Gamecocks Travel to College Station for ITA Kickoff Weekend
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina is prepped for ITA Kickoff Weekend in College Station, Texas and will go head-to-head with Texas Tech on Saturday at noon ET. The result of Saturday’s match will determine if South Carolina will face No. 13 Texas A&M or Princeton on Sunday.
South Carolina, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Princeton are all competing for a spot at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Madison, Wis. Should the Gamecocks end the weekend 2-0, they will qualify for the indoor tournament.
- 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 competed in its first dual match at then-No. 18 Oklahoma in which the Sooners took the win in a 5-2 decision.
- No. 2 Sarah Hamner and junior Elise Mills earned points for the Gamecocks at the top and bottom of the lineup, respectively. Both won in straight sets.
- Head coach Kevin Epley is going for his 300th career win this weekend, as he currently has 299.
- The Gamecocks have seven returners and four newcomers this season. They are led by head coach Epley (10th season), associate head coach Ty Schaub (3rd season) and assistant volunteer coach Jason Kerst (1st season).
Scouting the Red Raiders
- Texas Tech is currently 2-0 with wins over UTEP and Abilene Christian University. The Red Raiders have not lost a point in either match, winning 5-0 and 4-0, respectively.
- Texas Tech won each of its seven singles points in straight sets. In doubles, it has only given up a combined four games between its two matches.
- The Red Raiders have three ranked singles players in No. 46 Margarita Skriabina, No. 47 Avelina Sayfetdinova, and No. 89 Kailey Evans. They are a combined 4-0 in singles play.
- Texas Tech has six returners and three freshmen on its roster who are led by head coach Todd Petty (14th season), associate head coach Melissa Kopinski (4th season) and volunteer assistant coach Tucker Clary (1st season).
The Texas Tech Series
- The Gamecocks are 3-0 all time against the Red Raiders, including a 1-0 record on the road.
- South Carolina most recently defeated Texas Tech 4-1 in February 2020 in Lubbock, Texas.
- The Gamecocks won the doubles point in the last two meetings.
Scouting the Aggies
- In the most recent ITA Top 25 Coaches Poll, the Aggies remained at No. 13 for the second week in a row.
- Texas A&M has one singles ranking in No. 122 Tatiana Makarova and one top-five doubles ranking in No. 5 Jayci Goldsmith/Makarova.
- The Aggies are 6-0 this spring and won each match in a 7-0 decision.
- Head coach Mark Weaver (8th season), assistant coach Jordan Szabo (5th season) and volunteer assistant coach Bjorn Thomson (1st season) lead Texas A&M’s seven returners and five freshmen.
The Texas A&M Series
- South Carolina is 11-7 all time and 6-2 on the road against Texas A&M.
- The Gamecocks most recently defeated the Aggies in March 2020 in a 4-2 decision.
- South Carolina and Texas A&M last met during the SEC Tournament, in which the Aggies knocked the Gamecocks out of contention for the conference title in a 4-2 decision.
Scouting the Tigers
- Princeton has ranked players in No. 4 Daria Frayman, No. 23 Victoria Hu, No. 60 Brianna Shvets, and No. 7 Daria Frayman/Grace Joyce.
- The Tigers were previously ranked No. 23 in the first two weeks of the season but go into ITA Kick-Off weekend without a number next to their name.
- Princeton is 0-4 this spring and three of those losses came against top-25 teams: then-No. 19 Oklahoma, then-No. 8 NC State and then-No. 6 Duke.
- The Tigers won the doubles point in their match against Duke in which Neha Velaga claimed a singles point in an upset over the No. 48 player.
- Princeton’s closest losses came in 4-3 decisions against Oklahoma and NC State.
- The Tigers boast 10 returners and three freshmen on their team. They are led by head coach Laura Granville (10th season), assistant coach Aaron Paul (4th season), and volunteer assistant coach Arthur Stefani (1st season).
The Princeton Series
- South Carolina is 3-1 against Princeton and is 3-0 against the Tiger in neutral site play.
- The last meeting between the teams was in 2015 in the first round of the NCAA Championship. The Gamecocks notched the 4-3 win to advance in the tournament.
Match Day Coverage
- South Carolina’s match against Texas Tech will have live scoring available here and will be below the Texas A&M vs. Princeton matches. Only if the Gamecocks face Texas A&M on Sunday will there be live video of the match.
For more information on South Carolina women’s tennis, check out the team on GamecocksOnline and on social media: