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South Carolina Advances to Semis of SEC Tournament, Downs No. 11 Florida 4-1
Women's Tennis  . 

South Carolina Advances to Semis of SEC Tournament, Downs No. 11 Florida 4-1

Allie Gretkowski Clinches Match at No. 5 Singles 7-5 in Third Set

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The No. 26 South Carolina women’s tennis team registered a 4-1 upset of No. 11 and second-seeded Florida in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Wednesday.

The Gamecocks, seeded No. 7, improved to 12-10 on the season and avenged a 4-2 loss to the Gators to end the regular season last week in Columbia, S.C. Florida is now 12-7 overall.

Doubles Recap

South Carolina’s top duo of Megan Davies and Mia Horvit stormed out of the gates at No. 1 doubles, taking a 5-0 lead on the nation’s fifth-ranked tandem of McCartney Kessler and Marlee Zein. After the Gators managed to get a couple games, the Gamecocks served out the match for a 6-2 victory.

Less than a minute later, Florida responded with a dominant performance on court two, as Ida Jarlskog and Layne Sleeth took down Silvia Chinellato and Emma Shelton 6-1 to set up the deciding match on court three.

At No. 3 doubles, the Gamecocks’ Allie Gretkowski and Elise Mills trailed Sydney Berlin and Sara Dahlstrom 2-1, but they recovered with four straight games for a commanding 5-2 advantage. The Gamecock duo had a critical hold up 4-2 on Mills’ serve, as the Gators held a 15-40 lead, but Gretkowski’s outstanding hands at the net helped push the lead to 5-2. After the Gators held serve to make it 5-3, Gretkowski stepped up and served out the contest for a 6-3 victory and a 1-0 team lead heading to singles play.

Singles Recap

The Gamecocks came out on a mission in singles play and took four of the first sets on courts 1-6, two of which came in tiebreaks. It was evident early on with how closely contested many of the points were on all the courts several three-setters were likely in store for the afternoon.

Three matches ended up going down in straight sets, and two of them belonged to South Carolina. No. 86 Emma Shelton got the first one against No. 84 Ida Jarlskog on court three, winning the contest 6-4, 6-2. Shortly afterward, the Gators got what ended up being their only point on the day with Layne Sleeth beating Silvia Chinellato at the No. 4 slot by a 6-2, 6-2 final.

Ahead 2-1, Megan Davies came through in a big way at No. 2 singles against No. 46 Marlee Zein. After winning the first set 6-3, the 63rd-ranked Davies fell behind 3-0 in the second set, but Davies stayed calm and slowly fought her way back into the contest. Still down 5-3, Davies played some of her best tennis of the season and ran off four games in a row to earn the 6-3, 7-5 triumph and put Carolina in a commanding position up 3-1.

The remaining matches on courts one, five and six all went three sets. At one, Florida’s No. 7-ranked McCartney Kessler had match points in the second set versus No. 56 Mia Horvit serving up 6-5, but Horvit was able to get the match into a tiebreak for the second. Horvit lost the first set in a tiebreak 7-2, but she refused to leave the court after just two sets and won the second breaker 7-3.

While Horvit’s match headed to a third set, Allie Gretkowski and Elise Mills both had opportunities to win the match for the Gamecocks in third sets at five and six. Gretkowski won the first 7-4 in a tiebreak over Sara Dahlstrom and Mills took hers in a tiebreak as well from Sydney Berlin by an 8-6 score. Gretkowski lost the second 6-2 and Mills faltered 6-3 in her second set.

After Gretkowski took a 2-0 lead in the third, Dahlstrom tied it back up and with the match still knotted up at 3-all on serve, Dahlstrom got a crucial hold on a winner-take-all deuce point to lead 4-3 at the changover. Gretkowski, a first semester freshman, kept her composure and continued to hold serve and then got the break she was looking for with the match tied up 5-all. From there, the rookie delivered in the biggest win of her young career to down Dahlstrom 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-5 and propel the Gamecocks into the semifinals of the SEC Tournament.

Horvit had her match at No. 1 suspended with the games knotted up at 1-all, while Berlin had a 4-2 advantage over Mills in the third set at six.


  • The Gamecocks are competing in their 29th SEC Tournament and now have an all-time record of 27-27. They advanced to the semifinals of the event for the seventh time and have made the semis three of the past four tournaments.
  • South Carolina has won eight of its past nine matches.
  • Mia Horvit now has 175 combined victories in her career, tying Jennifer Radman for sixth place on the Gamecocks’ all-time wins list.
  • Emma Shelton is currently riding a seven-match unbeaten streak in singles.
  • Allie Gretkowski remains unbeaten this season playing the No. 3 doubles position with a 12-0 record.
  • Wednesday’s win was South Carolina’s seventh this season against a team with a higher ranking.
  • Megan Davies moved up to 11th in school history for career wins with 161 after picking up victories in singles and doubles.
  • South Carolina defeated Florida for just the fifth time in school history, but the Gamecocks have won three of the past four meetings.
  • Mia Horvit and Megan Davies defeated Marlee Zein and McCartney Kessler for the second time in as many weeks at No. 1 doubles. Zein and Kessler were ranked No. 2 in the first meeting and No. 5 heading into today’s match.
  • The Gamecocks won the doubles point for the 16th time in 22 matches this season and have won it 13 times in their past 16 contests.

Up Next

South Carolina will take on No. 12 and third-seeded Texas A&M on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

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