March 3, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 12 South Carolina women’s tennis powered through adverse conditions on its way to a 4-0 victory over No. 57 Missouri to open SEC play. The Gamecocks stormed to the doubles point just before rain hit the Carolina Tennis Center and forced the teams to play singles indoors, but Carolina continued its strong play with straight-set wins on three-of-four courts en route to the victory. With the win, South Carolina improves to 1-0 in SEC play for the third-consecutive year and 9-2 overall.
Carolina earned the doubles point for the ninth time in 11 matches thanks to wins at No. 1 and 2. Juniors Brigit Folland and Caroline Dailey were first off the courts at No. 2 as they picked up a 6-2 win over Missouri’s Brianna Lashway and Cassidy Spearman. The Gamecocks would clinch doubles with a 6-4 win from freshman Paige Cline and sophomore Hadley Berg at No. 1 over the nation’s 46th-ranked doubles team of junior Bea Santos and senior Kelli Hine.
Carolina kept the energy going in singles despite the delay as the teams moved indoors. Folland extended her team’s lead to 2-0 as she earned a 6-3, 6-2 win over Spearman at No. 4. With the victory, Folland improves to 4-0 at No. 4 singles and 8-1 overall in dual match play.
Soon thereafter, Berg continued her perfect start to the spring with a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 3, giving her nine straight wins to start the season and putting the Gamecocks one point away from the win. Berg’s 9-0 start this spring is the best dual-match start for a Gamecock since 1999.
Cline sealed the sweep for South Carolina at court two with a 7-5, 7-6 (1) victory. The left-hander played catch-up throughout the second set, but came through in the tiebreaker, jumping out to a 6-1 lead and winning on a Missouri double-fault.
Head Coach Kevin Epley
“We are proud of the team for responding well to a change in venue midway through the match. Missouri is a big-hitting team and probably stronger indoors, so we had to hunker down and take care of business. It’s good to enter the SEC season with a win, and we look forward to a tough Arkansas squad on Saturday.”
- South Carolina starts 1-0 in league play for the third-consecutive year.
- The Gamecocks improve to 6-1 against ranked opponents this spring.
- South Carolina won the doubles point for the ninth time in 11 matches this spring.
- Doubles teammates Paige Cline and Hadley Berg remains undefeated, moving to 5-0 this spring from the No. 1 spot.
- With her win at No. 3, sophomore Hadley Berg is the first Gamecock to start 9-0 in dual-match play since Celine Regnier started 12-0 in 1999.
Carolina returns to the Carolina Tennis Center on Saturday as it takes on No. 35 Arkansas at 1 p.m. Parking and admission to all home matches are free.