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March 23, 2012

March 23, 2012
Team S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 D1 D2 D3 F
S. Carolina L W L W L L L L W 2
Ole Miss W L W L W W W W L 5
Coach Petrovic

OXFORD, Miss. – The 32nd-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team suffered a 5-2 setback at No. 19 Ole Miss on Friday to fall to 10-5 and 1-4 in the SEC. The Rebels moved to 11-6 and 3-2 in league play with the win.

South Carolina dropped the doubles point, losing courts one and two while snagging a win on court three. The Rebels took court two first with Gabby Rangel and Erin Stephens upending Adriana Pereira and Dominika Kanakova 8-4. The match was tied 2-all after the first four games, but Rangel and Stephens ran the score to 7-3 before the Gamecocks held serve to make it 7-4. Ole Miss then held at love to take the match.

The Gamecocks responded with Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova defeating Julia Jones and Iris Verboven on court three. South Carolina led the entire way and had a 6-5 advantage after the first 11 games. South Carolina then used a break of serve to pull ahead 7-5 and ended the match with a break to make it an 8-5 final. With the win, Andersson and Popova extended their winning streak to five matches and improved to 12-6 overall on the season.

The final match at No. 1 doubles saw the fifth-ranked duo of Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie of Ole Miss race out to a 4-0 advantage on Jaklin Alawi and Anya Morgina. Alawi and Morgina fought back to make it 4-2 and had game points to make it 4-3, but Boxx and Guthrie held them off for a 5-2 advantage. South Carolina continued to stay in the match, eventually cutting the deficit to 6-5 to get the contest back on serve. Alawi had 40-30 on her serve at 6-5 down, but Ole Miss won three straight rallies for the break and a 7-5 lead. After several deuces on Guthrie’s serve in the next game, the Rebels managed to win the match 8-5 to take a 1-0 lead heading to singles play.

South Carolina stormed back in singles, picking up a couple of quick victories on courts two and four to earn a 2-1 lead. Alawi finished first at No. 2 singles with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Caroline Rohde-Moe followed by Popova’s 6-3, 6-0 victory against Jones at No. 4 singles. Ole Miss, though, evened the score at two apiece after Stephens defeated Kanakova 6-4, 6-2 at the No. 3 slot.

Ole Miss pulled ahead with a 6-3, 6-3 win from Vivian Vlaar at No. 6 singles over Andersson. On court five, Pereira lost the first set to Guthrie 6-3 but came back to force a third set after winning the second 6-3. In the third, Guthrie took advantage of miscues by Pereira to quickly lead 4-0, but Pereira fought back to win three straight games to close the margin to one. Guthrie, though, regrouped and was able to win the final two games to clinch the victory for the Rebels.

The final match on court one between Boxx and Morgina was in a third set with Boxx serving up 4-3 once Guthrie clinched the match. Morgina fell behind 4-1 in the third before getting one break back. Boxx held serve and Morgina followed to make it 5-4. Up 40-30 in the next game, Boxx held serve to win the match 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

“These are really tough matches,” interim head coach Katarina Petrovic said. “We knew Mississippi would be really good this year. Overall, we fought, but I thought we struggled at a couple positions. We have to do a better job at the bottom of the lineup. It’s very tough to win matches like this if you can’t compete at the bottom and we definitely need to improve there. Hopefully, Sunday is going to be a better match.”

The Gamecocks return to Columbia, S.C., to host Mississippi State on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Carolina Tennis Center.

1. #12 Kristi Boxx, OM, def. #45 Anya Morgina, USC, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4
2. #82 Jaklin Alawi, USC, def. #72 Caroline Rohde-Moe, OM, 6-1, 6-1
3. Erin Stephens, OM, def. Dominika Kanakova, USC, 6-4, 6-2
4. Katerina Popova, USC, def. Julia Jones, OM, 6-3, 6-0
5. Abby Guthrie, OM, def. Adriana Pereira, USC, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
6. Vivian Vlaar, OM, def. Josefin Andersson, USC, 6-3, 6-3

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

1. #5 Boxx/Guthrie, OM, def. #70 Alawi/Morgina, USC, 8-5
2. Gabby Rangel/Stephens, OM, def. Kanakova/Pereira, USC, 8-4
3. Andersson/Popova, USC, def. Jones/Iris Verboven, OM, 8-5

Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1