Sept. 25, 2014
|COACH EPLEY PREVIEW|
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team is set to compete in its second event this fall when it heads to Greenville, S.C., for the Furman Fall Classic with play beginning Friday and ending Sunday at the Mickel Tennis Center.
The field consists of players from Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Furman, Iowa, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Six of those schools finished among the top 35 in the final ITA rankings last spring (Alabama – 6, Vanderbilt – 11, Clemson – 13, South Carolina – 26, Florida State – 31, Tennessee – 34). There are also 18 players and nine doubles teams from the squads who appear in this fall’s preseason rankings. For the Gamecocks, Elixane Lechemia is ranked 56th and Brigit Folland is 114th. The duo is rank 43rd in doubles as well.
“This is one of the toughest tournaments in the country,” head coach Kevin Epley said. “I do want to see how our team holds up under pressure. I want to see if they can stay committed to their goals through the weekend in terms of what they’re working on. This is the time of year where we’re really trying to make some traction because we kind of lose some of that in the spring and this is the time to get better.”
“She came back ready to go and is taking ownership over everything.”Head Coach Kevin Epley on Caroline Dailey
All 11 members of the Gamecocks’ roster will be in action in Greenville. Caroline Dailey is slated to compete in the top singles flight, a big jump for the sophomore who primarily filled the Nos. 5 and 6 singles positions last spring.
“She’s a player that’s always had the game and adjusting to college, like so many freshmen, can be a little bit tough,” Epley said of Dailey. “It takes a little time to sort of get comfortable. What she did after the season last year was take a deep breath and assess the season with her team, meaning her mom, in particular, and her coach, and they really just went at it over the summer and worked hard. She came back ready to go and is taking ownership over everything.”
Brigit Folland is in the second flight of singles followed by Meghan Blevins in three, Hadley Berg in four, Megen Cochran and Ximena Siles Luna in five, Alison Mills, Natalie Looney and Alex Martin in six, and Katie Fosnacht in seven. For doubles, the Gamecocks will use the combo of Elixane Lechemia/Berg in flight one, Cochran/Dailey in two, Folland/Blevins and Martin/Looney in three, and Siles Luna/Fosnacht in four.
South Carolina dominated its first event this fall, the Milwaukee Tennis Classic over Sept. 12-14. Berg, Blevins, Cochran, Dailey and Folland all walked away with 3-0 records in singles play. Dailey was named the single champion for her efforts, while Blevins received the runner-up award. The Gamecocks used eight different doubles combos in Milwaukee that combined for a 7-2 record. The tandem of Cochran/Dailey earned the doubles champion trophy.