Jan. 28, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Boasting a 3-0 record after a 7-0 victory over Coastal Carolina last weekend, No. 28 South Carolina women’s tennis travels to Charlottesville, Va., for a pair of matches this weekend. The Gamecocks will square off with No. 7 Virginia, who bounced them from the NCAA Tournament last year, at 5 p.m. Friday before taking on No. 56 Marshall at 9 a.m. Sunday. Both matches will be played on the campus of the University of Virginia.
Head Coach Kevin Epley: “Virginia is obviously a very tough opponent, but we are excited to get another opportunity against them. We played them close the last few times we met and came up short in those encounters, but we have been working hard and are excited to see how we match up this weekend. It will serve as a good barometer for where we are against one of the top teams in the nation. Marshall is a very solid team and we look forward to our matchup on Sunday. It’s going to be another competitive match, so overall it should be a very competitive weekend, and we will get to see where the girls are against two quality opponents early on in the season.”
- South Carolina matched up with Virginia twice last season, once in January and again in the second-round of the NCAA Tournament, falling in both instances.
- This is the third head-to-head meeting between Carolina and Marshall. The Gamecocks hold a 2-0 lead in the overall series.
- The 28th-ranked Gamecocks have won their three matches by a combined score of 20-1.
- South Carolina has dropped only two sets this spring in singles and has not lost a doubles match.
- The freshman class, ranked No. 12 in the nation in 2015, is 7-0 in singles this spring.
- Head Coach Kevin Epley needs one win to notch his 200th career victory as a head coach.
- Freshman Paige Cline (No. 43) received the highest ranking for a freshman entering the spring since South Carolina joined the SEC. She is 3-0 this spring and is playing at the top of the lineup.
- Freshman Ingrid Gamarra Martins (No. 54) is 3-0 this spring playing in the middle of the lineup, including a 1-0 record against ranked foes.
- Junior Brigit Folland got her 50th career singles win last Saturday. She is second on the team in career singles wins behind senior Ximena Siles Luna (59).
- Senior Ximena Siles Luna and sophomore Megen Cochran are a combined 3-0 in singles after missing the fall with injuries.
- Junior Caroline Dailey, who missed the fall recovering from an injury, is 2-1 this spring at No. 2 and has gotten progressively better with each match, topping her last opponent 6-4, 6-4.
- In her two wins this spring, sophomore Hadley Berg has recorded three 6-0 sets.
Coming off back-to-back ACC titles, seventh-ranked Virginia is off to a 3-0 start this spring with wins over No. 48 Boston College, No. 58 Columbia and BYU. The Cavaliers retain six seniors from last season’s squad, including a pair of top-10 singles players. Seniors Danielle Collins (No. 4) won the NCAA Singles Championship as a sophomore in 2014 and posted a 22-4 record in dual play last season. Julia Elbaba (No. 8) earned a No. 1 singles ranking last season while posting a 17-4 mark in dual play. Behind them, Virginia seniors Stephanie Nauta (No. 30) and Skylar Morton (No. 32) are also ranked, while three doubles tandems are ranked in the top 40.
The 56th-ranked Thundering Herd are 1-1 to start the spring after going 16-10 last season, including an appearance in the Conference USA Tournament Championship. Marshall is led by junior Derya Turhan, ranked No. 99 in the country, who was named to the 2015 All-Conference USA singles first team as a sophomore. Three other juniors and two sophomores round out the roster with four of the six players on the squad hailing from outside the U.S.
Following Sunday’s matchup with Marshall, South Carolina heads back to the state of Virginia for a road date with William & Mary on Sat., Feb. 6, at 2 p.m. It will be a homecoming of sorts for head coach Kevin Epley, who coached the Tribe from 2003-2008, winning four Colonial Athletic Association titles in five years.