South Carolina Prepped for Weekend in Oklahoma
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina is set to travel to Oklahoma for a pair of dual matches this weekend. The Gamecocks will first face No. 18 Oklahoma on Friday, Jan. 21, at 6 p.m. ET before heading to Oklahoma State on Sunday, Jan. 23, for a matchup at 1 p.m. ET. The dual matches in Oklahoma will be South Carolina’s first of the 2022 spring season.
- Three Gamecocks received ITA Preseason Singles Rankings: No. 2 Sarah Hamner, No. 28 Ayana Akli and No. 118 Megan Davies. Doubles pair Davies/Allie Gretkowski earned the No. 37 ranking.
- South Carolina opened its spring campaign with the Carolina Kickoff in which freshmen Misa Malkin and Sarah Hamner notably upset the No. 2 doubles team in the nation. Overall, the Gamecocks notched eight wins in the two-day tournament.
- In the 2021 spring season, the Gamecocks began their dual match campaign 2-0 with wins over East Tennessee State and Coastal Carolina.
- South Carolina earned 84 singles wins in fall 2021. Twenty-six of those wins came against ranked opponents. It also won 30 doubles matches in fall competition.
- The Gamecocks have seven returners and four newcomers this season. They are led by head coach Kevin Epley (10th season), associate head coach Ty Schaub (3rd season) and assistant volunteer coach Jason Kerst (1st season).
- Epley currently has 299 career wins under his belt and will look to notch his 300th this weekend.
Scouting the Sooners
- In the latest ITA Top 25 Coaches Poll, Oklahoma is ranked No. 18 in the nation. The team moved up one spot in the poll after starting the season 2-0.
- Oklahoma boasts four ranked singles players: No. 16 Layne Sleeth, No. 83 Ivana Corley, No. 101 Emma Staker and No. 105 Carmen Corley.
- The Sooners started the season with a strong 7-0 win over Wyoming. In the matchup, Oklahoma won eight of its 13 played singles sets 6-0.
- Oklahoma most recently topped No. 23 Princeton in a 4-3 decision. The match came down to the last singles match to decide the winner between the ranked opponents.
- Oklahoma has won its doubles point in each of its two matchups this spring.
- The Sooners went 15-7 in the 2021 spring season and were selected to the NCAA Championships. They did not play any SEC opponents in the spring 2021 campaign.
- The nine-member roster is led by head coach Audra Cohen (6th year), assistant coach Jose Gracia (1st year) and volunteer assistant coach Mariana Cobra (2nd year).
The Oklahoma Series
- South Carolina is 3-0 all time against Oklahoma. The teams first met in a neutral site match in 1986 in which the Gamecocks won 8-1.
- The most recent meeting between the Gamecocks and the Sooners took place at the 2018 ITA Kickoff Weekend in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina blanked Oklahoma 4-0 in the match.
- Friday’s match will be the first time Oklahoma hosts South Carolina.
Scouting the Cowgirls
- Oklahoma State opened its spring season at the Freeman Memorial Tournament in which it earned seven singles wins and one doubles win. Of the seven singles wins, four were earned by freshman Mananchaya Sawankgaew and included two upsets over top-50 opponents.
- The Cowgirls own two singles and one doubles ranking in the ITA Polls: No. 55 Oona Orpana, No. 86 Mananchaya Sawangkaew and No. 56 Ayumi Miyamoto/Mananchaya Sawangkaew.
- In their first dual match of the season against No. 23 Princeton, the Cowgirls upset their ranked opponent in a 5-2 decision.
- The Cowgirls went 11-12 in the 2020-21 season and competed against SEC opponent Mizzou twice in the regular season. They also faced Auburn in the NCAA Championships but lost 4-2 in the first round.
- Oklahoma State’s six returners and three freshmen are led by head coach Chris Young (12th season) and assistant coach Jaime Sanchez-Cañamares (3rd season).
The Oklahoma State Series
- South Carolina is 5-5 all time against Oklahoma State dating back to the first matchup in 1982. The Gamecocks and the Cowgirls have never met in Stillwater, Okla.
- The teams most recently faced off in February 2020 in which Oklahoma State took the 4-2 win.
- South Carolina’s last win over Oklahoma State was in Feb. 2019 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. The then-No. 15 Gamecocks upset the then-No. 9 Cowgirls in a 4-1 decision.
Match Day Coverage
For more information on South Carolina women’s tennis, check out the team on GamecocksOnline and on social media: