Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

April 11, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 35 South Carolina women’s tennis team picked up its fifth consecutive SEC win Friday evening by defeating No. 30 Kentucky 4-1 at Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks improved to 15-8 overall and 6-6 in the SEC with the win, while the Wildcats fell to 15-9 and 5-7 in league play.

South Carolina dug itself in a hole quickly in doubles play, as No. 76 Meghan Blevins and Katerina Popova failed to register a game to No. 62 Nadia Ravita and Aldila Sutjiadi on court two. Following their defeat, No. 30 Elixane Lechemia and Dominika Kanakova had their serve broken to trail 3-2 and later 4-2 versus No. 45 Caitlin McGraw and CeCe Witten at the No. 1 spot. On court three, Ximena Siles Luna and Caroline Dailey held a 4-1 advantage on Kirsten Lewis and Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff.

Unfortunately for the Gamecocks, the No. 1 duo never managed to get closer than 6-5 down. McGraw and Witten went on to claim an 8-5 victory to put the Wildcats ahead 1-0 heading to singles play. At No. 3, Siles Luna and Dailey still led Lewis and Morin-Kougoucheff 7-5 when play stopped.

Carolina recovered nicely to start singles by winning the first sets handily on courts two, four, five and six. At one, No. 98 Lechemia trailed No. 57 Ravita 4-1 in the first but came roaring back to snatch a 6-5 lead with a chance to serve out the first set. Lechemia had no problems with her serve to win the set 7-5.

On court three, the Wildcats’ Kelsey Dieters took the first set from Blevins 6-0 for Kentucky’s only first-set victory. Blevins, however, kept her composure and jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the second. From there, she cruised to a 6-1 triumph to force a third set.

Brigit Folland put the Gamecocks on the board with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Morin-Kougoucheff at the No. 4 position to tie the score up at 1-all. About five minutes later, Dailey posted a well-timed break of serve with a 6-2, 6-5 lead and McGraw serving at five to pick up her 19th victory of the season. Next, Lechemia toppled Ravita 7-5, 6-3 to snag her 19th win as well to pull South Carolina within a point of winning the match.

The remaining three matches on courts two, three and six were all in a third set when Lechemia secured her triumph. Blevins quickly became the frontrunner to give Carolina the win, grabbing a 3-1 advantage and then picking up another big break of serve to lead 5-2 with a chance to serve for the match. Blevins had no problems joining the 19-win club as well to give the Gamecocks their fifth win a row. Blevins also has the team’s best dual match record this spring at 15-5.

Popova trailed Sutjiadi 3-2 in the third at two when play stopped and Siles Luna was in the middle of the eighth game of set three down 5-2 at six.

The Gamecocks will host Senior Day for Popova and Kanakova on Sunday when No. 5 Vanderbilt comes to Columbia for a 1:30 p.m. match at Carolina Tennis Center. The Commodores are 17-5 and 10-2 in the SEC following a 4-0 loss at No. 11 Florida today.

1. #98 Elixane Lechemia, USC, def. #57 Nadia Ravita, UK, 7-5, 6-3
2. #90 Katerina Popova, USC, vs. Aldila Sutjiadi, UK, 6-2, 4-6, 2-3 susp.
3. Meghan Blevins, USC, def. Kelsey Dieters, UK, 0-6, 6-1, 6-2
4. Brigit Folland, USC, def. Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff, UK, 6-2, 6-1
5. Caroline Dailey, USC, def. Caitlin McGraw, UK, 6-2, 7-5
6. Ximena Siles Luna, USC, vs. Kirsten Lewis, UK, 6-3, 2-6, 2-5 susp.

Order of Finish: 4, 5, 1, 3

1. #45 McGraw/CeCe Witten, UK, def. #30 Lechemia/Dominika Kanakova, USC, 8-5
2. #62 Ravita/Sutjiadi, UK, def. #76 Blevins/Popova, USC, 8-0
3. Siles Luna/Dailey, USC, vs. Lewis/Morin-Kougoucheff, UK, 7-5 susp.

Order of Finish: 2, 1