Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

March 16, 2011

Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif

South Carolina vs. Virginia Commonwealth
March 16, 2011 • Columbia, S.C.
Team S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 D1 D2 D3 Total
South Carolina W W L W W L L W L 4
Coach Elkins

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The 33rd-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team extended its winning streak to three matches Wednesday with a 4-3 victory against No. 30 Virginia Commonwealth at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks upped their mark to 9-4 in 2011, while the Rams fell to 14-3.

Court three decided the doubles point after the two squads split one and two. Court one finished just seconds ahead of court two with No. 32-ranked Alex Bara and Kateryna Yergina defeating No. 34 Dominika Kanakova and Dijana Stojic 8-4. Anya Morgina and Miljana Jocic then answered at two with an 8-5 victory against Ana Bara and Josefin Hjertquist.

After trailing 5-3, the Gamecocks’ Madeleine Saari-Byström and Katerina Popova charged back to win three straight games to take a 6-5 lead at the changeover on court three versus Manuela Pietzuch and Daria Yakavleva. Yakavleva then held serve to make it 6-all. Three breaks of serve followed to give Yakavleva a chance to serve for the match and she followed through to give the Rams a 1-0 advantage heading to singles.

“I thought their No. 1 team played really well,” head coach Arlo Elkins said. “I’m not sure it’s anything we did that lost that match for us. The No. 3 match I was disappointed in because we lost 9-7 and we had game points in seven of those nine games we lost. That’s just letting too many opportunities go, and we just can’t do that.”

The Gamecocks responded in singles, winning first sets on four courts and two of them coming by 6-0 scores. Saari-Byström got South Carolina on the board with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph against Ana Bara at No. 4 singles to snap a four-match losing streak.

Morgina then collected her third victory in a row and moved her record at No. 1 singles on the year above .500 to 7-6. She upended Yergina in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 using a steady stream of winners and intelligent shot selection. Morgina leads the team in singles victories this season with 17.

“It’s what I call controlled aggression,” Elkins said of Morgina’s play. “She was being very aggressive with her shots, but also under control. Sometimes, she really over hits and goes for too much, but the last three matches she’s played, she’s kept herself under control very well and waited for the right opportunity to go for the shots, and fortunately they’re going in for her.”

Kanakova then pushed Carolina ahead 3-1 with a 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Olga Terteac on court five. Kanakova trailed 5-3 in the second set tiebreaker before winning four rallies in a row to snag the win. It snapped a two-match losing streak for the freshman and upped her record on the season to 16-6.

The Rams added another point to their team total with a win on court three to make it 3-2. Alex Bara trailed Popova 4-1 in the first set but fought back to win five straight games and take the set 6-4. In the second, she got a 4-1 lead before eventually winning the set 6-2.

For the third match in a row, Stojic clinched the match for the Gamecocks with a three-set win over Hjertquist at No. 2 singles. After winning the first set 6-0, Hjertquist began hitting multiple winners and her aggressive net play earned her an 8-6 win a tiebreaker to force a third set. Stojic, though, rose to the occasion again and blanked Hjertquist 6-0 to improve to 15-6 overall and 9-3 on court two. For the season, Stojic has clinched five of South Carolina’s nine wins.

“I said it last time and I’ll say it again, I think it’s really unusual to have one player always be in that position,” Elkins said. “Dijana seems to always be in that position to win or lose the match for us and it was that way again today. The results have pretty much been the same. She pulls the match out for us again. We’re really thankful for that and glad she’s playing as well as she is in that third set.”

The Rams grabbed the final point of the match on court six. Yakavleva beat Adriana Pereira 6-1 in the first set, but Pereira responded with a 6-4 win for the second. Yakavleva then took a 5-2 lead in the third set, but Pereira countered to win two games and get the match back on serve. The final game went to Yakavleva, though, as she broke Pereira at love to win 6-4.

South Carolina concludes its non-conference schedule Sunday when it travels to Charleston, S.C., to face College of Charleston at 1 p.m.

1. #41 Anya Morgina, USC, def. Kateryna Yergina, VCU, 6-3, 7-5
2. #103 Dijana Stojic, USC, def. Josefin Hjertquist, VCU, 6-0, 6-7 (8-6), 6-0
3. #125 Alex Bara, VCU, def. Katerina Popova, USC, 6-4, 6-2
4. Madeleine Saari-Byström, USC, def. Ana Bara, VCU, 6-1, 6-2
5. Dominika Kanakova, USC, def. Olga Terteac, VCU, 6-0, 7-6 (7-5)
6. Daria Yakavleva, VCU, def. Adriana Pereira, USC, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4

Order of Finish: 4, 1, 5, 3, 2, 6

1. #32 Alex Bara/Yergina, VCU, def. #34 Kanakova/Stojic, USC, 8-4
2. Miljana Jocic/Morgina, USC, def. Ana Bara/Hjertquist, VCU, 8-5
3. Manuela Pietzuch/Yakavleva, VCU, def. Popova/Saari-Bystrom, USC, 9-7

Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3