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March 22, 2015

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 43 South Carolina women’s tennis team pulled another upset Sunday afternoon, this time beating No. 17 Ole Miss, 4-2, at the USC Field House in Columbia, S.C. On Friday, the Gamecocks defeated No. 27 Mississippi State, 4-3. South Carolina improved to 11-6 and 4-4 in the SEC with the win, while Ole Miss dropped to 11-6 and 3-5 in the league.

South Carolina dominated the Rebels in doubles, quickly jumping out to leads of 4-1 on courts one and two. Meghan Blevins and Brigit Folland ended up finishing first at two with an 8-3 victory against Mai El Kamash and Erin Stephens, improving to 23-5 and 11-3 in dual matches. At one, Hadley Berg and Caroline Dailey closed out Julia Jones and Natalie Suk, 8-3, to clinch the point.

On court three, Elixane Lechemia and Ximena Siles Luna had a break against Arianne Hartono and Iris Verboven up 6-4. Played was stopped with the Gamecocks serving up 6-5 once Berg and Dailey secured the doubles point.

Ole Miss answered back in singles with No. 100 El Kamash winning in straight sets against Folland on court three, 6-4, 6-1. Lechemia put the Gamecocks back on top, though, with the highest ranked victory of her career. She defeated No. 12 Jones at the top singles position 6-3, 6-2, coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the second set to win six straight games in closing out the contest. With the win, Lechemia, who is ranked No. 74, improved to 12-6 and 5-3 at No. 1 singles in SEC play.

Dailey looked to extend her match at No. 2 singles after losing the first set to No. 50 Hartono, 6-3. A rocky start to the second saw Dailey behind 4-1, but she mounted a furious comeback to get the match back to 4-3. Hartono made it 5-3 before Dailey rattled off three straight games, but Hartono was able to force a tiebreaker. In the breaker, Hartono managed to control play and ran away with a 7-2 win to even the team score at 2-all.

Blevins managed to hold off Stephens at No. 4 singles, grabbing a 6-4 victory in the first and then battling her way to a tiebreaker for the second set. Blevins charged out to a 5-0 lead in the breaker before surrendering a point. She then gave herself several match points up 6-1 and finished off Stephens 7-2 to put Carolina back ahead, 3-2. The win marked Blevins’ team-leading 23rd of the season.

South Carolina had the advantage in the final two matches on court at positions five and six. Berg won her first set 6-3 over Zalina Khairudinova at five and Siles Luna followed with a 6-4 victory over Verboven at six. After falling behind 2-0 in the second set, Berg recovered to win six of the next seven games to clinch the Gamecocks’ victory and give them their highest ranked win since 2012. Berg improved to 15-8 and 7-4 in duals with the win.

Siles Luna had a 1-0 lead in the second set over Verboven when play was stopped.

The Gamecocks will host South Carolina State later today at 6 p.m.

#43 South Carolina def. #17 Ole Miss, 4-2

1. #74 Elixane Lechemia (SC) def. #12 Julia Jones (OM), 6-3, 6-2
2. #50 Arianne Hartono (OM) def. Caroline Dailey (SC), 6-3, 7-6(2)
3. #100 Mai El Kamash (OM) def. Brigit Folland (SC), 6-4, 6-1
4. Meghan Blevins (SC) def. Erin Stephens (OM), 6-4, 7-6(2)
5. Hadley Berg (SC) def. Zalina Khairudinova (OM), 6-3, 6-3
6. Ximena Siles Luna (SC) vs. Iris Verboven (OM), 6-4, 1-0 susp.

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2, 4, 5

1. #53 Berg/Dailey (SC) def. Jones/Natalie Suk (OM), 8-3
2. #45 Blevins/Folland (SC) def. El Kamash/Stephens (OM), 8-3
3. Lechemia/Siles Luna (SC) vs. Hartono/Verboven (OM), 6-5 susp.

Order of Finish: 2, 1