Jan. 27, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The 16th-ranked Michigan Wolverines (2-0) handed the No. 31 South Carolina women's tennis team its first loss of the 2013 season Sunday in Ann Arbor, Mich., to drop the Gamecocks' record to 3-1. Michigan advanced to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship with the second-round win in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
The two schools played an exciting doubles point, as the Gamecocks struck first with Adriana Pereira and Ximena Siles Luna defeating Emina Bektas and Kristy Dodge by an 8-2 count at the No. 3 position. Michigan, however, countered quickly with Brooke Bolender and Ronit Yurovsky upending No. 46 Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova 8-3 at the top slot.
After Alawi and Kanakova's loss, South Carolina's No. 2 team of Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova faced a 6-4 deficit to Sarah Lee and Mimi Nguyen. The Gamecocks, though, fought back and eventually took a 7-6 lead, at one point winning eight rallies in a row. South Carolina was two points away from winning the match in the 14th game after leading 30-0, but Michigan got the frame to deuce and eventually forced a tiebreaker.
In the breaker, Carolina got a fast start with a 2-0 lead, but the Wolverines won two straight rallied to knot the score at 2-all. At the changeover, the score remained tied at 3-all and the Gamecocks won the next point for a 4-3 upper hand. Unfortunately for South Carolina, Michigan won the next four rallies to earn the 7-4 victory in the tiebreaker to hand the Gamecocks their first loss of the doubles point this season.
Michigan used the momentum of the doubles point to pounce on the Gamecocks early in singles play. Bolender scored the Wolverines' first win with a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Kanakova on court three, and Lee followed soon afterward with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Pereira at No. 5 singles. Bektas provided the clinching point for Michigan, downing No. 34 Alawi 6-3, 6-3 on court one.
The Wolverines also led the No. 2 singles match between No. 61 Yurovsky and No. 96 Popova by a 7-5, 4-0 score when play stopped. No. 94 Zhu won the first set against Siles Luna 6-2 but trailed 4-2 in the second on court five. At No. 6 singles, Andersson beat Dodge 6-2 in the first and was down 5-2 in the second set.
South Carolina returns to the courts on Feb. 3 when it travels to the Upstate to face instate rival and No. 20-ranked Clemson at noon at Hoke Sloan Tennis Center.
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