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Women's Tennis

Gamecocks Prepare to Face No. 9 Duke In ITA Indoors Opening Match

Feb. 7, 2018

ITA National Indoors

MADISON, Wis. -- For the first time since the 1999-2000 season, No. 19 South Carolina women's tennis (4-1) will compete in the ITA Indoor National Championships, taking on seven-seeded and No. 9-ranked Duke in the first match at the University of Wisconsin on Friday.

South Carolina, which hosted ITA Kick-Off Weekend for the first time in program history, is riding a four-match winning streak, including a 4-0 victory over Clemson on Thursday at the Carolina Tennis Center. The Gamecocks secured the program's third trip to ITA Team Indoors with a 4-0 win over Oklahoma and a 4-1 win over Clemson on Jan. 26-27. The Gamecocks' appearance in ITA Indoors also marks the first in the event's current format, which began in 2009, and the first career appearance in the event for head coach Kevin Epley.

"Every single person on our team is super excited for it and it's an opportunity to see what we can do indoors against the top 16 teams," senior Hadley Berg said of ITA Indoors. "It's really like an NCAA Tournament at the beginning of the season, instead of at the end, so it's like seeing where we stack up before the SEC season gets started."

The Gamecocks will play at least three matches from Friday to Sunday. If the Gamecocks win their first three matches, they will play in the event's championship match on Monday.

Ranked at No. 9 in the nation by the ITA, Duke is the first ranked opponent the Gamecocks will face this season and currently owns a seven-match winning streak over South Carolina dating back to the 1995-96 season.

QUOTABLE

"We earned our opportunity to be at the Indoors. It's going to be a lot nicer going in there coming off a win and two pretty good wins. We're happy to be amongst the top 16 teams in the country and we're happy to have the opportunity to go out there and show what we got." -- Head Coach Kevin Epley

GAMECOCK NOTABLES

  • The Gamecocks are ranked at No. 19 in the nation by the ITA, it was announced Jan. 31.
  • The Gamecocks are ranked at No. 16 by the USTA, it was announced Feb. 7. The team received 87 votes and is one of five SEC teams ranked in the Top 25.
  • Junior Rachel Rohrabacher has come on strong this spring in singles with a 3-0 record at No. 6. Rohrabacher was used as a doubles specialist her first two seasons at South Carolina and posted records of 2-2 and 2-0 in limited singles play in 2016 and 2017.
  • Similar to Rohrabacher, Ingrid Gamarra Martins holds an undefeated record (3-0) in singles this spring, and is 3-0 in doubles when paired with Silvia Chinellato in dual match play.
  • All-American doubles team Paige Cline and Berg teamed up for the first time of the 2018 dual match campaign in South Carolina's latest match against Clemson. The duo helped the Gamecocks capture the doubles point by defeating Sydney Riley and Constanza Gorches, 6-3. With the win, the doubles tandem improved to 5-4 overall in 2017-18. In fall play, the All-Americans knocked off the top-ranked doubles team in the nation in Michigan's Kate Fahey and Alex Najarian at the Big 5 Challenge on Sept. 22.
  • After primarily playing in the No. 4-6 spots in her first three seasons at South Carolina, Berg is undefeated in top two lineup spots in 2018. The senior is 1-0 at the No. 1 spot and is 2-0 in the No. 2 spot, including her most recent 6-1, 6-2 victory over Clemson's Tate Schroeder on Feb. 1.
  • Berg's No. 38 national ranking in singles, which was announced by the ITA on Feb. 7, is a career high for the senior.
  • No. 38 Berg and Megan Davies hold the team's best individual singles records at 15-1 and 18-4, respectively.
  • Davies earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors on Feb. 7, following a perfect 6-0, 6-0 singles victory over Clemson's Constanza Gorches at the Carolina Tennis Center on Thursday. The freshman is the first Gamecock to earn weekly honors from the SEC this season.
  • The Gamecocks advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 last season for the first time since 2009, marking their 23rd consecutive postseason appearance.
  • South Carolina sent two singles players, Mia Horvit and Ingrid Gamarra Martins, to the Round of 32 of the NCAA Singles Championship for the first time since 1983 when Laura Bernstein and Ellen Oxreider both moved on. Horvit went on to reach the round of 16, making her the first singles All-American for South Carolina since Bernstein in 1983.
  • Ranked in singles: Hadley Berg (38), Mia Horvit (118)
  • Ranked in doubles: Davies and Silvia Chinellato (44)
  • With her last singles win against Tate Schroeder of Clemson, Berg is tied with Gira Schofield for ninth on the career list for singles wins with 89. She is looking to become just the fourth player in school history with 100 wins.
  • Berg's 15-1 singles record this season has her at 89-28 overall for her career, with a winning percentage of 76.1 that ranks sixth in school history.
  • Epley is 12 match wins away from reaching 100 at South Carolina and is 11 wins from 250 overall on his career.

