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North Carolina-Chapel Hill won its fourth Southern TOC crown.

North Carolina-Chapel Hill won its fourth Southern TOC crown.

Story & photos by Ron Cioffi/USTA Southern

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill won its fourth Tennis on Campus Southern Championship, tying Auburn for most titles.

In a tight match against state rival North Carolina State, the Tar Heels took the mixed doubles set 6-5 and won the 2019 final 24-22. Ellie Johnson and Holleman Hughes of UNC-CH played a dominant set tiebreak to defeat Sarah Jiang and Josh Walker.

UNC-CH came out of the doubles sets with a 12-8 lead. But that advantage disappeared when Jiang put a bagel on Lizzie Stassenko 6-0. When Louis Rico of UNC-CH took a 6-3 men’s singles set from North Carolina State’s Jensen Martin, the Tar Heels had only a one-game lead going into the mixed set.

The deciding match was played on the Yarbrough Tennis Center clay courts Saturday, Feb. 23. The two-day event started on Friday.

USTA Southern Director of Tennis On Campus & Schools Jeff Smith hosted 71 teams competing on four sites in and around Auburn. Twenty-four teams competed in the top Alley group while 47 teams played in the Rally group.

The champion and finalist teams in the top Alley group received bids to the 2019 USTA National Championship, scheduled for April 11-13 in Surprise, AZ.

Other schools receiving bids to the national tournament are:

  • South Carolina, Alley third
  • Georgia, Alley fourth, in addition to earning a bid by winning the Tennis on Campus National Fall Invitational
  • Duke, Alley fifth
  • Vanderbilt, Alley sixth
  • Georgia College, Rally champion
  • Clemson, USTA Southern TOC Club of the Year

Previous champions:

  • 2018: Auburn
  • 2017: Georgia Tech
  • 2016: Auburn
  • 2015: North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  • 2014: Auburn
  • 2013: College of Charleston
  • 2012: North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  • 2011: Duke
  • 2010: North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  • 2009: Auburn
  • 2008: Georgia
  • 2007: Georgia Tech
  • 2006: Georgia