March 8, 2018
No. 35 Texas A&M and No. 36 LSU at No. 11 South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- After starting 2018 SEC play with two road wins, No. 11 South Carolina women's tennis will host its first SEC opponents in No. 35 Texas A&M and No. 36 LSU on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
The Gamecocks are coming off a successful weekend of conference play on the road in Mississippi, defeating Mississippi State, 4-2, and sweeping No. 7 Ole Miss, 4-0. The Gamecocks own a five-match winning streak, including four sweeps, and have won the doubles point in their last five matches.
South Carolina is 8-5 all-time against Texas A&M, including a 4-2 road win in March of last season. Against LSU, South Carolina holds a 22-6 all-time lead, losing the last matchup in Baton Rouge on March 5.
"We always have competitive matches against Texas A&M and LSU, and we expect nothing less this weekend. The key to the SEC season is to learn to acquire the tools to prepare for each match equally well. We can't get high with wins or down about losses. We are going to take these matches one at a time and make sure we are taking care of things on our side of the court for every match." -- Head Coach Kevin Epley
- After being ranked No.13 nationally last week, the Gamecocks moved up two spots in this week's Oracle and ITA polls to a season-high No. 11.
- The Gamecocks are ranked at a season-high No. 11 by the USTA, it was announced March 7. The team received 128 points, 20 more than last week, and is one of eight SEC teams ranked in the Top 25.
- Ranked in singles: Hadley Berg (29), Ingrid Gamarra Martins (110), Megan Davies (121)
- Ranked in doubles: Megan Davies and Silvia Chinellato (63), Paige Cline and Ingrid Gamarra Martins (79)
- For the first time in her collegiate career, the No. 29 Berg was named the SEC Player of the Week, it was announced March 7. Berg's ranking at No. 29 is a career-high. Previously, the senior's highest singles ranking was No. 38 as of Feb. 7, 2018.
- South Carolina has utilized 11 doubles pairs in 2018. Junior Rachel Rohrabacher and freshman Megan Davies lead the team at 6-0 in 2018 and are 5-0 in dual match play. The Gamecocks have captured the doubles point in their last five matches.
- South Carolina is 2-2 against ranked opponents this season, defeating No. 11 Texas and No. 7 Ole Miss, but falling to No. 9 Duke and No. 13 UCLA.
- 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 Feb. 1.
- Rohrabacher holds a team-high seven-match winning streak in singles, with a perfect 5-0 record at the No. 6 spot in the lineup. Individually, the junior is 7-1 in 2018 dual match doubles play.
- At 18-3 in singles this season, Berg is tied with Brigit Folland for seventh on the career list for singles wins with 92. She is looking to become just the fourth player in school history with 100 wins.
- Berg's 18-3 singles record this season has her at 92-30 overall for her career, with a winning percentage of .754 that ranks seventh in school history.
- The Gamecocks have amassed six sweeps this season: Oklahoma, Clemson, North Florida, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina and No. 7 Ole Miss.
- Epley is six match wins away from reaching 100 at South Carolina and is five wins from 250 overall on his career.
- 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.
SCOUTING NO. 35 TEXAS A&M
- Ranked in singles: Domenica Gonzalez (111)
- The Aggies are 10-2 overall this season and 1-1 in SEC play. They are coming off a home loss to Georgia on March 3.
- Last season, Texas A&M finished with an 18-13 overall record and went 6-7 in SEC play.
- The Texas A&M roster is composed of four freshmen and three seniors.
- Head Coach Mark Weaver is in his third season with the team.
- Last season, the Aggies advanced to the 2017 NCAA Tournament Round of 16, but fell to Florida in a sweep. The team sent two seniors -- Rutuja Bhosale and Rachel Pierson -- to the 2017 NCAA Singles Championship.
- Freshman Riley McQuaid and senior Macarena Olivares have been the most consistent for the Aggies in singles at 10-1 and 11-1 in 2018, respectively. Olivares is the sole Aggie who is still undefeated in conference play at 2-0, including a victory in straight sets over No. 53 Kennedy Shaffer of Georgia.
- Texas A&M has utilized 10 doubles combinations this season. Domenica Gonzalez and Eva Paalma are 4-2 at No. 1 doubles, while Dorthea Faa-Hviding and Riley McQuaid are 5-1 at No. 3 doubles.
SCOUTING NO. 36 LSU
- Ranked in singles: Elyse Lavender (62), Jessica Golovin (67)
- Ranked in doubles: Jessica Golovin and Eden Richardson (50), Ryann Foster and Elyse Lavender (77)
- The Tigers are 10-2 this season with a 1-1 record in SEC play. They are coming off a 4-3 win over No. 17 Tennessee on March 4. Their sole SEC loss was a sweep to No. 10 Georgia on March 2. They also lost to Washington in the opening match of ITA Kick-Off Weekend, eliminating them from ITA Indoors contention.
- The LSU roster is composed of three freshmen, three juniors and one senior.
- Golovin leads the team with an 11-0 singles record in 2018. She is 5-0 at No. 2 singles, 2-0 at No. 3 singles and 4-0 at No. 4 singles, but has yet to face any nationally ranked opponents this season.
- The Tigers have utilized four doubles combinations this season. Golovin and Eden Richardson are the team's most productive tandem at 7-2 overall at No. 2 doubles, while Foster and Johnson are 5-4 at the No. 1 spot.
- The Tigers are led by co-head coaches Julia Sell and Michael Sell, who have been with the program for five years.
- Richardson has been productive for the Tigers this season, holding an 8-1 record at No. 3 singles and a 10-1 overall record.
- Last season, the Tigers were 15-11 overall, with a 6-7 record in SEC play.
- In last season's NCAA Tournament, LSU won its first match over Tulsa, 4-3, but lost in the second round to California. The Tigers sent Jade Lewis and Joana Valle Costa to the NCAA Singles Championship last season, and Ryann Foster and Valle Costa to the NCAA Doubles Championship. The tandem of Valle Costa and Foster made it to the semifinal round before it was eliminated by a duo from Alabama.
- LSU has struggled to get production at No. 6 singles this season, going 2-8 there in dual match play. Freshman Ashton Rabalais is 0-6 overall at No. 6 singles.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
The Gamecocks will hit the road for two tough SEC tests at No. 28 Tennessee on March 16 and at No. 7 Georgia on March 18. The Gamecocks are 15-46 all-time against Georgia, and 20-26 all-time against Tennessee. South Carolina holds a three-match winning streak over the Volunteers dating back to April 10, 2015, but lost its past seven matches against the Bulldogs dating back to April 10, 2011.
For updates, continue to check back with GamecocksOnline.com or follow the team on social media (@GamecockWTennis).