Gamecock Women’s Tennis Announces Spring Slate
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s tennis head coach Kevin Epley announced the team’s spring schedule, which features 17 opponents that appeared in last season’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) end-of-year rankings.
Overall, Carolina will play 20 dual matches with 13 being Southeastern Conference (SEC) opponents and 11 home competitions. Twelve of the Gamecocks’ SEC opponents finished the 2017-18 season in the ITA’s final rankings. South Carolina will see four teams that ended in the top-10, including No. 2 and NCAA Tournament runner-up, Vanderbilt.
The Gamecocks begin the spring by making history with a trip to the Australian Open. In Melbourne, Carolina and Southern Cal face off on Tuesday, Jan. 22, playing the first-ever dual match to take place during one of the four professional Grand Slam events. In addition to their regular-season match, South Carolina will compete in an exhibition match with the Tennis Australia National Academy on Monday, Jan. 21.
“We are looking forward to another great campaign this year,” Epley said. “We are going to hit the ground running with a big trip to Australia and some very stiff competition as soon as we get back. This season will be heavily front-loaded prior to the SEC season. We always love a challenge and everyone is getting fired up for what’s to come.”
Once back from Australia, South Carolina hosts its second-straight ITA Kick-Off Weekend, welcoming California, Wake Forest and Arizona State to the Carolina Tennis Center on Jan. 26-27. First, the Gamecocks take the court opposite of the Bears, while Wake Forest and the Sun Devils compete. If Carolina wins both of its matches, the team will qualify for the 2019 ITA Division I National Women’s Team Indoor Championship Presented by Oracle, being played from Feb. 8-11 in Seattle, Wash.
Carolina then hits the road for a match against Palmetto Series foe, Clemson, on Thursday, Jan. 31. Returning to Columbia, the Gamecocks play host to Texas Tech on Sunday, Feb. 3, for a tough dual match.
Wrapping up non-conference matches, South Carolina faces off opposite of Presbyterian and Coastal Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 23. The Gamecocks play PC first at 10 a.m., followed by their competition against the Chanticleers at 2 p.m.
South Carolina opens conference play in Columbia on Friday, March 1, taking the court against Mississippi State. Closing out the month of March, the Gamecocks go on a four-match road stint competing at Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Texas A&M and LSU. Carolina returns home for two matches against Auburn and Alabama before finishing regular-season SEC play at Florida on Friday, April 12.
During the fall season, the Gamecocks went 46-25 overall in singles, including 16-11 against nationally ranked opponents. Carolina put up an overall doubles mark of 23-15 with a record of 6-4 when playing ranked opponents.
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