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No. 21 Irish go south to face ACC powerhouses

Anne Loughery | Friday, March 26, 2004

This weekend will be anything but a cakewalk for the No. 21 Irish as they face No. 33 Wake Forest and No. 9 North Carolina. Wake Forest (8-7) upset North Carolina 4-3 Wednesday to end its three-match losing streak. The Tar Heels (13-5) claimed the doubles point, but dropped four of the six singles matches for the loss.”Wake Forest was really beat up last year because of injuries,” Irish coach Jay Louderback said. “They lost a lot of close matches and had a tough schedule. They have better depth this year.”North Carolina is prepared for a quick win after Wednesday’s loss, Louderback said.”They’re after everyone at every position; they won’t overlook anyone. After losing to Wake [Forest], they’ll be in a bad mood,” Louderback said.Wake Forest brings a tough lineup to Saturday’s match. Several team members have returned after nursing injuries in previous meets. In addition, Wake Forest brings the No. 22 player in singles, Karin Coetzee, and the No. 40 doubles team of Coetzee and Aimee Smith to the match. Coetzee won her match Wednesday 6-2, 6-2 against North Carolina’s Lee Bairos, while the duo of Coetzee and Smith lost 8-6.North Carolina’s young team includes No. 29 singles Aniela Mojzis and the No. 23 doubles team of Mojzis and Kendall Cline. Wake Forest’s Ashlee Davis defeated Moizis 6-1, 6-0. Mojzis had an earlier win in doubles against Wake Forest’s Coetzee and Smith 8-6. Last weekend the Irish collected a win against No. 47 Iowa 6-1, securing the doubles point and nearly sweeping singles with four wins. They look to garner their ninth and 10th wins of the season after this weekend’s matches. “If we compete hard, we’ll have a shot,” Louderback said. “They’d better be ready. We’re coming.”Playing on outdoor courts will be the team’s greatest challenge this weekend. Since spring break, the team has only played outdoors once. Weather plays an integral role in outdoor competitions, as the sun and wind factor into the ball’s speed and direction, Louderback said. The Irish hit the courts at Wake Forest on Saturday at 1 p.m. and at North Carolina on Sunday at 1p.m.