March 18, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The No. 35 South Carolina women's tennis team swept past Old Dominion on Sunday at Carolina Tennis Center with a 7-0 victory. The Gamecocks improved to 10-4 overall with the win and finished the regular season with a 9-1 mark against non-conference opponents. Old Dominion dropped to 9-5 with the loss.
"I think the girls were focused enough to take care of business today," interim head coach Katarina Petrovic said. "It took us less than two and a half hours to win this match. We are trying to work on things to get ready for the SEC weekend, which is in the next few days."
South Carolina wasted no time with a sweep in doubles for the second day in a row. At two, the Gamecocks' Adriana Pereira and Dominika Kanakova blanked Aleksandra Mitrovska and Juliana Pires 8-0 for Carolina's first win. On court three, Katerina Popova and Josefin Andersson extended their winning streak to four matches with an 8-1 victory over Faith Atiso and Nika Khmolovska. South Carolina wrapped up the doubles point with Jaklin Alawi and Anya Morgina defeating Melissa Esnal Olguin and Diana Ivanova 8-2 at the top slot. Morgina and Alawi improved to 6-0 this season with the win.
"I see a big improvement now in our serves and poaching (in doubles)," Petrovic said. "That's what we worked on and will continue working on as well. Everybody played well and the intensity was there."
Andersson pushed the Gamecocks' lead to 2-0 after she won 12 games in a row against Atiso at the No. 6 position. Pereira finished soon after her with a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Pires on court five, and Morgina provided the clinching point for the second match in a row, beating Ivanova 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 singles.
Popova posted her fifth victory in a row when she upended Khmolovska 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4 singles to put Carolina on top 5-0. Popova has now won nine of her last 10 matches and improved to 17-8 this season overall. The sophomore from Russia also leads the team in dual match victories with an 11-3 record.
Kanakova and Alawi were the last two Gamecocks to complete their matches. Kanakova finished just ahead of Alawi with a 6-0, 6-1 win against Esnal Olguin on court three, and Alawi defeated Mitrovska 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 2 position. It marked Alawi's 20th win of the season, making her the first Gamecock in 2011-12 to hit the 20-win plateau.
South Carolina returns to SEC play Friday when it takes on No. 20 Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss. The Gamecocks then host Mississippi State on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Carolina Tennis Center.
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 1, 4, 3, 2
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
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