Sept. 16, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina women's tennis refused to surrender a single point for the second-consecutive day at the South Carolina Fall Invitational as the Gamecocks swept through Marshall in the morning singles matches before closing the day with commanding victories over Middle Tennessee State in the afternoon doubles portion Saturday.
Freshman Kennedy Wicker set the tone for the day, cruising to a 6-0, 6-0 victory on Court 6 to start the day. From there, Carolina showed no signs of early-season rust or jitters on its way to sweeping all 21 points available in the singles matches. Wicker, Hadley Berg and Paige Cline earned the first three victories of the morning, with each rolling to two-set victories. All together, four of the six matches were finished in two sets.
Through two days of competition, the Gamecocks have finished seven of their 12 singles matches in two sets, the most of any team in the field.
"I felt like we came out a little bit tired," head coach Kevin Epley said. "Not a lot, but subtly frazzled. But once we go the competitive spirit going we started playing better. We saw some good tennis again. Doubles, we have a couple things to work on but that's expected. We're looking to come out tomorrow in doubles with a little more energy. But overall I'm very impressed with the girls and what they're showing us."
Carolina returned in the afternoon with the same intensity and passion shown throughout the first three sessions as it paved its way to another points sweep.
Having arranged the doubles lineup with minor adjustments from Friday, the Gamecocks attacked MTSU with momentum earned with the wins the day before as they overwhelmed their opponents with communication, speed and power.
"I think we've taken a lot of confidence from the first two days," Cline said. "Being the host team gives us an advantage. We're defending our home ground. We just need to keep the ball rolling into tomorrow."
South Carolina returns to action tomorrow with the final day of competition at the South Carolina Fall Invitational set to begin at 9 a.m. at the Carolina Tennis Center.
1. Paige Cline (SC) def. Stephanie Smith (Marshall) 7-5, 6-1
1. #7 Paige Cline/Hadley Berg (SC) def. Kim Kermet/Luisa Zirilli (MTSU) 6-2
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