Jan. 22, 2016
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 28 South Carolina women’s tennis continues its 2016 season with a doubleheader Sat., Jan. 23, as the Gamecocks take on the College of Charleston at 10 a.m. and Coastal Carolina at 3 p.m. Both matches will take place in the USC Field House, located next to Stone Stadium. Admission and parking for all home tennis matches is free.
South Carolina opened the spring 2-0 with a pair of impressive victories, a 6-1 win over No. 73 South Alabama and a 7-0 sweep of Furman, last Sunday. Seven Gamecocks, including three freshmen and two sophomores, collected singles wins on the day.
Head Coach Kevin Epley: “While we played a solid set of matches last weekend, we are looking to improve on that performance particularly in regards to doubles play and error management. We have some very tough competition coming up, so week-to-week improvement is imperative.”
The Gamecocks entered 2016 with holes in their lineup at No. 1 and No. 4 after the departure of two seniors. California native Paige Cline, ranked No. 43 nationally, has emerged as the top-flight player and taken hold of the No. 1 position. Brazilian Ingrid Gamarra Martins has been equally impressive in filling in at No. 4 as both started out with impressive wins.
Head Coach Kevin Epley needs two wins to notch his 200th career victory as a head coach. He has 198 career wins entering the day, 47 of which have come at South Carolina, where he is in year four of his tenure.
Scouting College of Charleston
The Cougars are off to a 2-1 start to the season with 6-1 wins over Appalachian State and NC A&T surrounding a loss at Wake Forest. Senior Katherine Schofield and junior Liza Fieldsend headline a team that went 14-13 last season and reached the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament Championship. Schofield went 8-7 last year at the No. 3 position, while Fieldsend, a transfer from NC State, has taken over the top spot in the lineup after recording 25 wins as a sophomore for the Wolfpack.
Scouting Coastal Carolina
Saturday’s matchup is the spring opener for the Chanticleers, who finished last season with a 16-6 record and a share of the Big South Regular-Season Championship. Head Coach Katherine Hewitt, the 2015 Big South Coach of the Year, is in her fifth season at Coastal Carolina, where she has amassed a 62-29 (.681) record. Coastal is led by senior Libby Scott and freshman Laura Mary. Scott went 15-6 last season, including a 12-5 mark at No. 1. Mary, a native of Saint Prix, France, comes into the spring ranked T-114 nationally after going 8-1 in singles and 7-2 in doubles competition this fall.
Following Saturday’s action, South Carolina hits the road for the first time this spring, travelling to Charlottesville, Va., Jan. 29-31 for a pair of matches. Coming off back-to-back ACC titles, the eighth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers host the Gamecocks on Jan. 29 at 5 p.m., before South Carolina squares off with Marshall on a neutral court two days later at 9 a.m.