Gamecocks Drop 4-2 Decision to Tennessee

March 15, 2013


COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The No. 32 South Carolina women's tennis team lost 4-2 to No. 44 Tennessee on Friday at Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks fell to 8-6 on the year with the loss and 1-3 in SEC play, while the Lady Volunteers improved to 5-5 and 3-1 in the SEC.

The Gamecocks took the doubles point from Tennessee, their first win in doubles over the Lady Vols since the 2009 campaign in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. South Carolina dominated on court three with Elixane Lechemia and Ximena Siles Luna defeating Sarah Toti and Mimi Fotopoulos 8-1 to improve to 4-2 on the season and 3-1 in SEC play. The Lady Vols, though, answered back with an 8-6 win from the fourth-ranked duo of Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely on court one versus Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova.

Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova found themselves in a 6-all tie with Joanna Henderson and Caitlyn Williams at No. 2 doubles after the two teams split the other courts. Andersson and Popova managed to grab a break of serve from Henderson and Williams for a 7-6 advantage on the changeover. Popova then served out the match, winning it at 40-30 when Andersson hit a forehand volley winner to up the USC tandem's record to 14-7 on the season and 10-2 in dual match play.

Tennessee stormed back in singles, winning the first set on courts one through five to open play. No. 20-ranked Boren finished first with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over No. 78 Alawi atop the lineup. No. 40 Szekely put the Lady Vols on top 2-1 after she bested No. 102 Popova on court two in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. The next two matches finished within minutes of each other. Andersson held off Tiffany Tavares at the No. 6 spot 6-2, 6-4 and Henderson upended Kanakova 6-3, 6-4 on court four to put the Lady Vols ahead 3-2 with courts three and five remaining.

Lechemia had just split sets with Williams when court four finished and Siles Luna trailed Fotopoulos 6-2, 2-1 at the No. 5 spot. Siles Luna later trailed 4-2 but managed to get the contest back to 4-3 on the changeover, while Lechemia raced ahead 2-0 in the third. Fotopoulos, though, broke Siles Luna in the next game and then served it out to win 6-1, 6-3 and give Tennessee the victory.

Lechemia and Williams were tied 3-all in the third when Fotopoulos clinched the win for UT and the match was subsequently stopped. Williams won the first 6-3, but Lechemia countered in the second 6-1.

The Gamecocks return to SEC play Sunday hosting No. 12 Georgia at 1:30 p.m. at Carolina Tennis Center.

SINGLES COMPETITION

  POS SOUTH CAROLINA TENNESSEE WINNER SCORE FINISH
1 #78 Jaklin Alawi #20 Brynn Boren Tennessee 6-2, 6-2 1
2 #102 Katerina Popova #40 Kata Szekely Tennessee 6-3, 6-2 2
3 Elixane Lechemia Caitlyn Williams Unfinished 3-6, 6-1, 3-3 susp.  
4 Dominika Kanakova Joanna Henderson Tennessee 6-3, 6-4 4
5 Ximena Siles Luna Mimi Fotopoulos Tennessee 6-1, 6-3 5
6 Josefin Andersson Tiffany Tavares South Carolina 6-2, 6-4 3

DOUBLES COMPETITION

  POS SOUTH CAROLINA TENNESSEE WINNER SCORE FINISH
1 Alawi/Kanakova #4 Boren/Szekely Tennessee 8-6 2
2 Popova/Andersson Henderson/Williams South Carolina 8-6 3
3 Lechemia/Siles Luna Toti/Fotopoulos South Carolina 8-1 1