SCOUTING NO. 9 DUKE

  • Duke is 4-0 in 2018 dual match play, and is coming off a 4-1 win over No. 10 Michigan.
  • The Blue Devils hosted ITA Kick-Off Weekend as the No. 1 seed in Durham, N.C., defeating Fresno State, 4-0, and Washington, 4-2 to advance to ITA Indoors.
  • Duke has advanced to ITA Indoors for 10 straight seasons dating back to 2009. Last season, Duke was defeated by five-seeded Georgia in the first round of the tournament.
  • The last time South Carolina faced Duke was May 10, 2014, at NCAA Regionals in Durham, N.C. The Blue Devils won that match, 4-0, and currently own a seven-match winning streak over the Gamecocks.
  • Duke is ranked at No. 8 in the nation by the USTA, and received 161 votes in the polls, it was announced Feb. 7.
  • The Blue Devils are coached by Jamie Ashworth, who has led the program to 20 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances since he first started there in 1997. The 20-year head coach led the Blue Devils to their first NCAA Championship in 2009.
  • Last season, Duke advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, but was defeated by North Carolina, 4-0. Duke sent two players to the 2017 NCAA Singles Championship in Chalena Scholl and Meible Chi. South Carolina's Mia Horvit defeated Chi in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1, in the Round of 32, while Scholl was defeated in the Round of 64.
  • Ranked in singles: Samantha Harris (9), Kelly Chen (30), Kaitlyn McCarthy (65), Meible Chi (106), Ellyse Hamlin (119)
  • Ranked in doubles: Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy (2), Samantha Harris and Kelly Chen (5)
  • Duke's roster is composed of two seniors, two juniors, one sophomore and two freshmen.

UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS

Following the conclusion of ITA Indoors, the Gamecocks will host North Florida and Charleston Southern in a dual match doubleheader on Feb. 24, beginning at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.

For updates, continue to check back with GamecocksOnline.com or follow the team on social media (@GamecockWTennis).

ITA Indoors First Round Matches

No. 1 Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest -- 6:30 p.m. (Courts 7-12)

No. 8 Florida vs. Wisconsin -- 6:30 p.m. (Courts 1-6)

No. 5 Georgia Tech vs. Michigan -- 3:30 p.m. (Courts 1-6)

No. 4 Pepperdine vs. Auburn -- 3:30 p.m. (Courts 7-12)

No. 3 North Carolina vs. Ole Miss -- 12 p.m. (Courts 7-12)

No. 6 Texas Tech vs. UCLA -- 12 p.m. (Courts 1-6)

No. 7 Duke vs. South Carolina -- 9 a.m. (Courts 1-6)

No. 2 Georgia vs. Texas -- 9 a.m. (Courts 7-12)

ITA Indoors Women's Qualifiers by conference

SEC (6) -- Auburn; Florida; Georgia; Ole Miss; South Carolina; Vanderbilt

ACC (4) -- Duke; Georgia Tech; North Carolina; Wake Forest

Big 12 (2) -- Texas; Texas Tech

Big Ten (1) -- Michigan

Pac-12 (1) -- UCLA

West Coast Conference (1) -- Pepperdine

ITA Indoors Women's Qualifiers By ITA Kick-Off Seeds

No. 1 (11) -- Auburn; Duke; Florida; Georgia; Georgia Tech; Michigan; North Carolina; Pepperdine; South Carolina; Texas Tech; Vanderbilt

No. 2 (1) -- UCLA

No. 3 (3) -- Ole Miss; Texas; Wake Forest
 

 

 

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