Why Tabacco Road is SU’s biggest obstacle towards an ACC crown
Yaw Bonsu, SYRACUSE N.Y. – Syracuse Tennis is back in action in a late-afternoon matchup with Miami tomorrow and stands at 4-4 on the year with the final stretch of the season on the way.
SU will look to rise up the Oracle ITA Ranking which currently has Syracuse 50th in the country. It is by no means the ideal spot but nevertheless, it shows how much the Orange have to grow in order to compete with the better teams in not only the country but the ACC.
Yes, ACC Women’s Tennis is stacked too. More specifically, two teams who coin the term Tobacco Road.
Let’s start with the top-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. As much as fans and media alike enjoy calling UNC a basketball school, women’s tennis says otherwise.
The Tar Heels hold an undefeated 13-0 record this season. If that wasn’t enough, the team has swept five of its last six opponents, the last three of which are ACC teams.
Comparing North Carolina to Syracuse is like comparing Central New York’s winter to that of California’s. These two teams have gone in different directions this season and for Syracuse,
it is because it fails to achieve the level of consistency that North Carolina has all year. However, that is not just on the court, but with its lineups as well.
North Carolina is led by senior Sara Daavettila who is 10-0 in both No. 1 and No. 2 singles play. She’s undefeated against the ACC with a 3-0 record. And for the sake of the conversation, she is 137-33 in her career. However, despite the dominance UNC holds, they aren’t the only ACC team worthy of contending for national championships.
Individual rankings haven’t been updated since last January. Nevertheless, the latest edition had three Tar Heel players ranked inside the top-10. That includes #4 Daavettila, #3 Alexa Graham and #6 Cameron Morra. In other words, North Carolina is a superteam.
Syracuse meets North Carolina on April 9th
Moving on to another top-10 juggernaut, we have #6 Duke. The Blue Devils also have a solid argument to be among the best teams on their campus. Duke is currently 9-1 with its only loss coming to Georgia Tech.
The Blue Devils, like their in-state rivals, have been absolutely dismantling teams. They have swept four of their last six opponents and are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With an undefeated record at home, Duke has worked its way up towards the country’s elite.
The team is led by a blistering sophomore in Chloe Beck who is 11-2 this season including a winner of the last 7 matches. Yes, she a sophomore leading the sixth-ranked team in the country. Surprisingly so, she has not played a single match at the No. 1 spot. Instead, she is undefeated in the No. 2 and No. 3.
May we go on about Beck? She is also one-half of Duke’s best duo which includes her and freshman Karolina Bernakova. The duo holds a 10-2 record, the best on the team. And are 9-1 in their last 10.
Rankings have also been favorable to the Blue Devils who have three players inside the top-10. Led by #8 Kelly Chen, the list also includes #28 Georgia Drummy and #29 Chloe Beck, all of who have had a significant impact on the Blue Devils’ hot start.
Syracuse Meets Duke on April 11th.
Whichever way you want to cut it, even in Women’s Tennis, Syracuse’s biggest foes are Duke and North Carolina. And while the three men’s basketball teams may be on the average side of things, you better believe tennis will not be.
With a combined 19-1 record, North Carolina and Duke will be the standard for the ACC and the biggest roadblock for a Syracuse team looking to capture a team conference crown.