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Gamecocks Drop 5-2 Decision at No. 14 Virginia
Women's Tennis  . 

Gamecocks Drop 5-2 Decision at No. 14 Virginia

Feb. 2, 2014

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The No. 33 South Carolina women’s tennis team suffered its first loss of the season Sunday, falling to No. 14 Virginia 5-2 in Charlottesville, Va., at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. South Carolina is now 3-1, while the Cavaliers improve to 3-0.

The Cavaliers took a close doubles point by winning courts one and three. Stephanie Nauta and Maci Epstein took the No. 3 spot first by a 6-2 score over Caroline Dailey and Ximena Siles Luna. At one, UVa’s eighth-ranked tandem of Julia Elbaba and Rachel Pierson pulled out a 7-5 victory over Meghan Blevins and Elixane Lechemia to secure the point.

At No 2 doubles, the Gamecocks’ Katerina Popova and Brigit Folland held a 4-3 lead against Danielle Collins and Li Xi and were one point away from extending the lead to 5-3 when play stopped since UVa had clinched the doubles.

Virginia quickly pushed the team score to 2-0 with No. 11-ranked Elbaba defeating Lechemia 6-1, 6-3 at No. 1 singles. Pierson, ranked 43rd, made the score 3-0 after she squeaked out a 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, (10-5) triumph against No. 113 Folland on court three. Marie Faure gave the Cavs the win after she dispatched Dailey in straight sets at the No. 6 position 6-2, 6-4.

The Gamecocks, though, finished the day strong by taking two of the final three matches on court. At five, Blevins upended Epstein 6-3, 7-5 to make the score 4-1. Popova then recorded one of the top victories of her career by downing No. 28 Collins 7-5, 4-6, (10-3) on court two. Collins is the highest ranked player the senior has beaten in her career. No. 85 Nauta closed out the day with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Siles Luna at the No. 4 spot.

The Gamecocks return to the courts Wednesday when they host Furman at 4 p.m. to make up the Jan. 28 contest that was cancelled when winter weather pounded large portions of the Palmetto State.

1. #11 Julia Elbaba, UVa, def. Elixane Lechemia, USC, 6-1, 6-3
2. Katerina Popova, USC, def. #28 Danielle Collins, UVa, 7-5, 4-6, (10-3)
3. #43 Rachel Pierson, UVa, def. #113 Brigit Folland, USC, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, (10-5)
4. #85 Stephanie Nauta, UVa, def. Ximena Siles Luna, USC, 6-4, 7-5
5. Meghan Blevins, USC, def. Maci Epstein, UVa, 6-3, 7-5
6. Marie Faure, UVa, def. Caroline Dailey, USC, 6-2, 6-4

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

1. #8 Elbaba/Pierson, UVa, def. Blevins/Lechemia, USC, 7-5
2. Folland/Popova, USC, vs. Collins/Li Xi, UVa, 4-3 susp.
3. Nauta/Epstein, UVa, def. Dailey/Siles Luna, USC, 6-2

Order of Finish: 3, 1