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Carolina Wins SEC Opener; Defeats Auburn, 4-2
Women's Tennis  . 

Carolina Wins SEC Opener; Defeats Auburn, 4-2

AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 30 South Carolina (5-4, 1-0 SEC) women’s tennis team opened SEC play with a, 4-2, victory over No. 48 Auburn (7-4, 0-1 SEC) on Friday evening at the Yarbrough Tennis Center in Auburn, Ala.
Friday’s victory marks the Gamecocks’ third-straight win over the Tigers and the 21st overall.
“What a hard-fought SEC match,” head coach Kevin Epley said. “Auburn is a very tough and well-coached team and I think they will surprise some people as the season progresses. I thought they played great doubles and never gave up in singles. It could have gone either way and I’m happy our senior had the opportunity to clinch for us. We are battling a lot of injuries, so we had to dig deep today and the girls found a way to get it done.”
South Carolina started out in a deficit after dropping the doubles point to Auburn. The Tigers grabbed their first win on court one with No. 56 Megan Davies and Mia Horvit falling to No. 9-ranked Taylor Russo and Selin Ovunc, 6-3. At the No. 2 spot, No. 12 Silvia Chinellato and Emma Shelton topped Georgie Axon and Madeline Meredith, 7-6 (5), staying undefeated in doubles at 4-0.
With all eyes on court three, Gabriela Martinez and Elise Mills and Carolyn Ansari and Yu Chen were also playing a tiebreaker. The Gamecocks were not able to overcome the Tigers, losing the match, 7-6 (3).
Shelton picked up where she left off in singles, getting off the court quickly with a commanding, 6-1, 6-0, win opposite of Chen at the No. 3 position. With the victory, Shelton remains undefeated in dual-match singles at 9-0.
Adding another point to the board, Mills grabbed a win on court six, defeating Meredith in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. Extending Carolina’s lead to 3-0, Horvit followed up with a three-set victory at the No. 1 spot, topping No. 78 Russo, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
At the No. 2 position, No. 20 Davies was playing a close one with Ovunc, but ultimately fell in three sets, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.
Coming down to courts four and five, Chinellato and Martinez were both looking to clinch the match for their team. Chinellato was the one to pull it out, downing Axon in another three-set battle, 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-4, at the No. 4 spot.
Play was suspended with Martinez up in her match, 6-2, 4-6, 6-5 and 30-0.
Up next, the Gamecocks take on Alabama on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
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