Gamecocks Drop 4-3 Decision at No. 12 Clemson

 

Feb. 27, 2011


South Carolina vs. Clemson
February 27, 2011 • Clemson, S.C.
Team S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 D1 D2 D3 Total
South Carolina L L W W W L L L W 3
Clemson W W L L L W W W L 4
Coach Elkins
CLEMSON, S.C. -- The 25th-ranked South Carolina women's tennis team suffered a 4-3 loss to No. 12 Clemson on Sunday at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center in Clemson, S.C. The Gamecocks fell to 6-2 on the year while the Tigers improved to 10-3.

The Gamecocks dropped the doubles point, losing two of three matches. The Tigers took court two first with Josipa Bek and Klara Vyskocilova defeating Josefin Andersson and Madeleine Saari-Byström 8-4. South Carolina's Anya Morgina and Katerina Popova countered with an 8-4 victory at No. 3 doubles over Caroline Magnusson and Laurianne Henry.

South Carolina held a 6-3 advantage at No. 1 doubles with Dijana Stojic and Dominika Kanakova. Clemson's duo of Keri Wong and Maria Belaya, though, rallied to win three straight games to get to 6-all with Kanakova serving. The Gamecocks fell behind 0-30 in the 13th game but managed to fight back and take a 7-6 advantage at the changeover. Clemson then held serve and broke Stojic for a chance to serve out the match, which Belaya did to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead heading to singles.

Clemson took the first two matches in singles play to build a 3-0 lead. Magnusson came back to defeat Andersson on court six after trailing 3-0 in the first set. She won seven straight games to lead 6-3, 1-0 and then won another five games in a row after Andersson made it 1-all in the second set.

On court two, Wong won the first set handily over Stojic 6-1 and continued to lead 5-3 in the second. Stojic held serve to make it 5-4 and then got to deuce on Wong's serve. Despite fighting off several match points, Wong managed to hold for the 6-1, 6-4 victory.

South Carolina got on the board thanks to Kanakova's victory on court five. After fighting through the first set to win 6-4 against Belaya, Kanakova raced out to a 4-1 advantage in the second and closed out the set 6-2. Kanakova leads the team in dual match victories this season with a 7-1 record.

Popova then trimmed the Clemson lead to 3-2 after winning in straight sets over Vyskocilova at the No. 4 slot. It looked as though Popova might blank Vyskocilova in the second set after quickly earning a 4-0 lead, but Vyskocilova rebounded to make it 4-all before Popova closed out the match to improve to 4-2 this spring.

Saari-Byström then knotted the match at 3-all after upending Nelly Ciolkowski at No. 3 singles. Saari-Byström got down 5-3 in the first set, however, she managed to win four games in a row to take the first set 7-5. In the second, Saari-Byström dictated play the entire set, going on to win 6-3.

The top singles position decided the team outcome with Morgina playing Bek. Morgina claimed the first set 6-3 but faltered in the second to 6-1. In the third, Bek held a 4-2 advantage after Saari-Byström won her match with Morgina serving. Morgina had trailed 4-1 before breaking Bek and was down 15-40 on her serve, but she climbed back in the game and eventually made it 4-3 at the changeover. Bek held serve in the next game and then broke Morgina after going ahead 15-40 in the ninth game to lift the Tigers to a 4-3 victory.

South Carolina will open SEC play in Fayetteville, Ark., when it faces No. 16 Arkansas on March 4. The Gamecocks then play LSU on March 6 in Baton Rouge, La.

Singles
1. #14 Josipa Bek, CU, def. #56 Anya Morgina, USC, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3
2. #37 Keri Wong, CU, def. #121 Dijana Stojic, USC, 6-1, 6-4
3. Madeleine Saari-Byström, USC, def. Nelly Ciolkowski, CU, 7-5, 6-3
4. Katerina Popova, USC, def. Klara Vyskocilova, CU, 6-4, 6-4
5. Dominika Kanakova, USC, def. Maria Belaya, CU, 6-4, 6-2
6. Caroline Magnusson, CU, def. Josefin Andersson, USC, 6-3, 6-1

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

Doubles
1. Wong/Belaya, CU, def. #38 Kanakova/Stojic, USC, 9-7
2. Bek/Vyskocilova, CU, def. Andersson/Saari-Bystrom, USC, 8-4
3. Morgina/Popova, USC, def. Laurianne Henry/Magnusson, CU, 8-4

Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1