March 6, 2015
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The No. 26 South Carolina women’s tennis team suffered a 5-2 loss to Texas A&M on Friday at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas. The Gamecocks dropped to 8-4 with the loss and 1-2 in the SEC, while the Aggies improved to 4-3 and 2-1 in league play.
Carolina lost a heartbreaker in doubles, falling just short in the deciding match at No. 2 doubles in a tiebreaker, 8-6. Meghan Blevins and Brigit Folland held a 5-3 lead on A&M’s Ines Deheza and Stefania Hristov, but the Aggies came back to take a 6-5 lead. From there, the two squads traded games back and forth to enter a tiebreaker. It was just the fourth loss of the season for Blevins and Folland, as they dropped to 20-4.
South Carolina struck first in the doubles with Megen Cochran and Elixane Lechemia teaming up for just the second time this year at No. 3 doubles for an 8-3 victory against Saska Gavrilovska and Rutuja Bhosale. Texas A&M answered back with No. 35 Rachel Pierson and Eva Paalma defeating No. 58 Hadley Berg and Caroline Dailey, 8-5, at the top position.
No. 121 Lechemia managed to get the Gamecocks tied with the Aggies with a 6-1, 6-4 upset of No. 54 Gavrilovska on court one, but Texas A&M countered with four victories in straight sets on courts two, three, four and six. For Lechemia, it was her second win against a top-60 opponent in her last three matches.
No. 59 Bhosale put A&M ahead for good with a 6-4, 6-1 triumph over Blevins on court four, handing the senior just her sixth loss of the season. No. 40 Pierson made the score 3-1 after she dispatched No. 124 Dailey at the second position 6-4, 6-1. Anna Mamalat gave the Aggies the clincher on court six with a 7-6(4), 6-0 victory against Cochran.
With the match in hand, No. 117 Deheza added to the Aggie point total with a 7-5, 6-1 decision over Folland at No. 3 singles to make it 5-1. The Gamecocks ended the evening on a positive note with Berg snagging a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win against No. 113 Hristov to mark her second victory against a ranked opponent this spring.
The Gamecocks wrap up their road trip with a noon match-up against No. 46 LSU on Sunday in Baton Rouge, La., at W.T. “Dub” Robinson Stadium.
Texas A&M def. #26 South Carolina, 5-2
1. #121 Elixane Lechemia (SC) def. #54 Saska Gavrilovska (TAM), 6-1, 6-4
2. #40 Rachel Pierson (TAM) def. #124 Caroline Dailey (SC), 6-4, 6-1
3. #117 Ines Deheza (TAM) def. Brigit Folland (SC), 7-5, 6-1
4. #59 Rutuja Bhosale (TAM) def. Meghan Blevins (SC), 6-4, 6-1
5. Hadley Berg (SC) def. #113 Stefania Hristov (TAM), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
6. Anna Mamalat (TAM) def. Megen Cochran (SC), 7-6(4), 6-0
Order of Finish: 1, 4, 2, 6, 3, 5
1. #35 Pierson/Eva Paalma (TAM) def. #58 Berg/Dailey (SC), 8-5
2. Deheza/Hristov (TAM) def. Blevins/Folland (SC), 8-7(6)
3. Cochran/Lechemia (SC) def. Gavrilovska/Bhosale (TAM), 8-3
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2