Hamner Leads South Carolina in Notable ITA Preseason Rankings
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The ITA released its preseason singles, doubles and newcomer rankings Tuesday in which South Carolina women’s tennis claimed multiple spots. Freshman Sarah Hamner led the Gamecocks with the No. 1 spot on the ITA Women’s Top 10 Newcomers list, the first to earn the top spot in program history.
Hamner, who recently competed in the US Open Juniors Championships, was named the No. 2 recruit in the spring of 2020 before rising to No. 1 in 2021. She posted a 62-11 record in singles in 2020, notably winning the 2020 USTA/UTR Reel Tennis Open Circuit 3 by taking down four blue-chip recruits. Hamner, a blue-chip recruit herself, is one of four SEC athletes on the newcomers list.
In singles, recent transfer Ayana Akli ranked No. 29, which is the highest preseason singles rank for the Gamecocks since the 2017-18 season. In the 2020-21 season, she advanced to the second round of the NCAA Singles Championship after downing previously undefeated Fiona Crawley of North Carolina. Akli’s ranking ties her career-high that occurred last season.
Megan Davies came in at No. 50 for her 28th consecutive ranking. This marks her second highest preseason ranking and her 22nd in the top 50. Last season, she became one of 11 players in school history to win at least 75 matches in both singles and doubles.
In doubles, Davies and Allie Gretkowski ranked No. 40 for the preseason. This is their first season as a ranked team and their overall first season together. Their combined individual doubles records from the last season adds to 29-15.