March 31, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 8 South Carolina women’s tennis fell for the second time in SEC play on Thursday, 6-1, at the hands of No. 25 Texas A&M. The Gamecocks trailed 1-0 after doubles, but opened singles play strong before inclement weather forced the match from the Carolina Tennis Center to the USC Field House, where the Aggies took control en route to the victory. The loss drops South Carolina to 14-4, 6-2 in the SEC. Meanwhile, the Aggies improve to 13-7, 5-4 in the SEC.
The Gamecocks fell in doubles for just the fifth time this season in 18 matches. No. 44 Rutuja Bhosale and Anna Mamalat earned a 6-2 win at No. 2, but Gamecock freshmen Rachel Rohrabacher and Ingrid Gamarra Martins, playing as a tandem for the first time, evened doubles with an impressive 6-1 win at No. 3. At No. 1, No. 34 Hadley Berg and Paige Cline were unable to close out No. 42 Rachel Pierson and Eva Paalma, falling in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (3).
The Gamecocks came out strong in singles play, seizing control of the match with first-set victories on four of six courts. Rain and lightning, however, hit the area during the second set of singles, and Texas A&M took all but one set once indoors. The Aggies quickly moved their lead to 2-0 as senior Ines Deheza claimed a 6-3, 6-2 win over Berg at No. 4.
No. 75 Martins reduced the lead to 2-1 with a hard fought 7-5, 7-5 victory at No. 2. With the win, the freshman improved to 4-3 in SEC play from the No. 2 position, 12-5 this spring and 21-7 overall.
The Aggies, however, closed out the match with a pair of tight wins as junior Rutuja Bhosale defeated Cline, 7-6 (5), 6-4, before No. 32 Saska Gavrilovska topped No. 67 Caroline Dailey in three sets. After winning her first set, senior Ximena Siles Luna retired during her second set after the match had been clinched. Junior Brigit Folland also lost a tough three-set battle, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.
The Gamecocks won four first sets before the match was moved indoors. The Aggies took control after the weather delay, dropping the second set on just one court.
- The Gamecocks dropped the doubles point for just the fifth time in 18 matches this season.
- Freshman Ingrid Gamarra Martins moved to 4-3 in SEC play at No. 2.
- Rohrabacher was inserted into the doubles lineup for the first time since Feb. 20, responding victoriously with Martins.
- Carolina was shut out at the No. 4 and 5 positions in the same match for just the second time this season.
Senior Day is Saturday as the Gamecocks host their final regular-season home match of the season against No. 15 LSU. Match time is set for noon at the Carolina Tennis Center. Parking and admission to all home matches are free.