May 19, 2017
ATHENS, Ga. — No. 14 South Carolina forced a battle but fell 4-1 to No. 2 Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 Friday afternoon at the Dan McGill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia. Freshman Mia Horvit (47) posted the only singles victory of the day, rallying from a deficit to defeat her opponent on court two.
The Gamecocks lost a tight doubles point, falling on courts one and three. The No. 2 doubles match between South Carolina's Brigit Folland and Ingrid Gamarra Martins, and Ohio State's Anna Sanford and Sandy Niehaus finished just ahead of court three. Folland and Martins battled early, fighting to a 2-2 score before finding their rhythm to win two-straight games. Martins closed out the match with an ace to make a 6-3 final score.
On No. 1 doubles, Paige Cline and Hadley Berg (25) fell behind 0-4 early and couldn't seem to find their rhythm, eventually falling 6-1. The doubles point came down to court three where Caroline Dailey and Rachel Rohrabacher eventually fell 6-3 to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead heading into singles play.
The Buckeyes took command on courts one and five but had to work for first-set wins on four and six. Francesca Di Lorenzo (1) doubled Ohio State's lead with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Martins (49). Niehaus (112) contributed next, taking down Berg 6-3, 6-0 in the No. 5 spot. The loss is Berg's first in NCAA Tournament play, bringing her career tournament record to 5-1 in singles play.
Horvit (47) put the Gamecocks on the board with an impressive performance on court two. She rallied from a 3-0 deficit to take six straight games in the first set. Horvit carried the momentum into the second set to post a dominating 6-3, 6-2 win over Sanford (67).
But Miho Kowase (91) clinched the match for Ohio State on court four with a 7-5, 6-2 score giving the Buckeyes the win with a 4-1 final score.
For more information on South Carolina women's tennis visit GamecocksOnline.com for updates.
Head Coach Kevin Epley: "I would say first of all, a big congratulations to Ohio State. Coming from the north, coming down to our conditions and our environment, it's hot. This isn't the kind of tennis they are used to playing. To be able to come out and establish that competitive spirit, to be able to come out and play doubles that strong and to have that kind of ball tolerance is a real credit to that team, that organization. As far as we go, they were just better on all those fronts. In big moments, they made their shots. We missed. We kind of backed off. We didn't play with enough courage at times. I would say they had a better ball tolerance, which was a surprise. We were expecting to be able to make more balls than them and outlast them, and I think they were just a little more con dent down the stretch. I think when the moments got big we got wide eyed. It looked like a moment there that we had a chance and then some of us just kind of went into a shell and some of us just couldn't get the ball in the court. That's the difference."
FINAL: #2 OHIO STATE (31-2) 4, #14 SOUTH CAROLINA (20-9) 1
SINGLES (5, 1, 2, 4)
DOUBLES (1, 2, 3)
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