March 31, 2013
BATON ROUGE, La. -- The 31st-ranked South Carolina women's tennis team picked up its second consecutive SEC win Sunday in Baton Rouge, La., by downing No. 54 LSU by a 5-1 score to improve to 11-8 and 4-5 in the league. The Tigers dropped to 8-12 and 1-9 in conference play. Carolina defeated No. 44 Arkansas by a 5-2 count on Friday in Fayetteville, Ark., to get the weekend started.
"It was good to finish up a two-match winning streak in the SEC," South Carolina head coach Kevin Epley said. "LSU is very tough when you're on the road there, always has been. Arkansas has a very good team fresh off a win from Ole Miss. We are working hard on getting our energy right, and ever since Auburn, each match we're starting to get a little better. We are moving in the right direction, and hopefully that will help us in getting to the NCAAs."
The two schools began the match two hours earlier than the scheduled 1 p.m. ET start because of rain predicted to hit during the afternoon. The squads also agreed to play singles first and doubles only if necessary.
The Gamecocks made short work of LSU so that doubles would not be necessary, winning five straight contests and four of them in straight sets. No. 87 Jaklin Alawi got the scoring started on court one, dispatching No. 114 Kaitlin Burns 6-0, 6-3. No. 98 Katerina Popova also dropped just three games in upending Mary Jeremiah 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 2 spot to improve to a team best 18-8 and 12-5 in dual matches. Dominika Kanakova, the reigning SEC player of the Week, continued her hot streak of play with a 6-1, 6-1 disposal of Ariel Morton on court four to make the score 3-0.
Two of the final three matches on court went three sets. Josefin Andersson's 6-0, 4-6, 6-2 victory against Keri Frankenberger at No. 6 singles provided the clinching point for South Carolina. Ximena Siles Luna added the Gamecocks' final point with a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Ebie Wilson at No. 5 singles.
The Tigers managed to grab one victory in the contest with the last match on between Ella Taylor and Carolina's Elixane Lechemia. The South Carolina newcomer took the first set 6-4, but Taylor recovered to win the next two 6-3, 6-4.
The weekend wins versus Arkansas and LSU marked the first time the Gamecocks have beaten the Razorbacks and Tigers on the road in the same year since 2007. South Carolina will look to extend its winning streak to three matches Friday when it hosts Mississippi State at 5 p.m. at Carolina Tennis Center.
|1||#87 Jaklin Alawi||#114 Kaitlin Burns||South Carolina||6-0, 6-3||1|
|2||#98 Katerina Popova||Mary Jeremiah||South Carolina||6-2, 6-1||2|
|3||Elixane Lechemia||Ella Taylor||LSU||4-6, 6-3, 6-4||6|
|4||Dominika Kanakova||Ariel Morton||South Carolina||6-1, 6-1||3|
|5||Ximena Siles Luna||Ebie Wilson||South Carolina||6-2, 6-1||5|
|6||Josefin Andersson||Keri Frankenberger||South Carolina||6-0, 4-6, 6-2||4|
|1||#50 Alawi/Kanakova||Jeremiah/Morton||Not Played|
|3||Lechemia/Siles Luna||Burns/Taylor||Not Played|