Feb. 23, 2018
North Florida, Charleston Southern & Coastal Carolina at No. 11 South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 11 South Carolina women's tennis (5-3) will welcome three teams to the Carolina Tennis Center on Saturday and Sunday for its last non-conference matches of the 2018 regular season.
South Carolina will start the three-match weekend with a doubleheader against North Florida at 10 a.m. and Charleston Southern at 2 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a match against Coastal Carolina at 11 a.m. on Sunday. The Gamecocks have never lost a match to any of these three opponents, holding a 9-0 all-time series record with North Florida, a 3-0 all-time series record with Charleston Southern and a 3-0 all-times series record with Coastal Carolina.
The Gamecocks enter these matchups after a weekend off, but spent the previous weekend at the ITA Women's Team National Indoors Championships. The Gamecocks went 1-2 at ITA Indoors, including a 4-2 win over No. 11 Texas. The team's appearance in ITA Indoors was its first in the event's current format, which began in 2009, and the first career appearance in the event for head coach Kevin Epley.
"We are excited to get back to match play prior to the SEC season. We weren't thrilled with our performance at ITA Indoors and we have been tidying up some things with the team. I am hoping we will be in good form this weekend, so we can move into SEC play feeling good about where we are." -- Head Coach Kevin Epley
- The Gamecocks are ranked at a season-high No. 11 in the nation by the ITA, it was announced Feb. 20.
- The Gamecocks are ranked at No. 13 by the USTA, it was announced Feb. 21. The team received 107 votes and is one of six SEC teams ranked in the Top 25.
- Junior Rachel Rohrabacher has come on strong this spring in singles, already tying her career singles wins in dual match play with a 4-0 record at No. 6 in 2018. 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.
- Megan 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. She is the first and sole Gamecock to earn weekly honors from the SEC so far 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 (45), Ingrid Gamarra Martins (124) as of Feb. 20
- Ranked in doubles: Davies and Silvia Chinellato (40)
- Although she went 0-2 in singles at ITA Indoors, 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 15-3 singles record this season has her at 89-30 overall for her career, with a winning percentage of 74.7 that ranks seventh in school history.
- Epley is 11 match wins away from reaching 100 at South Carolina and is 10 wins from 250 overall on his career.
SCOUTING NORTH FLORIDA
- South Carolina holds a 9-0 all-time series record against North Florida dating back to 1985. Of the Gamecocks' nine wins against North Florida, five have been sweeps.
- The Gamecocks and Ospreys met twice last season, including South Carolina's 4-0 road win on Jan. 21, 2017 and its 4-0 home win on May 12, 2017.
- North Florida is 6-3 this season with wins against New Orleans, Middle Tennessee, Florida A&M, Flagler, ULM and Troy.
- North Florida's roster is composed of three freshmen, one sophomore, two juniors and one senior.
- The Ospreys are coached by Mariana Cobra, who is in her second season with the team after spending the previous two seasons as the head coach at the University of Idaho. Cobra led the Vandals to back-to-back Big Sky Championships and a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
- Last season, North Florida won its third straight ASUN Conference title with a 4-3 road victory over top-seeded FGCU. The Ospreys went 15-9 last season, with a 4-1 record in the ASUN Conference.
- The last time the Gamecocks and Ospreys met in dual match play was in the first round of the NCAA team tournament on May 12. The Gamecocks earned a 4-0 sweeping victory, eliminating North Florida from the tournament. In that match, the Gamecocks captured the doubles point, while Mia Horvit defeated Rafaela Gomez, 7-5, 6-1, Hadley Berg defeated Luise Intert, 6-0, 6-1, and Brigit Folland defeated Kinga Gartner, 6-1, 6-1, in singles.
- The Ospreys also competed at the Carolina Tennis Center in the South Carolina Fall Invitational from Sept. 15-17, with Megan Davies defeating UNF's Luise Intert, 7-5, 6-3, Nikolina Jovic defeating Irina Karangozishvili, 6-3, 6-2, and Kennedy Wicker defeating Eva Nyikos, 7-5, 6-2, on the third day of the invitational.
- Last season, the Ospreys had five players place on ASUN Conference honorary teams: Michelle Valdez and Rafaela Gomez on the first team, Luise Intert and Kinga Gartner on the second team and Lucia Montano on the All-Freshman team.
SCOUTING CHARLESTON SOUTHERN
- The Gamecocks are 3-0 all-time against the Buccaneers, last facing on Feb. 9, 2014. In that match, the Gamecocks earned a 7-0 victory by taking the doubles point and winning all six singles matches in straight sets.
- Charleston Southern is 2-2 this season with wins against UNC Wilmington and South Carolina State, and losses against Clemson and Appalachian State.
- Charleston Southern's roster is composed of four freshmen, two sophomores, three juniors and two seniors.
- Head Coach Mike Baker has been with the Buccaneers since 2006, earning Big South Coach of the Year honors for the women's team three times.
- Charleston Southern finished the 2016-17 with a 17-3 overall record and went 7-1 in conference play. The Bucs made it to the championship match of the Big South Conference Championships, but were defeated by Winthrop, 4-1.
- Last season, Charleston Southern rattled off a 14-match winning streak, dating from Feb. 11 -- April 9.
- The No. 11 Gamecocks are the first ranked opponent this season for the Bucs, who have faced Clemson, UNC Wilmington, Appalachian State and South Carolina State so far.
SCOUTING COASTAL CAROLINA
- The Gamecocks own a 3-0 all-time series lead against Coastal Carolina, dating back to March 11, 1991. All three of those wins -- 8-0 in 1991, 7-0 in 2016 and 4-0 in 2017 -- were sweeps.
- The last time these two squads met was on March 19, 2017, in South Carolina's 4-0 victory at the Carolina Tennis Center. In the match, the Gamecocks captured the doubles point, while Silvia Chinellato defeated Marie Babayan, 6-2 , 6-1, Hadley Berg defeated Sara Bondar, 6-2 , 6-0, and Brigit Folland defeated Romane Delay, 6-1 , 6-1, in singles.
- Coastal Carolina's roster is composed of two freshmen, three sophomores, one junior and three seniors.
- The No. 11 Gamecocks are the first ranked opponent this season for the Chanticleers, who have faced Furman, UNC Wilmington, Georgia State, Emory, Campbell, Wofford, North Carolina A&T, St. John's and ECU so far.
- South Carolina alum Catherine Hewitt is in her sixth season as head coach of the Chanticleers. Hewitt played with the Gamecocks from 2000-2003, finishing her collegiate career with a 43-34 singles record and a 61-47 doubles record. She is tied for 10th on the program season doubles wins list for her 16-7 record in 2000-01. She is also tied for fourth on the SEC regular-season doubles wins list for her 7-4 record in 2001.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
The Gamecocks will open SEC play at Mississippi State at 5 p.m. on March 1. South Carolina holds a 28-2 all-time series lead against the Bulldogs, including its most recent 4-1 win at the Carolina Tennis Center on April 7, 2017.
For updates, continue to check back with GamecocksOnline.com or follow the team on social media (@GamecockWTennis).