March 14, 2018
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina women's tennis junior Paige Cline has been named the SEC Player of the Week, it was announced Wednesday.
Cline clinched both of the Gamecocks’ wins this weekend against No. 35 Texas A&M and No. 36 LSU. At No. 4 singles, Cline went 2-0 on the weekend, defeating Texas A&M’s Tatiana Makarova, 6-4, 6-2, and LSU’s Kennan Johnson, 6-4, 6-2. In her singles match against Johnson, Cline mounted a huge first-set comeback after trailing, 2-4. She tied the score at 4 all and went on to take the first set, 6-4. With the momentum in her favor, Cline jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second set before sealing the deal for the Gamecocks.
This marks Cline's first SEC Player of the Week honor of her collegiate career. She was named SEC Freshman of the Week on March 14, 2016.
Cline and fellow All-American partner Hadley Berg clinched the doubles point against Texas A&M, defeating Eva Paalma and Domenica Gonzalez, 6-1, at No. 1 doubles. Cline and Berg are 3-0 at No. 1 doubles and have won three straight matches when paired together. Individually, Cline is 14-9 overall and 6-2 in dual match doubles play. The Gamecocks (12-3, 4-0 SEC) have captured the doubles point in seven straight matches and are undefeated in SEC doubles play.
"Paige had a great weekend," head coach Kevin Epley said. "She has been working hard on staying focused to close out matches and clinching two big matches for us is a big step for her and the team."
After Silvia Chinellato suffered an injury that took her out of the singles lineup in early February, Cline has stepped up to fill the void at No. 4 singles and has been a key factor in the team’s success to start SEC play. The Gamecocks have won seven straight matches, are 8-0 at home and hold a 4-0 record in the SEC.
Cline's award marks the third SEC weekly honor for the Gamecocks this season. Previously, Megan Davies was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Feb. 7 and Hadley Berg was named the SEC Player of the Week on March 7.
Cline and the Gamecocks will be back in action this week with two SEC road matches at No. 30 Tennessee at 6 p.m. Friday and at No. 8 Georgia at 1 p.m. Sunday.
For updates, continue to check back with GamecocksOnline.com or follow the team on social media (@GamecockWTennis).
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