CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Elon University women’s tennis fell in its season opener to the No. 3-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels 6-1 on Saturday morning, Jan. 12, at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
Olivia Archer was the highlight of the match for Elon (0-1), as she earned a 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-7) victory over Sophia Patel at the No. 6 position in singles. North Carolina (1-0) clinched the match on court one as No. 2-ranked Makenna Jones topped Suzanne Zenoni to give the Tar Heels a 4-0 lead.
“As a team, we competed hard today against a very talented North Carolina team,” said head coach Elizabeth Anderson. “On top of our team performance, we were particularly impressed with Olivia Archer’s tenacity and grit, which enabled her to earn a great singles win today.”
North Carolina took the early 1-0 advantage by clinching the doubles point. After No. 2-ranked doubles duo of Jones and Cameron Morra took court one 6-0, 6-0, Alle Sanford and Jessie Aney clinched the point with a 6-2 victory at the No. 2 position. The third doubles match went unfinished as Zenoni and Mia Wallace trailed 4-2 in the set.
The Tar Heels then got off to a swift start in singles play and won the first five courts to take a 6-0 lead. North Carolina would win courts three, two and one, in that order, to clinch the victory. Jones clinched the match with a clean 6-0, 6-0 sweep of Zenoni on the top court.
After the match was clinched, Archer had battled back after falling in the first set 4-6 to Patel. She would go on to win the second set and forced a 10-point tiebreaking third set. In the final set, Archer prevailed with a 10-7 win to clinch her first-career dual match victory as a Phoenix.
The Phoenix returns to the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center on Wednesday, Jan. 16, to host its home-opening doubleheader against North Carolina A&T at 10 a.m. and North Carolina Central at 2 p.m.