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Oct. 18, 2013

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team boasted a 7-0 record in singles play Friday at the USTA/ITA Carolina Regional Championships in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Gamecocks won all seven singles contests in straight sets in the opening round of 64. Katerina Popova defeated Alyssa Ritchie of UNC Wilmington by scores of 6-2, 6-2 and Caroline Dailey beat Neena Wanko of East Carolina 6-1, 7-6 (7-2). Ximena Siles Luna improved to 6-1 this fall by downing Karolina Chernaya from Campbell 6-3, 7-6, while Elixane Lechemia notched a 6-2, 6-3 victory from Davidson’s Brites Moniz-Soares. Rounding out the day for Carolina, Dominika Kanakova scored a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Taylor Cohen of USC Upstate, Brigit Folland beat Gardner Webb’s Yasmine Doost 6-1, 7-5, and Meghan Blevins earned a 6-3, 6-4 win against Samantha Maddox from College of Charleston.

Saturday’s match-ups feature Popova taking on Joana Eidukonyte of Clemson and Dailey facing No. 100-ranked Ashley Dai from North Carolina. Siles Luna has a tall order with No. 45-rated Joelle Kissell from NC State. Lechemia squares off against Annie Mulholland from Duke and Kanakova takes on Kasey Gardiner from Wake Forest. Folland and Blevins will take on players from the ACC as well with Samantha Asch from Wake Forest and Duke’s Alyssa Smith.

In main draw doubles action, the Gamecocks saw two duos advance to the round of 16, while the other two faltered in the round of 32. Lechemia and Siles Luna recorded an 8-5 victory against Castro and Tanik from East Carolina, and Blevins and Folland won easily against Armellino and Cox from Appalachian State 8-1. Lechemia and Siles Luna face fifth-seeded Dewar and Koroleva from Clemson on Saturday, while Blevins and Folland take on the No. 4 seed from North Carolina, Dai and Lyons.

The doubles draw’s No. 3 seed of Gumulya and Rompies from Clemson upended Dailey and Kanakova by an 8-6 score in the round of 32. Katie Fosnacht and Natalie Looney suffered an 8-2 defeat at the hands of Hande and Martinez from NC State as well.

Play continues in the USTA/ITA Carolina Regional Championships on Saturday morning with the doubles round of 16 and the singles rounds of 32 and 16.

#77 Katerina Popova, SC, def. Alyssa Ritchie, UNC Wilmington, 6-2, 6-2
Caroline Dailey, SC, def. Neena Wanko, East Carolina, 6-1, 7-6 (7-2)
Ximena Siles Luna, SC, def. Karolina Chernaya, Campbell, 6-3, 7-6
Elixane Lechemia, SC, def. Brites Moniz-Soares, Davidson, 6-2, 6-3
Dominika Kanakova, SC, def. Taylor Cohen, USC Upstate, 6-3, 6-4
Brigit Folland, SC, def. Yasmine Doost, Gardner Webb, 6-1, 7-5
#109 Meghan Blevins, SC, def. Samantha Maddox, College of Charleston, 6-3, 6-4

Lechemia/Siles Luna, SC, def. Castro/Tanik, East Carolina, 8-5
Blevins/Folland, SC, def. Armellino/Cox, Appalachian State, 8-1
Gumulya/Rompies, Clemson, def. Dailey/Kanakova, SC, 8-6
Hande/Martinez, NC State, def. Fosnacht/Looney, SC, 8-2