Jan. 26, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior Josefin Andersson from the No. 31 South Carolina women's tennis team clinched the team's 4-3 win over No. 53 Missouri (1-1) on Saturday in the opening round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich. Carolina (3-0) will next face host and No. 16 Michigan (1-0) on Sunday at 2 p.m. for a chance to reach the ITA National Team Indoor Championship played over Feb. 10-13 in Charlottesville, Va.
With the team scored tied at 3-all, Andersson held a one-set lead over Madison Rhyner at No. 6 singles, claiming it 7-5. The Gamecocks actually led the team score 3-1 before losing matches at the Nos. 1 and 4 positions to leave court six as the only match remaining. Andersson ended up winning the second by the same score as the first and improved to 2-0 this spring playing at the No. 6 slot.
The Gamecocks built their 3-1 lead in singles with victories from Adriana Pereira at No. 5 singles and No. 96 Katerina Popova at No. 2 singles. Pereira won first over Alex Clark by a 6-3, 6-3 margin and Popova followed soon afterward with a 6-3, 6-1 decision over Rachel Stuhlmann. Pereira is the only Gamecock with a 3-0 singles mark this spring, while Popova is 2-0.
The Tigers tied the match at one apiece after losing in doubles with a 6-1, 6-3 victory from Elisha Gabb at No. 3 singles against Dominika Kanakova. After Pereira and Popova's wins, Mizzou's No. 71 Cierra Gaytan-Leach came back to defeat No. 34 Jaklin Alawi 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 on court one and Maria Christensen upended South Carolina freshman Ximena Siles Luna at the No. 4 spot in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.
The Gamecocks started the afternoon by claiming the doubles point for the third match in a row to open the season, winning once again on courts one and two. Mizzou struck first, however, scoring an 8-2 victory courtesy of Clark and Rhyner over Pereira and Siles Luna at the No. 3 position. The Gamecocks countered with Andersson and Popova's 8-3 triumph on court two versus Stuhlmann and Christensen.
Alawi and Kanakova ultimately claimed the doubles point for Carolina with a closely contested match at No. 1. Alawi and Kanakova, ranked No. 46, pulled an 8-6 victory against No. 26-ranked Gaytan-Leach and Gabb to improve to 12-5 for the 2012-13 season, the best record for any Gamecock tandem.
Order of Finish: 3, 5, 2, 1, 4, 6
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
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