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March 30, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 65 South Carolina women’s tennis team picked up its second consecutive win against a higher ranked opponent Sunday at the USC Field House in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks blanked No. 45 Arkansas 4-0 to improve to 12-8 on the season and 3-6 in the SEC, while the Razorbacks dropped to 12-12 and 2-8 in the league. On Friday, the Gamecocks beat No. 49 LSU 4-1.

The doubles point was never in question, as the Gamecocks led from start to finish. At one, No. 54 Elixane Lechemia and Dominika Kanakova gained a 6-1 advantage on Yang Pang and Oleksandra Shkorupeieva and went on to earn an 8-3 victory to finish first. The duos of Meghan Blevins and Katerina Popova, and Brigit Folland and Caroline Dailey both held 7-3 leads in their matches when Lechemia and Kanakova walked off the court. Blevins and Popova ended up surrendering a game to Flavia Araujo and Kimberley-Ann Surin at two, while Folland and Dailey closed it out versus Shannon Hudson and Sarah McLean at three 8-3 to clinch the doubles point.

Blevins and Folland wasted no time making the score 3-0 after cruising through their singles contests. Blevins blasted Shkorupeieva 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 4 spot to improve to 12-1 on the season at the position. Blevins also leads the team in dual match victories at 13-4 and she is 17-11 overall. Folland delivered court three by a 6-0, 6-3 score to give the Gamecocks their third point with a win over McLean.

Carolina had to wait a bit for the clincher but eventually got it courtesy of Lechemia at the top spot versus Pang. Lechemia had total control over the first set with a 6-2 win. In the second, the two battled back and forth with Pang earning a 5-4 lead, but Lechemia held serve for 5-all. Lechemia then managed a break of serve in the next game and came back from an early deficit in the next game to hold for the victory. Lechemia improved to 17-9 and 7-4 on the spring at No. 1 singles in the process.

The remaining three matches were all suspended once Lechemia pulled off the win at one. Popova dropped the first set to Hudson 6-2 but led 5-3 in the second on court two. Dailey had just won the first set at five 6-4 against Surin. The Gamecocks’ Ximena Siles Luna had just gotten started at No. 6 singles against Brittany Huxley and the two were tied 1-all.

The Gamecocks hit the road next week for a pair of matches in the Magnolia State versus No. 26 Ole Miss on Friday and No. 75 Mississippi State on Sunday.

1. #117 Elixane Lechemia, USC, def. Yang Pang, UA, 6-2, 7-5
2. Katerina Popova, USC, vs. Shannon Hudson, UA, 2-6, 5-3 susp.
3. #122 Brigit Folland, USC, def. Sarah McLean, UA, 6-0, 6-3
4. Meghan Blevins, USC, def. Oleksandra Shkorupeieva, UA, 6-2, 6-1
5. Caroline Dailey, USC, vs. Kimberley-Ann Surin, UA, 6-4 susp.
6. Ximena Siles Luna, USC, vs. Brittany Huxley, UA, 1-1 susp.

Order of Finish: 4, 3, 1

1. #54 Lechemia/Dominika Kanakova, USC, def. Pang/Shkorupeieva, UA, 8-3
2. Blevins/Popova, USC, vs. Flavia Araujo/Surin, UA, 7-4 susp.
3. Dailey/Folland, USC, def. Hudson/McLean, UA, 8-3

Order of Finish: 1, 3