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Jan. 15, 2016

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — The 28th-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team opens its 2016 season with a doubleheader Sun., Jan. 17. The Gamecocks are set to take on No. 73 South Alabama at 11 a.m. and Furman at 4 p.m. Both matches will take place in the USC Field House.

Carolina finished last season ranked No. 29 after posting a 15-11 record and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the 18th time in 21-consecutive NCAA appearances. Head coach Kevin Epley welcomes back six letterwinners from last season while adding five freshmen to the roster.

Two of the five freshmen received rankings entering the spring season. California native Paige Cline (No. 43) and Brazilian Ingrid Gamarra Martins (No. 54) start the season ranked after impressive performances this fall as the duo went a combined 17-5 in singles. Junior Caroline Dailey, ranked as high as No. 119 last season, was ranked No. 85 in September’s preseason rankings, but sat out the fall recovering from injury. Dailey, along with sophomore Hadley Berg were also ranked the No. 12 doubles team in September.

Admission and parking for all home tennis matches is free.

Quick Hits: South Alabama

  • South Alabama enters 2016 ranked No. 73 and is coached by 2015 Sun Belt Coach of the Year Jaco Keyser.
  • The Jaguars went 21-3 in 2015, winning the Sun Belt Conference title and securing an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament where they fell in the first round to Clemson.
  • Three seniors on the roster combined to go 32-16 in singles last season, while three juniors and a freshman fill out the roster.
  • Junior Laura Valkova is ranked No. 86 after going 22-11 overall last season and 7-5 this fall.

Quick Hits: Furman

  • Furman enters 2016 under new head coach Adam Herendeen looking to improve on a 9-14 record in 2015.
  • The Paladins are led by a trio of juniors in Ansley Speaks, Karlee Bryde and Blair Martin.
  • Speaks went 11-7 at the top of the lineup last season, while Bryde and Martin each posted double-digit wins.
  • Three freshmen and a sophomore round out the roster.

Up Next

Following Sunday’s action, the Gamecocks prepare to host their second doubleheader on Sat., Jan. 23. The Gamecocks will square off with the College of Charleston at 10 a.m. and Coastal Carolina at 3 p.m.

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