Gamecocks Back in Action on Friday Hosting No. 17 Auburn
COLUMBIA, SC March 17, 2013 — The 32nd-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team lost 7-0 to No. 12 Georgia on Sunday at Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks fell to 8-7 and 1-4 in the SEC with the loss, while the Bulldogs improved to 11-2 and 4-1 in league competition.
The Gamecocks lost a hard fought doubles point to get play underway. South Carolina’s duo of Elixane Lechemia and Alex Martin jumped out to a 3-1 lead on court three versus Mia King and Lilly Kimbell, but the Bulldogs came back to snag a 4-3 advantage. The match was later tied 5-all before King and Kimbell won three straight games to give the Bulldogs their first victory in doubles.
On court one, South Carolina’s Katerina Popova and Josefin Andersson took a 3-1 lead after four games against the nation’s No. 3-ranked team of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia, but the Bulldogs recovered to get the match back on serve. At 6-all, the Fuller and Garcia broke the Gamecocks and then served out the match to give their squad a 1-0 upper hand going into singles play.
The No. 2 doubles match was suspended once the Bulldogs secured the point. The Gamecocks Dominika Kanakova and Adriana Pereira fell behind Makenzie Craft and Maho Kowase 4-1 but stormed back to win four consecutive games for a 5-4 lead. The match remained on serve and was stopped with South Carolina ahead 7-6.
Georgia proved to be too much for South Carolina in singles. No. 77 Garcia scored the Bulldogs’ second point of the match with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over No. 102 Popova on court one. Less than five minutes later, No. 120 Fuller defeated Kanakova 6-2, 6-1 at the third singles position to make the score 3-0 in favor of UGA. No. 17 Kowase provided the clinching point for Georgia with a 6-1, 6-2 win against Lechemia on court two.
Soon after the No. 2 singles match finished, Kimbell added another point for Georgia on court five with a 6-2, 6-2 win versus Pereira. At No. 5 singles, Martin lost the first set to King 6-2, but came back with a 7-5 win in the second after being down 5-3. The two played a super tiebreaker for the third set and King prevailed with a 10-1 victory.
The final match on court after Martin lost saw Andersson down 4-2 in the second set to Craft at No. 4 singles. Andersson, though, won the first set 7-5. Andersson closed the margin to 4-3, but Craft pushed ahead and claimed the set 6-3 to set up another super tiebreaker. The two traded points back and forth in the super breaker and were still tied 6-all at the second changeover. At 8-all, Andersson hit a forehand that sailed beyond the baseline and another forehand error on the next point completed the sweep for Georgia.
South Carolina will return to action Friday hosting No. 17 Auburn at 5 p.m. and then No. 8 Alabama on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Carolina Tennis Center.
1. #77 Silvia Garcia, UGA, def. #102 Katerina Popova, USC, 6-1, 6-1
2. #17 Maho Kowase, UGA, def. Elixane Lechemia, USC, 6-1, 6-2
3. #120 Kate Fuller, UGA, def. Dominika Kanakova, USC, 6-2, 6-1
4. Makenzie Craft, UGA, def. Josefin Andersson, USC, 5-7, 6-3, (10-8)
5. Mia King, UGA, def. Alex Martin, USC, 6-2, 5-7, (10-1)
6. Lilly Kimbell, UGA, def. Adriana Pereira, USC, 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2, 6, 5, 4
1. #3 Fuller/Garcia, UGA, def. Andersson/Popova, USC, 8-6
2. Kanakova/Pereira, USC, vs. Craft/Kowase, UGA, 7-6 susp.
3. King/Kimbell, UGA, def. Lechemia/Martin, USC, 8-5
Order of Finish: 3, 1