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North Carolina Athletics | May 19, 2014

UNC eliminates defending champ Stanford

  Jamie Loeb, right, was victorius at No. 1 singles to send North Carolina to the finals.

ATHENS, Ga. -- North Carolina will play for its first national championship after defeating Stanford 4-3 on Monday in a semifinal match at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

Seventh-seeded North Carolina (29-5) will face fifth-seed UCLA in the national title match at 1 p.m. ET Tuesday.

A spot in the finals came down to the singles match on court No. 1 between the Tar Heels' top-ranked Jamie Loeb and Stanford's third-ranked Kristie Ahn.

Ahn outlasted Loeb in the opening set, winning the tiebreaker 7-4 for the 7-6 win.

Loeb picked up a break point to start the second set and was unflappable from that point, winning 6-0 and 6-0 in the final two sets to send the Tar Heels into their first title match in program history.

Carolina made a dramatic comeback on court No. 1 to earn the doubles point and a 1-0 advantage against the defending national-champion Cardinal.

UNC raced to an 8-2 victory on court No. 2 as the duo of Whitney Kay and Caroline Price improved to 22-6 on the season, downing Stanford's team of Taylor Davidson and Ellen Tsay.

The Cardinal knotted the doubles portion of the match with an 8-4 win on court No. 3, meaning the deciding point would come down to court No. 1.

Ahn and Carol Zhao of Stanford jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but the tandem of Hayley Carter and Loeb stormed back with the final six points to earn an 8-5 victory. North Carolina's dynamic freshmen duo improved to 32-4 on the season.

Carter made it 2-0 in favor of the Tar Heels with a 6-2, 6-1, victory on court No. 2 against Krista Hardebeck.

Stanford got on the board with a win on court No. 4, but Caroline Price swung the momentum back in favor of the Tar Heels with a 6-4, 6-4, victory on court No. 3 versus Carol Zhao.

Within minutes of each other, Stanford picked up wins on court Nos. 6 and 5, respectively, to knot the match at 3-3.

The win was the 50th on the season for Loeb, a freshman from Ossening, New York. Fellow rookie Carter is now 46-6.