Jan. 6, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team will begin the 2015 season ranked No. 23 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. It marks the first top 25 ranking for the school since 2012 and the first under head coach Kevin Epley, now in his third season with the program.
South Carolina ended the 2014 campaign in strong fashion with a season-best No. 26 billing in the final rankings. The Gamecocks won five of their final six regular-season SEC matches and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Carolina posted a 17-11 record overall and went 6-7 in the SEC.
Senior Meghan Blevins headlines the Gamecocks in the preseason individual rankings with a No. 99 ranking in singles and a No. 33 rating in doubles with sophomore Brigit Folland. Blevins led the Gamecocks in singles victories during the fall with a 12-2 record, while she and Folland posted the same mark together playing doubles. Individually, Blevins went 14-4 in doubles matches, and Folland led all Gamecocks with a 15-2 record for doubles.
Fellow senior Elixane Lechemia came in at No. 120 in the singles rankings despite playing in just one tournament. Lechemia, who began the fall ranked No. 56 following a breakout junior season that saw her earn first-team All-SEC honors, battled a shoulder injury for most of the fall that limited her playing time.
Two underclasswomen, freshman Megen Cochran and sophomore Caroline Dailey, earned a doubles ranking to begin the spring. Cochran and Dailey ended up as the Gamecocks’ second-most productive duo with an 8-2 slate. Overall, Cochran posted a 10-2 mark and Dailey finished 11-4.
South Carolina gets the season underway Jan. 17-19 at the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Gamecocks’ first dual match is set for Jan. 23 against Grand Canyon in Albuquerque, N.M., and their first home match is a doubleheader versus Charlotte and College of Charleston on Feb. 14.