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Hamner Claims ITA All-American National Championships Title
Women's Tennis  . 

Hamner Claims ITA All-American National Championships Title

CHARLESTON, S.C. – No. 1 Newcomer Sarah Hamner claimed the ITA All-American National Championships title and became the first Gamecock in program history to win the event. She overcame the No. 12 player in the final on Sunday.
“Sarah accomplished something extraordinary this week. To win three matches in the qualifying rounds and then march through five matches against the best players in the nation as a freshman is an extraordinarily difficult feat,” said head coach Kevin Epley. “She kept her head about her the whole week and matured as a player throughout the tournament. She is a true competitor with a laser-like focus on winning and no moment is too big for her. We are all very proud of her and are looking forward to what’s ahead for her and the team this year.”
Hamner faced No. 12 Alexa Noel of Iowa in the finals. The freshman had an impressive first set performance, blanking Noel 6-0. She won the final point with a powerful forehand that Noel returned out of bounds.
In the second set, Hamner trailed 1-2 but came back to tie it 2-2. Noel then pulled ahead 2-5 but Hamner fought back to close in 3-5. Ultimately, Noel came away with the second set win to send the match into a third set.
Hamner started off the third set the same way as the first, going 1-0. Noel pushed back to tie things 1-1, but Hamner was on fire. She went on to win the next three games and take the 4-1 lead, winning one game on an ace serve. Noel won the next game to bring the score to 4-2, but it was not enough to edge Hamner. The newcomer took the 5-2 lead when Noel pulled out due to injury, allowing Sarah the win and the national title.
Hamner, in addition to making program history, is the fourth SEC player to win the tournament. The last SEC winner was Fernanda Conteras of Vanderbilt 2017. Hamner is now the most recent player to advance through the qualifying rounds to win the tournament, the last being Gonzaga’s Sophie Whittle in 2018.
The Gamecocks will continue their fall season with the ITA Carolina Regionals from Oct. 21-25 in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Finals Results
Singles – Main Draw
Sarah Hamner (SC) def. No. 12 Alexa Noel (IOWA) 6-0, 3-6, 5-2 (ret. inj.)

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