March 23, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Playing for the first time in nearly two weeks, the nationally-ranked University of Maryland women's tennis team struggled against the University of North Carolina Friday afternoon, falling to the No. 10 Tar Heels, 6-1, in an Atlantic Coast Conference match at the Tennis Center at College Park.
UNC (15-5, 3-2 ACC) swept the doubles point and won five of the six singles matches en route to its fourth-straight victory.
The No. 71 Terps, who haven't played since losing to No. 8 Clemson on March 11, dropped to 7-7 on the season and 1-3 in conference action. They'll close out their four-match homestand later this weekend against Duke.
Baker combined with senior Brooke Rogers at No. 1 doubles to give Caitlin Collins and Sanaz Marand, the No. 19-ranked duo in the nation, all they could handle before falling, 8-6.
The Tar Heels easily won the other two doubles matches with Sara Anundsen and Kartina Tsang, the No. 49-ranked duo, dispatching of Michal Amir and Maggie MacKeever, 8-1, and Jenna Long and Laura Reichert defeating Steiner and Eleanor Peters, 8-1.
Baker nearly upset the fifth-ranked player in the nation. Playing at the No. 1 position, she went up a break in the first set against Long before succumbing in a tie-breaker, 7-6. Baker, the 88th-ranked player in the nation, had Long on the ropes in the second set, but lost 6-4.
Steiner picked up the Terps lone win, downing Sara Anundsen 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 3 position.
The Tar Heels cruised in three of the other four singles matches.
Tsang defeated Amir 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2, Austin Smith dropped MacKeever 6-1, 6-1 at No. 5 and Marand upended Masha Senic 6-2, 6-0 at No. 6. All three Tar Heels came into the match nationally ranked (Tsang at No. 55, Smith at No. 98 and Marand at No. 51).
At No. 4 singles, Rogers battled with Collins before falling 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5).
The Terps will look to get back on track against the Blue Devils who are tied for No. 15 in the country. The teams face off at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Tennis Center at College Park. Admission is free.