Jan. 28, 2012
ATLANTA -- South Carolina's 27th-ranked women's tennis team (2-1) suffered a 4-0 loss to No. 13 Georgia Tech (3-1) on Saturday in Atlanta in the second round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.
The Gamecocks faltered in the doubles point, taking losses on courts two and three. At two, Anya Morgina and Josefin Andersson fell 8-2 to Lynn Blau and Elizabeth Kilborn after beginning with a 2-1 lead. Dominika Kanakova and Katerina Popova came back from a 5-2 deficit to Caroline Lilley and Jasmine Minor to tie the match at 5-all at the No. 3 position. Lilley and Minor, though, ran off three straight games to seal the win for Georgia Tech. The No. 1 doubles match between Dijana Stojic and Jaklin Alawi of South Carolina, and Jillian O'Neill and Alex Anghelescu of Georgia Tech was suspended with the Yellow Jackets preparing to serve up 7-5.
The day did not get any better for the Gamecocks in singles play, as Georgia Tech raced out to 3-0 leads on four of the six courts. Kilborn registered Tech's second point with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Stojic at No. 2 singles and Blau added the third with a 6-2, 6-0 defeat of Pereira on court six. Christina Ngo clinched the win for Georgia Tech at four by downing Popova 6-0, 6-2.
"We weren't really competitive on three of the courts," head coach Arlo Elkins said. "After losing the doubles point, you have to be competitive. I think the first thing is you have to believe you're as good as the teams you're playing. I think sometimes teams -- not just ours, others throughout the country -- look at the rankings and think, we have to play really well to beat this team, and I don't know that that's the case. We just have to play within ourselves, not below ourselves. But, it's early in the season, and obviously this weekend with help us get in better shape and get us ready for the rest of the season.
"I think one other thing is that a lot of times, when you come to college, you have to commit to making changes from what you did when you were playing in the juniors before you got here," Elkins added. "I think it's really tough for some of the girls, including ours, to make those changes, and from now on, we just really have to talk to them and get them to commit to making the changes that are going to make them better college tennis players."
Alawi held a 6-3, 3-all advantage in her match at No. 2 singles against Lilley when play was suspended. At one, Morgina came back from a 6-3 loss in the first set to O'Neill to win 6-1 in the second. The pair's third set never began. Kanakova held a 4-2 advantage over Minor on court five after losing 6-2 in the first when play was stopped.
The Gamecocks return to the courts Feb. 17 when they take on San Diego on the Toreros' home courts. The following day, they face Loyola Marymount, also in San Diego.
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