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Feb. 9, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 33 South Carolina women’s tennis team recorded a 7-0 win over Charleston Southern on Sunday in the first match of a doubleheader at Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C., to improve to 5-1. The Buccaneers dropped to 1-2 with the defeat. The Gamecocks are back in action this afternoon when they play Davidson at 3 p.m.

South Carolina won the doubles point thanks to courts one and two where the Gamecocks dropped just one game between the two contests. Brigit Folland and Katerina Popova blanked Alia Nour and Angelica Sidorenko 6-0 for the first win, and Meghan Blevins and Elixane Lechemia ousted Yvonne Hubler and Alexandra Walters 6-1 to clinch the point. Blevins and Lechemia dropped the first game of the match before running off the next six games.

At No. 3 doubles, Dominika Kanakova made her season debut for the Gamecocks playing alongside Caroline Dailey. The Gamecock duo, though, faced a 5-2 deficit against Nicolin Luecke and Marketa Placha after seven games. The match was then abandoned once South Carolina had secured the doubles point.

With the exception of Dailey on court six who jumped out to a 3-0 lead against Sidorenko, the other five singles matches were fairly tight after the first several games of the first sets. Courts one and four, however, quickly turned in the Gamecocks’ favor. Blevins ended up cruising to a 6-2 win over Luecke at No. 4 singles and Popova finished off her first set soon afterward with a 6-2 victory against Hubler despite losing the first two games. Dailey snagged a 6-1 win from Sidorenko just after Popova’s win.

Ximena Siles Luna began to find her groove on court five against Nour, running off a 6-2 triumph for the first set. Folland then bounced back from a 3-1 hole versus Walters at No. 3 singles to win the set 6-3.

Meanwhile, court two was still in the first set with all the other matches moving to the second, as Lechemia saw her 4-2 lead over Placha evaporate to a 5-4 deficit with Placha serving for the set. Lechemia counter punched with a break of serve to get back to 5-all and then battled her way through one deuce to hold serve in the next game for a 6-5 advantage. The Gamecock junior then broke Placha at 30-40 for a 7-5 win to complete the Gamecocks’ sweep of the first sets.

As Lechemia completed the first set, Folland had jumped ahead on court three 2-0. At four, Blevins took a commanding 4-1 lead over Luecke and Dailey gained a 4-2 advantage on Sidorenko at six. It became a race between those three players to see who would finish first and Dailey took the prize with a 6-1, 6-3 victory to make the score 2-0. Blevins and Folland both had double match points at the same time and Blevins grabbed the win first for a 6-2, 6-2 final and Folland ended it less than a minute later with a 6-3, 6-0 victory to clinch the win for Carolina.

Siles Luna and Popova then added the fifth and sixth points for South Carolina with Siles Luna finishing just ahead of Popova with a 6-2, 6-1 victory. Popova followed in under 30 seconds to beat Hubler 6-2, 6-3. Popova faced 2-0 deficits in both sets in recording her ninth win of the season. Siles Luna hit double digits in the win column by improving to 10-3.

Lechemia was up 3-2 when Popova finished and soon broke Placha’s serve to earn a 4-2 advantage. Lechemia held serve after several deuces, capping it off with a short-hop forehand volley winner in the corner as she charged the net. Lechemia continued to apply pressure at the net on Placha’s next service game and it paid off for a 7-5, 6-2 triumph. She joined Siles Luna by picking up her 10th win of the season as well and now stands 10-5 overall and 4-1 in duals.

1. Katerina Popova, USC, def. Yvonne Hubler, CSU, 6-2, 6-3
2. Elixane Lechemia, USC, def. Marketa Placha, CSU, 7-5, 6-2
3. #113 Brigit Folland, USC, def. Alexandra Walters, CSU, 6-3, 6-0
4. Meghan Blevins, USC, def. Nicolin Luecke, CSU, 6-2, 6-2
5. Ximena Siles Luna, USC, def. Alia Nour, CSU, 6-2, 6-1
6. Caroline Dailey, USC, def. Angelica Sidorenko, CSU, 6-1, 6-3

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

1. Blevins/Lechemia, USC, def. Hubler/Walters, CSU, 6-1
2. Folland/Popova, USC, def. Nour/Sidorenko, CSU, 6-0
3. Dailey/Dominika Kanakova, USC, vs. Luecke/Placha, CSU, 2-5 susp.

Order of Finish: 2, 1