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March 8, 2014


COLUMBIA, S.C. — The 35th-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team lost a 4-0 decision to No. 2-ranked Florida on Saturday afternoon at Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. With the loss, the Gamecocks dropped to 10-4 and 1-2 in the SEC, while the Gators improved to 11-2 and 3-0 in league play.

The Gamecocks dropped an exciting doubles point to give the Gators a 1-0 lead heading to singles play. Florida struck first with an 8-4 victory on court three with Alexandra Cercone and Brianna Morgan defeating Caroline Dailey and Meghan Blevins. South Carolina responded with Dominika Kanakova and Elixane Lechemia upsetting 20th-ranked Sofie Oyen and Belinda Woolcock, 8-2, at No. 1 doubles.

The No. 2 doubles match proved to be the deciding contest. Katerina Popova and Brigit Folland had an early 2-0 lead against No. 34 Kourtney Keegan and Olivia Janowicz, but the Gators won three straight games to take a 3-2 lead. The match stayed on serve until Popova and Folland earned a break to go ahead 5-4. They held for a 6-4 advantage, but the Gators then fought back to win the next four games to take the match 8-6.

South Carolina fought hard in the singles matches, but the Gators proved too strong. No. 27 Cercone defeated No. T-85 Folland 6-4, 6-0 on court three for the Gators’ second point of the match and No. 34 Oyen added the third by upending Blevins 7-5, 6-2 at No. 4 singles. No. 24 Morgan then clinched the win for Florida with a break of serve against No. 90 Popova to make it a 6-2, 6-4 final on court two.

The Gamecocks were right in the remaining three matches that were suspended once the Gators had the victory. At one, Lechemia lost the first set to No. 7 Janowicz 6-1, but she had a 6-5 lead in the second. Dailey earned a 7-6 win in the first set versus No. T-76 Woolcock at the No. 5 position and was trailing 3-1 in the second. Ximena Siles Luna beat Stefani Stojic 7-6 in the first on court six and held a commanding 4-0 advantage in the second at the five spot.

South Carolina will hit the road next weekend to begin a four-match stretch away from Columbia, first taking on No. 11 Georgia on March 14 at 4 p.m. and No. 42 Tennessee on March 16 at 1 p.m.

1. Elixane Lechemia, USC, vs. #7 Olivia Janowicz, UF, 1-6, 6-5 susp.
2. #24 Brianna Morgan def. #90 Katerina Popova, USC, 6-2, 6-4
3. #27 Alexandra Cercone, UF, def. #T-85 Brigit Folland, USC, 6-4, 6-0
4. #34 Sofie Oyen, UF, def. Meghan Blevins, USC, 7-5, 6-2
5. Caroline Dailey, USC, vs. #T-76 Belinda Woolcock, UF, 7-6, 1-3 susp.
6. Ximena Siles Luna, USC, vs. Stefani Stojic, UF, 7-6, 4-0 susp.

Order of Finish: 3, 4, 2

1. Dominika Kanakova/Lechemia, USC, def. #20 Oyen/Woolcock, UF, 8-2
2. #34 Janowicz/Kourtney Keegan, UF, def. Folland/Popova, USC, 8-6
3. Cercone/Morgan, UF, def. Blevins/Dailey, USC, 8-4

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2