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May 10, 2014


DURHAM, N.C. — The No. 30 South Carolina women’s tennis team exited the NCAA Tournament second round Saturday with a 4-0 loss to No. 5 Duke at Ambler Tennis Stadium in Durham, N.C. The Gamecocks end the season with a 17-11 record, while Duke improves to 26-4 and moves on to the NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga. Play begins for the round of 16 Thursday.

South Carolina got a quick win in doubles at the second position where No. 51 Katerina Popova and Meghan Blevins upset No. 36 Ester Goldfeld and Alyssa Smith by a dominant 8-1 score. The Gamecocks, though, faced deficits in the other two matches at one and three. No. 26 Elixane Lechemia and Dominika Kanakova trailed No. 5 Beatrice Capra and Hanna Mar 5-2 at one, while Ximena Siles Luna and Caroline Dailey faced a 5-3 hole versus No. 69 Annie Mulholland and Chalena Scholl.

Unfortunately, the Gamecocks did not claim another game in either of the two matches. Mulholland and Scholl won first with the 8-3 triumph over Siles Luna and Dailey at three. Lechemia and Kanakova made Capra and Mar work for the win at one facing a 7-2 deficit with several break point opportunities, but Duke eventually prevailed with the 8-2 victory for a 1-0 advantage heading to singles play.

The Blue Devils continued to pile on the pressure in singles by taking leads in the first sets of every court except for six. After around an hour of play, though, lightning in the area forced play into suspension. At the break, No. 7 Capra led No. 73 Lechemia 4-3 at one, No. 27 Goldfeld was up 5-2 on No. 107 Popova, and No. 36 Mar led Brigit Folland 6-0, 1-0 at three. In the bottom half, Blevins and No. 116 Scholl were tied 5-all at four, Dailey trailed Kahan 6-1, 2-0, and Siles Luna had a 5-1 upper hand on Mulholland at No. 6 singles.

After about a 40-minute break, play resumed and the Blue Devils continued to push forward. Kahan ended up winning first with a 6-1, 6-0 decision over Dailey at five to make it 2-0. Soon afterward, Mar gave Duke its third point with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph against Folland, and Goldfeld dispatched Popova 6-2, 6-2 on court two to propel Duke forward in the NCAA Tournament.

Lechemia and Kanakova will now wait to compete in the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championship that begins May 22 in Athens. The draw for the tournament will be announced May 20.

1. #73 Elixane Lechemia, USC, vs. #7 Beatrice Capra, DU, 3-6, 2-3 susp.
2. #27 Ester Goldfeld, DU, def. #107 Katerina Popova, USC, 6-2, 6-2
3. #36 Hanna Mar, DU, def. Brigit Folland, USC, 6-0, 6-2
4. Meghan Blevins, USC, vs. #116 Chalena Scholl, DU, 6-7, 3-2 susp.
5. Rachel Kahan, DU, def. Caroline Dailey, USC, 6-1, 6-0
6. Ximena Siles Luna, USC, vs. Annie Mulholland, DU, 6-3, 0-2 susp.

Order of Finish: 5, 3, 2

1. #5 Capra/Mar, DU, def. #26 Lechemia/Dominika Kanakova, USC, 8-2
2. #51 Blevins/Popova, USC, def. #36 Goldfeld/Smith, DU, 8-1
3. #69 Mulholland/Scholl, DU, def. Siles Luna/Dailey, USC, 8-3

Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1