7-5 win to force a third set.

The third set saw neither player able to consistently hold serve, but Bek got a key hold to make it 5-3 and put the pressure on the Tar Heel sophomore. But De Bruycker held, and then broke Bek’s serve to tie the set at 5. After Bek broke back to push ahead 6-5, De Bruycker stepped up and broke the Clemson junior at love to force a match-deciding tiebreak.

The two players traded the lead throughout the tiebreak, but De Bruycker would get the first opportunity to serve for the match at 6-5. With Bek cramping during an extended rally, the two traded ground strokes until De Bruycker broke a string and ultimately put the ball into the net to make it 6-all.

Bek then sent one long to give De Bruycker match point at 7-6, and double-faulted to give the Tar Heels the victory.

Clemson went 0-3 on the week, with all three losses coming to top-ten opponents. The Tigers close the regular season with home matches against Virginia and Virginia Tech on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Clemson will honor senior Laurianne Henry during Sunday’s match.

The ACC Tournament takes place in Cary, NC from April 21-24.

Complete results:

No. 3 North Carolina (20-4, 9-1 ACC) def. No. 11 Clemson (17-8, 5-4 ACC), 4-3 April 10, 2011- Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center – Chapel Hill, NC

Doubles: 1. #1 Bek/Wong (CU) def. McHale/De Bruycker (NC), 8-5 2. Featherston/Durisic (NC) def. Vyskocilova/Belaya (CU), 8-4 3. Hemm/Lyons (NC) def. Ciolkowski/Henry (CU), 8-5 Order of Finish: 2,3,1

Singles: 1. #15 Zoe De Bruycker (UNC) def. #10 Josipa Bek (CU), 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (6) 2. #51 Keri Wong (CU) def. Jelena Durisic (UNC), 6-4, 6-4 3. #100 Klara Vyskocilova (CU) def. #81 Shinann Featherston (UNC), 6-4, 6-3 4. Nelly Ciolkowski (CU) def. Gina Suarez-Malaguti (UNC), 4-6, 7-5, 6-0 5. #125 Lauren McHale (UNC) def. Caroline Magnusson (CU), 6-4, 6-4 6. Tessa Lyons (UNC) def. Masha Belaya (CU), 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 Order of finish: 3, 2, 6, 5, 4, 1*