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March 17, 2012

March 17, 2012
Team S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 D1 D2 D3 F
Georgia State L L W L W W L L L 3
S. Carolina W W L W L L W W W 4

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The 35th-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team survived with a 4-3 win over No. 66 Georgia State on Saturday at Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks improved to 9-4 overall on the year with the win, while the Panthers dropped to 7-5.

“We knew this was going to be a very tough match,” interim head coach Katarina Petrovic said. “Georgia State deserves to be ranked in the top 40. They have a very good team and they’re very well coached. I’m proud of my girls clinching the doubles point and I’m really pleased with the effort from all the girls.”

The Gamecocks earned a sweep in doubles, their fourth of the season and first since facing College of Charleston on Feb. 24. At three, Katerina Popova and Josefin Andersson cruised by Masa Grgan and Martina Ondrackova by an 8-1 score for the Gamecocks’ first victory. With the win, the duo earned its 10th win of the season, tops for South Carolina this year.

After Andersson and Popova won, court two was tied 6-all and court one was tied 4-all. Anya Morgina and Jaklin Alawi fell behind Georgia State’s Tereza Lerova and Abigail Tere-Apisah 3-0 at the No. 1 position before getting it back to 4-all. The two then went on to win 8-4, claiming eight of nine games to close out the match and put Carolina ahead 1-0.

On the second doubles court, Adriana Pereira and Dominika Kanakova found themselves trailing Whitney Byrd and Maryna Kozachenko 6-4 before getting the match back to 6-all. After pulling ahead 7-6, the Gamecocks had several opportunities to win the match on the Panthers’ serve, but GSU held serve for 7-all. Pereira then held at love in the next game and the Gamecocks earned a break in the ensuing game to pick up the 9-7 victory and complete the sweep.

It look little time for South Carolina to pull ahead 3-0 with two quick wins where the Gamecocks lost just three games combined. Alawi finished first with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph over Lerova on court two and Popova followed with a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Kozachenko at No. 4 singles.

Georgia State answered back with a pair of straight set wins on courts five and six. At five, Grgan defeated Pereira 7-5, 6-2 despite trailing 5-3 in the first set. Within minutes, Chaimaa Roudami recorded a 6-4, 6-2 win versus Andersson at the No. 6 slot to pull the Panthers within a point.

With Carolina leading 3-2, Morgina and Tere-Apisah were preparing to head to a third set on court one. At the No. 3 position, Kanakova lost the first set to Byrd in a tiebreaker but was ahead 4-1 in the second.

Morgina stepped up to provide the clinching point for the Gamecocks in singles. In the third set, Morgina charged out to a 4-0 lead and nearly went ahead 5-1 with a 40-15 lead on her serve in the sixth game, but Tere-Apisah responded with a break to make it 4-2. Morgina came right back with a break in the next game and then held to record a 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-2 win over the nation’s No. 34-ranked player.

“This match put my self confidence a little bit higher because she’s ranked higher than me,” Morgina said. “I knew that I had to pull off that match. The whole team played really, really well today. Everybody had good effort on the court. It’s nice to be the clincher; it doesn’t happen to me very often because I’m usually the first one to finish. Still, it’s the whole team that won and it’s not only about me.”

In the final match on court three, Kanakova lost the first set in a tiebreaker 7-4, but held on to win the second 6-4 after leading 5-1. In the third, Kanakova won the first game, but Byrd won six of the next seven games to pick up the 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-2 win.

South Carolina will be back in action Sunday hosting Old Dominion at 11 a.m. at Carolina Tennis Center.

1. #45 Anya Morgina, USC, def. #34 Abigail Tere-Apisah, GSU, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-2
2. #82 Jaklin Alawi, USC, def. Tereza Lerova, GSU, 6-0, 6-2
3. Whitney Byrd, GSU, def. Dominika Kanakova, USC, 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-2
4. Katerina Popova, USC, def. Maryna Kozachenko, GSU, 6-0, 6-1
5. Masa Grgan, GSU, def. Adriana Pereira, USC, 7-5, 6-2
6. Chaimaa Roudami, GSU, def. Josefin Andersson, USC, 6-4, 6-2

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

1. #70 Alawi/Morgina, USC, def. Lerova/Tere-Apisah, GSU, 8-4
2. Kanakova/Pereira, USC, def. Byrd/Kozachenko, GSU, 9-7
3. Andersson/Popova, USC, def. Grgan/Martina Ondrackova, GSU, 8-1

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2