South Carolina Dominates No. 25 LSU to Remain Unbeaten in SEC Play
Gamecocks Improve to 4-0 in SEC and Win Fifth Straight
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 22 South Carolina women’s tennis team won its fifth consecutive match and remained atop the SEC standings Sunday with a 4-1 victory over 25th-rated LSU at Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina improved to 8-4 overall and 4-0 in league play, while the Tigers dipped to 10-3 and 3-1 in the SEC.
South Carolina gave its full effort in doubles to take the point from LSU with wins on courts one and two. No. 24 Silvia Chinellato and Emma Shelton stormed out to a 5-1 advantage on court two against LSU’s Paris Corley and Anna Loughlan, while No. 77 Mia Horvit and Megan Davies surged ahead, 5-2, at one over the Tigers’ 26th-ranked combo of Nina Geissler and Eden Richardson. Horvit served out the match for a 6-2 victory, but LSU countered with a 6-4 win on court three from Safiya Carrington and Maggie Cubitt over Carolina’s Elise Mills and Kennedy Wicker.
As all eyes turned to court two, Chinellato and Davies saw their 5-1 advantage evaporate into just a 5-4 lead at the changeover after nine games. With Shelton serving, though, the Gamecocks powered through the game without dropping a point to hold serve and secure the doubles point, 6-4. Chinellato scored the final point with a forehand volley winner.
LSU came back to tie the score up 1-all after Maggie Cubitt posted a 6-0, 6-2 victory from Elise Mills at the No. 6 position. The Gamecocks, though, were still in control of the match after taking the first sets on courts 1-4, while the Tigers managed to get the first set on court five.
Following the win by Cubitt, the Gamecocks quickly snatched the momentum away from LSU with three straight-set singles victories. First, No. 25 Megan Davies dispatched No. 71 Safiya Carrington, 6-3, 6-1, at the second spot to make the score 2-1. Davies won the first singles point in Carolina’s come-from-behind victory against No. 36 Texas A&M on Friday as well.
Next, No. 39 Mia Horvit surged past No. 36 Taylor Bridges by a 6-4, 6-1 final at one to put the Gamecocks within a point, and senior Silvia Chinellato delivered the final blow on court four. After winning the first set, 6-4, Chinellato earned a service break to go ahead 4-3 and held for a 5-3 advantage over Nina Geissler. With Geissler serving down 30-40, Chinellato played a steady point and eventually took a short ball on the rise, using a forehand drop shot to close out the match, 6-3, in the second set.
Play stopped on courts three and five after Chinellato clinched the victory. At three, No. 92 Emma Shelton led Eden Richardson 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 in the third, while LSU’s Paris Corley had command of Gabriela Martinez on court five up 6-2, 6-5.
- Megan Davies picked up her team-leading 24th singles victory of the season, improving to 24-12 overall. Davies has won seven of her last eight matches played to completion, and she scored the first singles points in both of Carolina’s wins this weekend.
- Mia Horvit grabbed her 10th win of the season against a ranked opponent with a victory over No. 36 Taylor Bridges. Horvit went 3-0 on the weekend with two ranked singles victories and a ranked win in doubles with partner Megan Davies.
- Mia Horvit and Megan Davies’ doubles win against No. 26 Nina Geissler and Eden Richardson marked their highest ranked win of the season together.
- Senior Silvia Chinellato recorded her fourth win a row.
- The Gamecocks are off to a 4-0 start in SEC play for the third time in the past four seasons.
- South Carolina now leads the all-time series with LSU by a 25-6 margin and has won four of the last six meetings between the two schools.
- The Gamecocks are now 27-3 (.900) in regular-season SEC play since the 2018 season.
- Head coach Kevin Epley is now 287-125 (.697) in his 16th season as a head coach and 136-66 (.673) in his eighth season at South Carolina.
The Gamecocks hit the road for their next two SEC matches, first taking on No. 33 Tennessee on Friday followed by a Sunday matchup at No. 7 Georgia.