Gamecocks Drop 4-3 Decision at William & Mary
<strong><center>Katerina Popova</center></strong>
 
Katerina Popova

Feb. 17, 2013


WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- The 30th-ranked South Carolina women's tennis team dropped a 4-3 decision at No. 47 William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., on Sunday at McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center. South Carolina fell to 4-3 on the season with the loss, while the Tribe improved to 8-2.

William & Mary grabbed the doubles point from South Carolina, just the second time this season the Gamecocks have surrendered the doubles. The No. 4-ranked duo of Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans defeated Carolina's No. 57 team of Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova 8-5 at the top of the lineup, but the Gamecocks countered with Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova's 8-3 triumph over Anik Cepeda and Hope Johnson on court two. The Tribe, though, took the final match on court three with Leeza Nemchinov and Sydney Smith beating Adriana Pereira and Ximena Siles Luna 8-6.

The Tribe rattled off two more points to begin singles play by winning courts three and five. Nemchinov finished first at the No. 3 spot with a 6-0, 7-5 win against Kanakova, and Cepeda made it 3-0 after winning in straight sets over Pereira 6-3, 6-2 at five.

The Gamecocks, though, quickly closed the deficit to just one point with wins from Andersson and Popova. Andersson won convincingly versus Smith at No. 6 singles by a 6-0, 6-3 score, while Popova registered a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Loomans at the No. 2 spot.

The remaining matches on courts one and four decided the outcome with both going three sets. At one, 59th-ranked Alawi dropped the first to Belaya 6-4, but she fought back to win the second 6-4. Siles Luna also lost her first set 6-4 to Johnson, but she stormed back to take the second set 6-2.

After three games had finished in the third sets, Siles Luna had a 2-1 lead while Alawi trailed 2-1. Siles Luna then pushed ahead 4-1 in the third, but Alawi faced a 4-2 deficit. Alawi got a game back to make it 4-3, but Belaya scored the next two games to lift the Tribe to victory over the Gamecocks. Siles Luna went on for a 6-3 win over Johnson in the third.

South Carolina will hit the road again for its next match, taking on Furman in Greenville, S.C., on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The Gamecocks will host a doubleheader against College of Charleston and Charleston Southern on Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Carolina Tennis Center.

Singles
1. Maria Belaya, W&M, def. #59 Jaklin Alawi, USC, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
2. #114 Katerina Popova, USC, def. Jeltje Loomans, W&M, 6-4, 6-2
3. Leeza Nemchinov, W&M, def. Dominika Kanakova, USC, 6-0, 7-5
4. Ximena Siles Luna, USC, def. Hope Johnson, W&M, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. Anik Cepeda, W&M, def. Adriana Pereira, USC, 6-3, 6-2
6. Josefin Andersson, USC, def. Sydney Smith, W&M, 6-0, 6-3

Order of Finish: 3, 5, 6, 2, 1, 4

Doubles
1. #4 Belaya/Loomans, W&M, def. #57 Alawi/Kanakova, USC, 8-5
2. Popova/Andersson, USC, def. Cepeda/Johnson, W&M, 8-3
3. Nemchinov/Smith, W&M, def. Pereira/Siles Luna, USC, 8-6

Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3