Alawi, Kanakova Set to Compete in NCAA Doubles Championship|
May 22, 2013
Jaklin Alawi and junior Dominika Kanakova from the South Carolina women's tennis team begin play in the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championship on Thursday in Urbana, Ill., at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center. The No. 29-ranked duo in the nation will take on No. 22 Melissa Kopinski and Rachael White of Illinois in the first round.
Alawi and Kanakova enter the tournament with their highest ranking of the season. The two own a record of 24-10 together this season, making them the winningest Carolina duo in a single season since the 2001-02 campaign. They posted a 15-5 record together at No. 1 doubles and went 6-3 at the spot in SEC matches. Their top victory of the season came against Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane of Alabama in March, a team ranked No. 6 at the time and now rated seventh. They also defeated Pleun Burgmans and Plamena Kurteva of Auburn, a team currently ranked 10th.
South Carolina has placed a singles competitor or doubles team in 25 of 32 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships. Laura Bernstein is the only Gamecock to advance to the round of 16 in singles, doing so in 1983. In doubles, Helen Crook and Victoria Davies are the only South Carolina duo to go as far as the semifinals, which happened in 1994. The last Gamecock tandem to compete in the doubles tournament was Ana Marija Zubori and Natasa Vuckovic in 2009.