Feb. 26, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The No. 26 South Carolina women's tennis team earned its fifth consecutive win Sunday with a 6-1 victory over Winthrop (5-8) at Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks now stand 7-1 on the season.
South Carolina snagged a 1-0 lead heading to the singles matches with victories on courts one and three. Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova teamed up on court three for their first match together this spring after playing 10 matches as a duo in the fall. They made short work of Ekin Gunaysu and Monica Aguado, jumping out to a 7-0 lead before winning 8-2.
Jaklin Alawi and Anya Morgina clinched the point for the Gamecocks at the No. 1 spot. After trailing Yasmine Alkema and Andressa Garcia 2-1, Alawi and Morgina won three straight games for a 4-2 lead. They later pulled ahead 6-3, but Winthrop closed the margin to 6-5. After taking a 7-5 lead, Winthrop held serve to make it 7-6, but Alawi held serve in the next game to earn her seventh win this spring at No. 1 doubles. Alawi is a combined 7-0 atop the doubles lineup in 2012 with Morgina and Dijana Stojic.
The Eagles did manage to grab a win at the second spot in doubles. South Carolina tried a new doubles tandem with Dominika Kanakova and Adriana Pereira facing Sandra Herrera and Giovanna Portioli. The Gamecocks fell behind 3-0 before getting the score back to 3-2. The Eagles, though, never gave up the lead and after South Carolina closed the gap to 6-4, Herrera and Portioli won two straight games to pick up the 8-4 triumph.
Winthrop responded in singles with a 6-4, 6-1 win from Gunaysu against Andersson at No. 5 singles to tie the match up at 1-all. The Gamecocks answered back minutes later with Dina Guzairova's 6-1, 6-4 victory over Aguado on court six. It marked Guzairova's first career victory in a dual match. South Carolina then pulled ahead 3-1 with Morgina fighting off Alkema at the No. 1 spot 7-6 (8-6), 6-3. Morgina is a perfect 7-0 this season playing the top position.
The remaining three matches all took three sets to complete and all of them ended in the Gamecocks' favor, as they lost just two games combined in the third sets. Alawi provided the clinching point with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 win over Garcia on court two, followed by Kanakova's 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 win against Herrera at No. 3 singles. Popova concluded the day with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 triumph over Portioli at the fourth slot.
The Gamecocks will kick off SEC play next Friday when they travel to Athens, Ga., to face No. 6 Georgia. South Carolina then travels to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on No. 10 Tennessee on Sunday.
Order of Finish: 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 4
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
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