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Tennis spends break in Hilton Head
By Nick Phillips
With most students vacationing on Spring Break, the UNCP tennis team instead spent the week out of school in Hilton Head, S.C., where they played in six matches from March 4-11, finishing 2-4 in the contests.
The Lady Braves picked up wins over Tusculum and Clarion, while dropping matches against Mercyhurst, Indiana (Pa.), Armstrong Atlantic and Charleston (W.Va.) throughout the week.
In the opening match, Mercyhurst lost just seven games total, besting UNCP 7-2 on March 4.
Mercyhurst swept through doubles play before winning three singles matches in straight sets.
The Lady Braves picked up their only points in singles play in the No. 4 and No. 6 matches.
Senior Maricel Quintero picked up a 7-5, 6-3 win in the No. 4 match before fellow senior Christian Minnick tallied a 6-3, 705 triumph on court No. 6.
On March 7, the Lady Braves eased into a 6-3 win over Tusculum, with UNCP winning four singles matchups in straight sets.
In singles play, Minnick opened the scoring with her 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) win in the No. 6 matchup before No. 1 Jenna McGary finished her match quickly, with set wins of 6-0 and 6-2.
Freshman Madeline Di- Nunzio won 6-3, 6-3 in her No. 5 singles matchup and sophomore Mia Winterbottom bested Tusculum in the No. 2 match by 6-4 and 7-5 scores.
In doubles play, the duo of McGary and freshman Hannah Herlocker took the No. 1 matchup, while Winterbottom and DiNunzio rallied back to win their No. 2 doubles matchup.
Indiana (Pa.), ranked seventh in the latest Atlantic Region rankings by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, had no problem with UNCP on March 8, defeating the Lady Braves 8-1.
Minnick picked up the only UNCP point in her No. 6 singles matchup, rallying back from a first set, 6-7 loss before winning 6-0 and then winning a 10-3 super set to get the win.
Hours after falling to Indiana (Pa.), the Lady Braves made the short ride over to face Peach Belt Conference foe Armstrong Atlantic on March 8.
Armstrong Atlantic, the nation's top team and threetime defending national champion, swept UNCP 9- 0 while winning all singles matches in straight sets.
Featuring three of the country's top-ranked singles players and the NCAA Division II's top-ranked doubles team.
Armstrong Atlantic had no problem winning their 57th consecutive match, a streak dating back to March 2009.
The Lady Braves were right back on the court on March 9, when they debuted a shuffled lineup that gave 34th-ranked Charleston (W.Va.) a run for its money before falling 6- 3.
UNCP picked up wins in each of the top three singles matches, with McGary picking up an upset victory in the No. 1 match, while Winterbottom had little trouble in the No. 2 matchup and Herlocker rallied back for a three-set win in the No. 3 singles matchup.
UNCP wrapped up their trip on a positive note, blasting Clarion 9-0 on March 11 in their final match.
The highlight of the match came from freshman and Pembroke native Kelsey Hunt, who picked up a win in her first collegiate match in the No. 6 singles position.
UNCP now heads back into PBC play, with their record standing at 4-8 after the trip.