Women's Tennis Returns to Action in San Diego
Feb. 15, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The 26th-ranked South Carolina women's tennis team returns to action following a two-plus-week hiatus with matches against No. 35 San Diego and Loyola Marymount on Friday and Saturday at 4:30 and 4 p.m. ET in San Diego.
The Gamecocks (2-1) opened the season Jan. 25 with a 7-0 win against Furman in the first match ever played at Carolina Tennis Center, the new home for both South Carolina's men's and women's teams. From there, South Carolina defeated William & Mary by a 4-1 margin in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Atlanta. The Gamecocks suffered a 4-0 setback the following day to host Georgia Tech.
San Diego (1-3) continues a tough opening season stretch when it faces the Gamecocks, its fifth straight contest versus a team ranked in the ITA's top 40. USD competed in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend to begin its season, first playing No. 28 Washington in Berkeley, Calif. The Toreros fell 5-2 to the Huskies but recovered to defeat No. 38 UNLV by a 6-1 score in a consolation match. San Diego dropped its next two matches on the road to No. 33 Arizona and No. 19 Arizona State by 5-2 and 4-3 counts.
Loyola Marymount (0-5) has struggled this season, losing matches to No. 39 Long Beach State, No. 4 UCLA, No. 46 Cal Poly, Hawaii, and No. 75 Wyoming. The Lions host No. 66 Cal State Northridge on Wednesday before facing the Gamecocks.
South Carolina has its top three players in the singles rankings with Anya Morgina leading the way at No. 20. Playing the second spot in the lineup is Jaklin Alawi, ranked 33rd, and Dijana Stojic holds a national billing of 80th at No. 3 singles. Alawi and Stojic are 1-1 this spring in dual matches while Morgina holds a perfect 2-0 record. Alawi leads the Gamecocks in overall singles wins with a 12-3 mark.
The bottom half of the Gamecocks' lineup has consisted of Katerina Popova at No. 4 singles, Dominika Kanakova at No. 5 and Adriana Pereira playing on court six. Popova is off to a 2-1 start and won the clinching point versus William & Mary in a nearly five-hour match between the two schools. Kanakova is unbeaten at 2-0 and Pereira is 1-1. Both Kanakova and Pereira are second on the team in overall singles wins with 9-2 records.
In doubles, Carolina has gone with Stojic and Alawi at the top position and they are 2-0 together this spring and 5-3 overall. Josefin Andersson and Morgina are 2-1 on court two, and Kanakova and Popova have combined for a 1-1 mark.
San Diego's strongest position through four matches this year has been the No. 3 spot with Juliette Coupez going 3-1. Coupez is 11-4 overall, second on the team in overall wins to Laura Claus' 12-6 mark. Claus is 2-2 at No. 2 singles, as is Marite Raygada on court five and Maja Sujica on court six. In doubles, Anna Depenau and Sujica have been the most consistent duo with a 3-0 record at No. 3 doubles. Claus and Coupez are 2-0 on court two and 1-1 playing the top spot.
Loyola Marymount's top two players in singles have been Tory Parravi with a 3-2 record on court four and Elisaveta Pironkova, who is 3-1 playing No. 5 singles and 0-1 at No. 6. The Lions have struggled in doubles contests, winning just one match in dual competition with the combination of Miya Jin and Claudia Razzeto at No. 2 doubles.
After the Gamecocks' West Coast swing, they will return to host three consecutive matches beginning with No. 15 Clemson on Feb. 22 at 2 p.m., No. 70 College of Charleston on Feb. 24 at 3 p.m., and Winthrop on Feb. 26 at 1 p.m.