Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+
Gamecocks Win Sixth in a Row, Down No. 21 Kentucky 4-2
Women's Tennis  . 

Gamecocks Win Sixth in a Row, Down No. 21 Kentucky 4-2

South Carolina Grabs Fourth Consecutive Upset

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 29 South Carolina women’s tennis team extended its winning streak to six matches Saturday with a 4-2 victory against No. 21 Kentucky at the Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C.

The Gamecocks are now 10-9 on the season and 7-5 in the conference, while the Wildcats dipped to 13-6 and 5-6 in the league. South Carolina has won four straight matches against teams with higher rankings than the Gamecocks.

Doubles Recap

The Gamecocks won the doubles point in dramatic fashion, needing 55 minutes to decide the outcome. They got off to a hot start thanks to Silvia Chinellato and Emma Shelton at the No. 2 position. After they lost the first game to Carla Girbau and Elizabeth Stevens, head coach Kevin Epley gave them a quick pep talk and it translated into an aggressive 6-2 victory.

Courts one and three did not look good for South Carolina after taking court two, as the Gamecocks trailed 5-3 on both. Each duo, though, remained composed and almost simultaneously stayed alive by cutting the margins to 5-4. In no time, both matches were tied at 5-all and eventually headed to a pair of tiebreaks.

At one, No. 16 Mia Horvit and Megan Davies raced out to a 5-2 lead on No. 8 Fiona Arrese and Akvile Parazinskaite in the tiebreak. Meanwhile, on court three, Ana Cruz and Allie Gretkowski grabbed a 4-2 advantage on Lesedi Jacobs and Anastasia Tkachenko. As Arrese and Parazinskaite charged back and won four straight points for a match point opportunity, the left-handed Cruz finished off the contest at three with an ace down the T to pick up the 7-5 win in the tiebreak.

Singles Recap

There were no easy matches to be had in the singles portion of the competition. The Gamecocks did manage to take the first sets on four of the six courts, but the Wildcats would not go away easily at any of the positions.

Silvia Chinellato gave the Gamecocks what ended up being their only straight-set victory on the day at the No. 4 position. She fought her way to a 6-4, 6-4 triumph against Carla Girbau to give South Carolina a 2-0 lead and finish the weekend with an unbeaten record.

The Wildcats got themselves on the board not long after Chinellato picked up the win on court four courtesy of Fiona Arrese at the No. 5 slot. She defeated Allie Gretkowski 6-4, 7-5 to cut the deficit in half. Later, No. 47 Akvile Parazinskaite came back from a 6-2 first-set loss to No. 39 Mia Horvit at the top singles spot to pick up a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 triumph to even the match at 2-all.

Courts two, three and six all ended up going the distance to set up the exciting finish. At two, No. 46 Megan Davies took the first set from Carlota Molina 6-3 and then lost the second 6-2. In the third, she bounced back and was a brick wall against the heavy shots Molina continued to unload. Davies’ persistence paid off, as she wore down her opponent to take the third set 6-3 and put the Gamecocks ahead 3-2.

South Carolina had total control over the final two matches on court and it was a race to the finish line. Emma Shelton, ranked No. 108, ended up getting there just ahead of Ana Cruz, as she took out No. 71 Lesedi Jacobs 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-0 on court three to secure the win for the Gamecocks. It marked the second-highest ranked win of Shelton’s career and extended the sophomore’s winning streak to five matches.

At six, Cruz lost the first set to Maialen Morante 7-5 but recovered to take the second 6-1 and had a 5-0 lead in the third when play was suspended.


  • South Carolina has won six matches in a row and five of those six have come against teams with higher rankings.
  • The Gamecocks won the doubles point for the 13th time in 19 matches this season.
  • Allie Gretkowski and Ana Cruz are still undefeated at No. 3 doubles this season with a 10-0 record, and they are 8-1 in SEC matches.
  • Emma Shelton is currently riding a five-match winning streak.
  • South Carolina is now assured of a winning SEC record for the fifth season in a row.
  • Both Emma Shelton and Silvia Chinellato posted 4-0 records on the weekend between singles and doubles. Ana Cruz also went undefeated with a 3-0 mark.
  • Emma Shelton knocked off the second-highest ranked player of her career in defeating No. 71 Lesedi Jacobs.
  • Head coach Kevin Epley is now three wins shy of 300 for his career.
  • South Carolina improved to 26-16 in the all-time series with Kentucky and has won eight in a row over the Wildcats, the longest streak by either team.

Up Next

South Carolina will close out the regular season against No. 15 Florida next Saturday in Columbia at noon. The Gators have also won six straight after defeating Vanderbilt 4-2 on Saturday in Gainesville, Fla.

For more information on South Carolina women’s tennis, check out the team on GamecocksOnline and on social media: