Hilton Head Island's Hayley Carter, UNC come up short vs. UCLA in NCAA women's tennis final

The Associated PressMay 21, 2014 

ATHENS, Ga. -- Hilton Head Island's Hayley Carter defeated eighth-ranked Jennifer Brady of UCLA 6-2, 6-2 on Tuesday, but it wasn't enough for the Smith Stearns Academy product's Tar Heels.

UCLA held off North Caroina for its second women's tennis national championship with an epic 4-3 win.

After winning her 13th straight match and moving her record to 47-6 record in a sterling freshman season, the fifth-ranked Carter began looking ahead to next season.

She believes the Tar Heels won't be satisfied with finishing second after reaching the first team final in school history.

"Hopefully we'll get a national championship," Carter said. "I'm going to work really hard this summer and see where things take us."

Sophomore Kyle McPhillips beat Caroline Price 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the last singles match Tuesday to clinch the victory for UCLA. McPhillips' No. 3 singles victory came after teammate Robin Anderson, the tournament's second seed, beat top-seeded Jamie Loeb 6-2, 6-2 in No. 1 singles.

Anderson, a junior, beat Loeb for the first time in three tries after losing to the North Carolina freshman in the finals of the Riviera/ITA All-America championships and the USTA/ITA indoors.

"I tried really hard not to show it, but I was really, really nervous at the end of the first set when I thought could've been coming back," Anderson said. "I just fought really hard to pull out that win."

UCLA won its first national title since 2008.

Bruins coach Stella Sampras Webster was delighted to earn a championship at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex after losing the 2004, 2007 and 2012 finals at the University of Georgia.

"When did we lose, I think that we lost to teams that were better than us," she said. "I think the Georgia Tech one got away from us a little bit, but the other ones against Stanford and Florida -- they were the better teams."

All the other singles matches were completed when McPhillips and Price battled through a final game that included four match points and five break points saved by McPhillips.

When Price's last volley sailed deep, the Bruins immediately crowded McPhillips to set off a celebration.

"I tried not to get nervous," McPhillips said. "I reminded myself I was up 5-3, but I really tried to focus and stay intense every single point and not let it bother me when I lost a few match points."

UCLA, which lost just two matches this season and improved to 30-0 when winning the doubles point, also got a victory from Chanelle Van Nguyen in No. 4 singles.

Carter (No. 2 singles), Kate Vialle (No. 5 singles) and Tessa Lyons (No. 6) won for North Carolina.

Tar Heels coach Brian Kalbas said it was clear that Anderson had a better approach than Loeb, who dropped to 50-3. Loeb had won 25 straight matches.

"It's really tough to beat someone that good three times in a row," Kalbas said. "Robin played really, really well. She didn't make unforced errors, and I don't think Jaime played her best, but you've got to give a lot of credit to Robin."

Carter and Loeb, the third-ranked doubles duo, lost their doubles match to Anderson and Brady, 8-7 (3).

Despite the defeat, the season goes on for Carter, who was named to the Women's NCAA All-Tournament Team. She immediately starts play in the NCAA individual tournament.

Seeded seventh in singles, Carter will face Georgia's Maho Kowase at 4 p.m. Wednesday. On Thursday, Carter and Loeb, the third-seeded doubles team, will face Columbia's Tina Jiang and Crystal Leung at a time yet to be determined.

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service