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Feb. 13, 2015


COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 22 South Carolina women’s tennis team opens its home slate Saturday with a doubleheader against Charlotte at 11 a.m. and College of Charleston at 3 p.m. at the USC Field House in Columbia, S.C.

The Gamecocks have not played since taking a Feb. 1 loss at No. 14 Clemson. South Carolina also suffered a 5-2 defeat to No. 7 Virginia two days before facing the Tigers. Carolina is 4-2 this season with its four victories coming against Grand Canyon, Northern Arizona, Kansas and New Mexico.

Senior Meghan Blevins leads the team in singles victories this year with a 15-4 record. Freshman Hadley Berg and sophomore Caroline Dailey are tied for the team lead in dual match victories with four apiece. Dailey also earned her first career national singles ranking this week, coming in at No. 121. Dailey upset Danielle Collins of Virginia, the reigning NCAA singles champion, two weeks ago. Senior Elixane Lechemia is also ranked in singles at No. 111 and she and Berg are No. 46 in doubles.

South Carolina has several potent doubles combinations. At one, the Gamecocks have used Berg and Lechemia for the majority of their matches. They are 7-5 together and 2-2 in duals. Blevins and Brigit Folland have held the No. 2 spot with a 4-1 record and are 16-3 overall, making them Carolina’s winningest duo. Dailey and Ximena Siles Luna have occupied three as of late and are 1-2 there.

Charlotte enters the morning match with a 3-2 record after losing at Winthrop on Tuesday. The 49ers own victories this year against Presbyterian, North Carolina A&T and Wingate. Charlotte opened the season with a 4-3 loss at Liberty on Jan. 31. The Gamecocks and 49ers have little history, with South Carolina leading the series 2-0. The two schools have not played since a 7-0 Carolina win on Feb. 6, 1994, in Columbia.

College of Charleston is winless thus far in 2015 after losses to Marshall, Kentucky, Wake Forest and Winthrop. The Gamecocks and Cougars have a long history that dates back to at least the 1978 season. South Carolina has won 23 consecutive matches over CofC and posted a 6-1 victory last year in Columbia. South Carolina and College of Charleston have played every year since 1994 except in 1999 and 2009.

South Carolina will play its final doubleheader and non-conference matches of the season next weekend when it takes on Furman on Feb. 21 in Greenville, S.C., at 10 a.m. followed by a 4:30 p.m. match with North Florida in the Upstate. The Gamecocks open SEC play at home Feb. 27 hosting Auburn at 5 p.m. and then Alabama on March 1 at noon.