April 8, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The 32nd-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team completed a weekend sweep of both its SEC matches by defeating Arkansas 7-0 on Sunday at Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina improved to 14-6 with the win and 5-5 in the SEC, while Arkansas dropped to 10-11 and 2-8 in league play.
“We won two amazing matches,” interim head coach Katarina Petrovic said. “I’m sure that Arlo was with us and was so proud of these two unbelievable wins. To beat No. 39 and No. 40 the way we did, I have no words. This was a total team effort. This was not an easy match — the score may look easy — but Arkansas is a really good team.”
The Gamecocks managed to win the doubles point with victories on courts two and three. Arkansas struck first, though, with Laurie Gingras and Claudine Paulson defeating Jaklin Alawi and Dijana Stojic 8-3 after trailing 2-0 after the first couple games.
South Carolina picked up its first win thanks to Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova upending Kate Lukomskaya and Catherine Parenteau on court three 8-6. Andersson and Popova fell behind 5-1 before getting the score back to 5-4. Lukomskaya and Parenteau then went ahead 6-4, but Popova and Andersson responded by winning four straight games to pick up the victory.
The deciding match at No. 2 doubles saw Anya Morgina and Dominika Kanakova leading Emily Carbone and Stephanie Roy 5-4 when the No. 3 match finished. Arkansas tied the match up at 5-all, but South Carolina countered to take a 6-5 advantage. Morgina and Kanakova earned a break of serve in the next game and Morgina served out the match for an 8-5 win and 1-0 Carolina lead heading to singles.
It was a race between courts four and six to see which point would be Carolina’s first in singles play. The Gamecocks’ Pereira ended up being the winner with a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Parenteau on court six. Minutes later, Popova added to the Gamecocks’ total by defeating Gingras 7-5, 6-2 at the No. 4 spot.
Morgina clinched the contest for South Carolina for the second match in a row. After falling behind 5-4 in the first set to Roy on court one, Roy and Morgina battled back and forth in the 10th game, and Morgina finally emerged with the game for 5-all. She then took the next two games for a 7-5 win in the first set. In the second, Morgina dominated from the beginning, winning the match 6-1 on a running backhand winner down the line.
Alawi ran the score to 5-0 following her straight set victory at two. After leading 4-1 in the first set, Carbone fought back to take a 5-4 lead and had multiple set points that Alawi managed to fight off to make the score 5-all. Carbone took the next game, but Alawi broke serve and forced a tiebreaker, which she won 7-4. Like Morgina, Alawi dominated the second set, winning 6-0 to run her record to a team best 25-7 this season. She also owns a 14-5 record in dual matches and is 6-4 versus SEC foes.
Stojic posted the next win for South Carolina with a three set triumph over Lukomskaya at the No. 5 position. Stojic won the first 6-3 and then dropped the second by the same score. Since South Carolina had already claimed the win, the two played a super tiebreaker for the third, which Stojic won 10-5.
Kanakova closed out the day by winning her third consecutive match at No. 3 singles. She won the first set 6-3 against Paulson and after faltering 6-0 in the second, Kanakova regrouped with a 6-3 victory in the third to improve to 18-9 this season and 11-7 in dual matches.
“It’s challenging for me to play at a higher position,” Kanakova said. “I know I have to play my best tennis. I always try to give 100 percent and these matches can only give me positive things and I can only improve playing at this position. As a team — I’m really proud of my team — I think we are more together after everything that has happened. I think we are all playing well.”
South Carolina will wrap up the regular season Saturday when it hosts No. 2 Florida at 11 a.m. at Carolina Tennis Center.
1. #35 Anya Morgina, USC, def. Stephanie Roy, UA, 7-5, 6-1
2. #68 Jaklin Alawi, USC, def. Emily Carbone, UA, 7-6 (7-4), 6-0
3. Dominika Kanakova, USC, def. Claudine Paulson, UA, 6-3, 0-6, 6-3
4. Katerina Popova, USC, def. Laurie Gingras, UA, 7-5, 6-2
5. #71 Dijana Stojic, USC, def. Kate Lukomskaya, UA, 6-3, 3-6, (10-5)
6. Adriana Pereira, USC, def. Catherine Parenteau, UA, 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: 6, 4, 1, 2, 5, 3
1. Gingras/Paulson, UA, def. #68 Alawi/Stojic, USC, 8-3
2. Kanakova/Morgina, USC, def. Carbone/Roy, UA, 8-5
3. Josefin Andersson/Popova, USC, def. Lukomskaya/Parenteau, UA, 8-6
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2