Feb. 27, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 42 South Carolina women’s tennis team improved to 8-2 thanks to a 4-1 victory over No. 30 Auburn on Friday night at the USC Field House in Columbia, S.C., in the SEC opener for both teams. The Tigers dropped to 10-3 with the loss.
South Carolina lost a hotly contested doubles point to fall behind 1-0 heading to singles. At two, Brigit Folland and Meghan Blevins defeated Auburn’s Jen Pfeifler and Reka Muller by an 8-4 score to improve to 19-3 on the season. Individually, it upped Folland’s doubles record to a team-best 24-4.
Auburn came back, though, to win courts one and three to claim the point. Megen Cochran and Caroline Dailey ended up losing a tiebreaker to Paula de Man and Michala Kucharova 7-3 on court three. A few minutes later, No. 8-ranked Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger held off Hadley Berg and Elixane Lechemia’s comeback bid to win 8-4 for the clincher.
Elixane Lechemia got the score even at one point apiece with her decisive 6-3, 6-1 triumph over No. 55 Burgmans at the top position. It marked Lechemia’s third consecutive win and improved her to 8-3. Burgmans is the highest ranked player the No. 121-ranked Lechemia has beaten this year.
From there, it took nearly an hour for another point to go up on the scoreboard, as courts two, three and four all went into third sets. It appeared Blevins would give the Gamecocks their second point with a 5-1 lead in the third over Muller at No. 4, but she surrendered a couple games to give Dailey a chance to finish ahead of her. Dailey was tied 3-all with Andie Dikosavljevic on court two and grinded out three straight games in her favor to win 6-1, 5-7, 6-3.
With a 2-1 lead, Blevins quickly put Muller away for good in the ninth game of her match at No. 4 singles to pick up a 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3 triumph. Blevins improved to a team-leading 19-4 overall with her victory and won her fifth match in a row in the process.
Folland fell behind in her third set with Flickinger, trailing 4-1, but she slowing began creeping back into the match and got back to 4-3 down at the next changeover. From there, she never looked back and served out the match with a 5-4 advantage to clinch South Carolina’s victory. Folland also trailed 5-2 in the first set before completing her 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 triumph.
The Gamecocks return to action Sunday hosting No. 9 Alabama at noon at Carolina Tennis Center. The Crimson Tide suffered a 4-1 loss at No. 3 Florida today.
#42 South Carolina def. #30 Auburn, 4-1
1. #121 Elixane Lechemia (SC) def. #55 Pleun Burgmans (AU), 6-3, 6-1
2. #124 Caroline Dailey (SC) def. Andie Dikosavljevic (AU), 6-1, 5-7, 6-3
3. Brigit Folland (SC) def. Emily Flickinger (AU), 7-5, 1-6, 6-4
4. Meghan Blevins (SC) def. Reka Muller (AU), 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3
5. Ximena Siles Luna (SC) vs. Paula de Man (AU), 4-6, 1-4 susp.
6. Megen Cochran (SC) vs. Jen Pfeifler (AU), 2-1 susp.
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 4, 3
1. #8 Burgmans/Flickinger (AU) def. Hadley Berg/Lechemia (SC), 8-4
2. Blevins/Folland (SC) def. Muller/Pfeifler (AU), 8-4
3. de Man/Michala Kucharova (AU) def. Cochran/Dailey (SC), 8-7(3)
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1