MADISON, Wisc. – For the third time in program history, the North Carolina Tar Heels are ITA Division I National Women’s Team Indoor Champions. The No. 3 seed in the 16-team field, North Carolina defeated a game No. 4 Pepperdine 4-2 on Monday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.
This was the fourth consecutive National Team Indoor Championship finals appearance for North Carolina, who took home the crown in 2015, and finished runner-up each of the past two seasons.
Jessie Aney ensured that the Tar Heels would be departing Madison with the champion’s trophy, as she held off Dzina Milovanovic 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 at No. 5 singles. Prior to Aney’s victory, North Carolina scored victories at No. 4 singles (Alexa Graham def. Laure Gulbe 6-4, 6-3) and No. 2 singles (Sara Daavettila def. Mayar Sherif 7-5, 6-2) to grab a 3-1 lead.
Pepperdine’s Ashley Lahey outlasted Alle Sanford in a battle at No. 1 singles 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to keep Pepperdine in the match, but the Waves, who were making their first appearance in the National Team Indoor Championship final, were unable to find the two additional points they were chasing after dropping the doubles point.
The Tar Heels claimed the doubles point with victories at the No. 3 (Jones/Marika Akkerman def. Adrijana Lekaj/Laura Gulbe 6-2) and No. 1 (Jessie Aney/Alexa Graham def. Ashley Lahey/Mayar Sherif 7-5) positions. Pepperdine’s duo of Levashova and Dzina Milovanovic topped North Carolina’s Sara Daavettila and Alle Sanford 6-2 at No. 2 doubles.
Pepperdine’s Evgeniya Levashova was the first player to score a point in singles, as she topped Makenna Jones 6-0, 6-2 at No. 3 singles. That result evened the match 1-1.
To view all match results, daily recaps, video highlights and photo galleries, head to the ITA Division I National Women’s Team Indoor Championship event page.