South Carolina Battles, Falls to NC State
RALEIGH, N.C. – The Gamecocks dropped a tough 7-0 decision to No. 6 NC State on Sunday. Multiple matches were closely contested, and freshman Misa Malkin forced a third set tiebreak in her match.
In doubles, the Wolfpack earned the point with 6-1 wins at the top and bottom of the lineup. At the No. 2 spot, Sarah Hamnerand Ayana Akli led their NC State opponents from the beginning. Hamner and Akli were ahead 4-2 when the match was suspended.
In singles, No. 118 Megan Davies played a tough match against Priska Nugroho. Nugroho won the first set 6-1 and went up 3-0 in the second set. Davies closed in 3-4, but Nugroho won the next two games to give NC State its second point of the day.
In the No. 4 spot, Elise Mills also fought back from a deficit in both sets. After starting down 2-0, she tied things up at 3-3 before NC State’s Nell Miller took the first set 6-4. The second set started the same way until Mills caught up 3-4. From there, Miller went ahead and won 6-3 and earn a point for the Wolfpack.
The match-deciding point happened at the top of the lineup between No. 2 Hamner and No. 8 Jaeda Daniel. NC State quickly took the first set 6-1, but Hamner stayed alive in the second set. She battled back from a sizeable 5-1 deficit to force the tiebreak. Daniel ultimately held Hamner off to win the set 7-6 (1) and clinch the match for NC.
Play continued on Court 2, where No. 28 Akli faced No. 25 Abigail Rencheli. Akli started the set down 2-0 but fought every step of the way to keep the match close. She brought the first set to 6-6 but Rencheli pulled ahead with the tiebreak win 7-6 (3). In the second set, Akli led 2-0 before Rencheli came back to win in a 6-3 decision to give the Wolfpack its fifth point.
After losing the first set 6-1, junior Ana Cruz played a competitive second set. She started with the lead 2-1, but her Wolfpack opponent pushed ahead to top Cruz 6-3.
In the final match of the day, Malkin competed against Sophie Abrams. Abrams took the first set 6-4, but Malkin responded in the second set. She led the entire time to win 6-4 and sent the match to a third set tiebreak. The tiebreak was closely contested, but Abrams earned the 1-0 (8) win to keep NC State perfect on the day.
South Carolina will be back in action at the Carolina Tennis Center on Feb. 20 when they take on upstate rival Clemson at noon.
#6 NC State def. South Carolina 7-0
Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 1*)
1. Amelia Rajecki/Abigail Rencheli (NCSU) def. Elise Mills/Megan Davies (SC) 6-1
2. Ayana Akli/Sarah Hamner (SC) vs. Jaeda Daniel/Nell Miller (NCSU) 4-2, DNF
3. Priska Nugroho/Sara Nayar (NCSU) def. Kendall Couch/Ana Cruz (SC) 6-1
Singles (Order of Finish: 3, 4, 1*, 2, 6, 5)
1. No. 8 Jaeda Daniel (NCSU) def. No. 2 Sarah Hamner (SC) 6-1, 7-6 (1)
2. No. 25 Abigail Rencheli (NCSU) def. No. 28 Ayana Akli (SC) 7-6 (3), 6-3
3. Priska Nugroho (NCSU) def. No. 118 Megan Davies (SC) 6-1, 6-3
4. Nell Miller (NCSU) def. Elise Mills (SC) 6-4, 6-3
5. Sophie Abrams (NCSU) def. Misa Malkin (SC) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (8)
6. Amelia Rajecki (NCSU) def. Ana Cruz (SC) 6-1, 6-3