In what was most likely the toughest weekend the No. 12 NC State women’s tennis team would face this season, the Wolfpack fared pretty well. After starting the weekend off with a tight 4-3 victory over No. 13 Duke on Thursday, April 1, the team fell short of victory in its next match, losing 6-1 against No. 1 UNC-Chapel Hill on Saturday, April 3.
As NC State so often does, it got out to an early lead in doubles play against Duke. Despite facing the No. 6, No. 10 and No. 39 ranked doubles pairs, the Wolfpack dominated doubles play with a pair of big wins. Freshmen Amelia Rajecki and Abigail Rencheli were the first pair to finish their set when they beat their opponents 6-1. No. 9 fifth-year Anna Rogers and junior Alana Smith finished shortly after that, winning 6-2, to give the Wolfpack an early 1-0 lead heading into singles play.
Singles play was much more hotly contested than doubles. Only two matches were won in straight sets. Both of these were matches won by Duke and gave the Blue Devils the 2-1 lead early on in singles play. Following the two losses, Rencheli gave the Wolfpack its first singles win of the day with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 victory.
After splitting the next two matches to tie the two teams at 3-3, the team win was decided by No. 5 Rogers. After losing an incredibly close first set, Rogers came through for her team with a hard-fought 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 7-5 clutch win.
For its second match of the weekend, NC State took on UNC. From the beginning of doubles play, it seemed NC State came up just a little short of really threatening UNC for victory. NC State split the first two doubles sets with Rogers and Smith dropping their set and Rajecki and Rencheli winning their set. With the pressure on, No. 5 senior Jaeda Daniel and fifth-year Adriana Reami came up a little short, losing their set 6-3. With the doubles lost, the Wolfpack headed into singles play down 1-0.
NC State got off to a bad start in singles play, losing the first two matches quickly and falling into a 3-0 hole. Senior Lexi Keberle was the first to finish for the Pack, losing her match 6-1, 6-1. Rogers finished shortly thereafter, losing her match 7-5, 6-0. The Wolfpack looked far more competitive in the remaining four games, but it wasn’t enough as UNC went on to take the third match as well when Rencheli fell to her opponent 1-6, 6-4, 1-6. No. 29 Smith was able to win her match in three sets, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, but it would be the only point the Wolfpack took in the 6-1 loss.
Next up for the Wolfpack is a pair of home matches to wrap up the regular season. It’s next match will be against Virginia Tech on April 9. Later on in the weekend, the Pack will take on No. 8 Virginia on April 11 for its regular-season finale and senior night.