The packed arena, reduced to standing-room-only during the doubles matches, erupted into applause as the final serve came from Ohio State. All eyes were on the No. 2 doubles pair Giulia Pairone and Anca Craciun as they delivered the emphatic slam that secured the doubles point for Michigan.
Each senior has found success separately, with countless accolades, from All-Big Ten Honors to NCAA Championships, split between the two. But it is only right that the pair shone most brightly on their senior night as just that — a pair.
This new leadership role came naturally for Minor. Not only has she put together another great season, posting an 8-2 record in singles and a 6-4 record in doubles, but the team’s play has improved as the season has progressed. While the Wolverines do have four losses, all came against ranked opponents, and in each of their last three wins, they have not allowed their opponent to get a single point. Minor and fellow senior captain Kate Fahey have led by example during this stretch.
Minor’s strong performance was one of many, as the No. 21 Michigan women won the match 7-0 against an incomplete Baylor team. Although the Bears did not have a full lineup, limiting the meaning of such a lopsided result, it is still an encouraging sign of things to come for the Wolverines with a big match coming up on Mar. 9 against Duke.
Tar Heel Cameron Morra vaulted to a commanding 5-3 lead in the No. 4 singles match against junior Chiara Lommer. With her back against the wall, Lommer mounted an imposing comeback, tying the set at six off a cross-court winner. But the comeback fell short as Morra grinded out the final rally to take the tiebreaker, 7-3. Lommer was unable to overcome her first set defeat, yet maintained her relentless drive in a 6-1 losing effort in the second set, even after the Tar Heels clinched the match.
It was a familiar scene at the Varsity Tennis Center when the Michigan women’s tennis team succumbed to No. 2 North Carolina.
Nearly every year the Wolverines face the Tar Heels, and nearly every year they can’t manage to secure a victory. But still, year after year, Michigan puts them on its schedule in order to pack its nonconference slate with highly-ranked teams — giving them experience early in the season.