No. 3 UNC women’s tennis sets program record with 51st home win in a row

The magic number is now 51.

Since March 25, 2018, the No. 3 women’s tennis team from North Carolina has walked the court of the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center and won 50 consecutive times.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Tar Heels wrote their place in history with a 7-0 home win against East Carolina University in the first game of a doubleheader, giving the team the school record of 51 consecutive home wins.

For a program that has enjoyed great success throughout history, this milestone still means something to the coaches and players involved.

“I’m just really proud of the many players who have been able to come to this program and create this incredible streak that we have at home,” said head coach Brian Kalbas.

Kalbas is joined by senior All Sanford as the only Tar Heels of the 2017-18 team to start the streak. The previous record of 50 wins lasted three years from 2014 to 2017.

Since UNC women’s tennis is still early in the season, Sanford said Tuesday’s performance could boost the team’s momentum as they get into tougher matchups later on.

Make no mistake – with bigger tests ahead, this team remains confident they can continue the streak, especially with the young talent emerging this season.

It starts as young as freshman Carson Tanguilig.

No. 13 Tanguilig was a force at the start of her first dual match season, which saw her lose a single or double match to senior Cameron Morra.

In Tuesday’s games, Tanguilig again played well and gained more experience and comfort in her role, while also making a significant contribution to her team.

She has more than impressed so far – playing close to the level of her experienced team-mates – thanks to the confidence Kalbas shows.

“He did a great job,” Tanguilig said. “He is very accommodating and loves this really good confidence booster and always knows how to say the right thing. He just did a really good job of making me, including Lindsay (Zink), the other freshmen, just really comfortable. ”

For the Tar Heels, this talent looks promising as the program aims to keep its winning tradition alive.

“It’s really nice to know that we have a lot of talent and a lot of great young players on the team,” said Sanford. “It just makes it really exciting, not just for the season, but for the future of the program and the success of our program for years to come.”

But for now, the focus is on hitting the streak to 52 as the first real challenge of the season looms for the team. North Carolina will play at home against number 4 Georgia on Saturday.

While UNC has already had time to warm up this spring, Saturday is Georgia’s first doubles game of the season. But with home field advantage on their side, the Tar Heels know the game will be an excellent opportunity to continue the streak and make a statement at the same time.

“The game in Georgia will be very different from these games,” Kalbas said. “It comes down to a few points and a few momentum situations. Saturday we will learn a lot about ourselves.”

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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