Gamecocks Go Undefeated in Saturday Doubleheader
COLUMBIA, SC Feb. 23, 2013 — The No. 38 South Carolina women’s tennis team wrapped up its Saturday doubleheader at the USC Field House in Columbia, S.C., with a 5-0 victory against Charleston Southern to improve to 7-3 on the 2013 season. Charleston Southern dropped to 1-4 with the loss. Earlier in the day, the Gamecocks defeated No. 72 College of Charleston by a 5-0 score.
“I really wanted to see us make some progress in some of the things we’ve been working on in terms of doubles and basically getting over some things; a little bit of fear and kind of holding back a little bit in certain areas,” Epley said. “We definitely made some progress in certain areas in doubles and in singles, people committing to their game a little bit more. We’ve been working a lot on energy, continuing on what we’ve been working on all season. We’re trying to accentuate the positives with fist pumps and those sorts of things and then get rid of all the negatives. I think overall, we did a pretty good job for two matches.”
Like the first match of the day, the Gamecocks won the doubles point easily for a 1-0 advantage heading to singles play. Carolina mixed up its lineup from the first match, separating Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova at the top spot and moving Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova up from No. 2 doubles. Alawi teamed with Alex Martin on court two and Kanakova sat out the doubles competition. Elixane Lechemia and Ximena Siles Luna retained their spot at No. 3 doubles.
Alawi and Martin finished first with an 8-1 victory against Yvonne Hubler and Alexandra Walters. It moved Alawi and Martin’s record together to 3-1 for the season, as the pair also teamed up for a tournament in the fall. Lechemia and Siles Luna shut out Susita Das and Marketa Placha on court three to record their first win together on the season and clinch the doubles point for South Carolina.
At No. 1 doubles, Popova and Andersson held a 6-4 advantage on Alia Nour and Angelica Sidorenko. Popova and Andersson hold the Gamecocks’ top record in dual matches at 8-1. The Charleston Southern match marked the first time the two have played together at the No. 1 doubles position.
It was a race between Lechemia and Kanakova to see who would score the Gamecocks’ first point in singles. Lechemia ended up beating Walters by a 6-1, 6-0 count on court three just ahead of Kanakova’s 6-0, 6-0 triumph over Nour at No. 4 singles. No. 59 Alawi secured the win for the Gamecocks with her 6-3, 6-3 decision against Placha on court one. Popova notched her team-leading seventh dual match victory of the spring at No. 2 singles with a 6-1, 6-2 win versus Sidorenko to make the score 5-0 for the Gamecocks.
Siles Luna and Martin played several games in their matches at five and six singles, but both were eventually suspended with the team outcome having already been decided. Siles Luna led Das 5-0 in the first set at five and Martin won her first set 6-0 against Chanel Bell at No. 6 singles.
South Carolina will open SEC play next week when it heads to College Station, Texas, to take on No. 10 Texas A&M on March 1 and then No. 55 Missouri on March 3 in Columbia, Mo.
1. #59 Jaklin Alawi, USC, def. Marketa Placha, CSU, 6-3, 6-3
2. #114 Katerina Popova, USC, def. Angelica Sidorenko, CSU, 6-1, 6-2
3. Elixane Lechemia, USC, def. Alexandra Walters, CSU, 6-1, 6-0
4. Dominika Kanakova, USC, def. Alia Nour, CSU, 6-0, 6-0
5. Ximena Siles Luna, USC, Susita Das, CSU, 5-0 susp.
6. Alex Martin, USC, Chanel Bell, CSU, 6-0 susp.
Order of Finish: 3, 4, 1, 2
1. Popova/Andersson, USC, vs. Nour/Sidorenko, CSU, 6-4 susp.
2. Alawi/Martin, USC, def. Hubler/Walters, CSU, 8-1
3. Lechemia/Siles Luna, USC, def. Das/Placha, CSU, 8-0
Order of Finish: 2, 3