Carolina Drops Season-Opener to Southern Cal, 4-1, at Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia – The South Carolina women’s tennis team dropped its season-opener against Southern Cal, 4-1, at the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Monday night.
The No. 13 Gamecocks (0-1, 0-0) and Southern California (1-0, 0-0) squared off in a historic match at the 2019 Australian Open, playing the first-ever dual match at one of the four Grand Slam events.
“Southern Cal capitalized on opportunities a bit better than we did,” head coach Kevin Epley said. “I credit the coaching staff for getting the team ready to go this week. Overall, this was a great experience for both teams and we were honored to be selected in an event that gives college tennis such great exposure. We can’t thank the ITA and Tennis Australia enough for all the work they did making this trip possible.”
Carolina began the match by claiming the doubles point, going up, 1-0, opposite of the Trojans. Mia Horvit and Kennedy Wicker notched the first win for South Carolina, defeating Salma Ewing and Ana Neffa, 6-4, on court three. Clinching the doubles point, Paige Cline and Rachel Rohrabacher battled at the No. 2 spot with Becca Weissmann and Danielle Willson. The Gamecock duo came back from being down, 6-5, winning it in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (5).
In singles, Carolina started strong, with No. 69 Horvit, Megan Davies and Silvia Chinellato claiming their first sets, 6-0, 6-1 and 6-3, respectively. On the flipside, No. 25 Cline and Rohrabacher each fought hard in their second sets to push their matches to a third set. Southern Cal proved to be too much for the Gamecocks in the long run, winning at six, three, five and two singles, and ending the match, 4-1.
Up next, Carolina returns to Columbia to host ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Jan. 26-27. The No. 12 Gamecocks first play No. 52 California at 11 a.m., in the No. 1 vs. No. 4 seed match on Saturday. The championship match is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m., with the consolation match taking place at 11 a.m.
Southern Cal 4, No. 12 South Carolina 1
(1) #42 Kulikov/Valdes (USC) def. Chinellato/Davie (SC) 6-1
(2) Cline/Rohrabacher (SC) def. Weissmann/Wilson (USC) 7-6 (5)
(3) Horvit/Wicker (SC) def. Ewing/Neffa (USC) 6-4
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
(1) #25 Paige Cline (SC) vs. #20 Salma Ewing (USC) 5-7, 6-4, 2-5 DNF
(2) Angela Kulikov (USC) def. #69 Mia Hovit (SC) 0-6, 6-4, 7-5
(3) Rianna Valdes (USC) def. Megan Davies (SC) 1-6, 6-1, 6-4
(4) Silvia Chinellato (SC) vs. Becca Weissmann (USC) 6-3, 2-6, 4-5 DNF
(5) #87 Ana Neffa (USC) def. Rachel Rohrabacher (SC) 6-3, 5-7, 6-3
(6) #99 Danielle Willson (USC) def. Kennedy Wicker (SC) 6-3, 6-1
Order of finish: 6, 3, 5, 2
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