Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+
Davies Secures Upset Over No. 16 Tennessee
Women's Tennis  . 

Davies Secures Upset Over No. 16 Tennessee

Columbia, S.C. – No. 59 South Carolina women’s tennis defended its home winning streak with an upset over No. 16 Tennessee on Friday. The Gamecocks played competitive matches in every spot and graduate student Megan Davies clinched the 4-1 win for South Carolina in three sets.
South Carolina began with a strong showing in doubles. In the No. 2 spot, Ayana Akli and Ana Cruz made quick work of their match and only dropped one game on the way to the 6-1 win. The pair are now 6-2 this spring.
At the top of the lineup, Davies and Sarah Hamner faced No. 10 Tenika McGiffin and Daria Kuczer. The unranked Gamecock pair dominated and went up 4-0 but McGiffin and Kuczer came back to win two games. 
Even still, Davies and Hamner would not go unanswered. With a cross-court overhead from Hamner, the Gamecocks clinched the doubles point to take the 1-0 lead. The win also extended South Carolina’s streak of securing doubles points at home to five.
The Gamecocks brought their momentum from doubles right into singles play. In the No. 5 spot, freshman Misa Malkin faced senior Daria Kuczer. Malkin won the first game, but Kuczer found her footing to take the 4-2 lead. The Gamecock newcomer was not ready to give up and won the next four games to earn the 6-4 win. 
Momentum in the second set shifted in Kuczer’s favor who once again went up 4-2. Much like the first set, Malkin battled back to get ahead 5-4. The final point came down to a long rally between the SEC foes which ended with a powerful mid-court volley from Malkin to notch the 6-4 win and put South Carolina up 2-0.
No. 85 Elise Mills was the next to wrap up play on Court 4. After she built a 2-0 lead in the first set, Tennessee’s Esther Adeshina fought back and caught up to Mills. Play was neck-in-neck and reached four games all until Mills pulled ahead to win 6-4. 
Adeshina led Mills most of the second set until the Gamecock junior tied things up at six all. Mills earned the first point in the tiebreak, but her Lady Volunteer foe pushed ahead to a 3-1 lead. From there, Mills locked in and did not drop another point to earn the 7-6 (3) second set win after Adeshina returned a volley out of play. With a 3-0 lead, South Carolina needed one more to complete the upset.
The Lady Volunteers got on the board with a win on Court 2 after No. 66 Akli fell in three sets. All remaining courts were in a third set and the win was on the horizon for South Carolina. 
On Court 3, Davies faced No. 75 Elza Tomase where Davies came back from an 0-2 deficit to earn the 6-3 first set win. The second set went much differently in which Tomase efficiently won 6-1. With one set each, Davies began her fight to win the match for the Gamecocks. 
Davies quickly settled in and cruised to a 5-1 lead in the final set. With the win on the line, Tomase fought hard to bring the final game score to deuce. Davies pushed through a long rally and hit a powerful backhand that Tomase dumped into the net, allowing Davies to clinch the 4-1 upset over Tennessee. 
South Carolina looks to continue its undefeated home contests when it faces No. 23 Georgia on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Carolina Tennis Center.
(59) South Carolina def. (16) Tennessee 4-1
Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 1*)
1. Megan Davies/Sarah Hamner (SC) def. No. 10 Tenika McGiffin/Daria Kuczer (TENN) 6-2
2. Ayana Akli/Ana Cruz (SC) def. Esther Adeshina/Elza Tomase (TENN) 6-1
3. Elise Mills/Lindsay Tulenko (SC) vs. Eleonora Molinaro/Rebeka Mertena (TENN) 3-4 DNF
Singles (Order of Finish: 5, 4, 2, 3*)
1. No. 2 Sarah Hamner (SC) vs. No. 31 Rebeka Mertena (TENN) 7-6 (1), 3-6, 0-1 DNF
2. No. 45 Tenika McGiffin (TENN) def. No. 66 Ayana Akli (SC) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 
3. Megan Davies (SC) def. No. 75 Elza Tomase (TENN) 6-3, 1-6, 6-1
4. No. 85 Elise Mills (SC) def. Esther Adeshina (TENN) 6-4, 7-6 (3)
5. Misa Malkin (SC) def. Daria Kuczer (TENN) 6-4, 6-4
6. Ana Cruz (SC) vs. Eleonora Molinaro (TENN) 6-4, 4-6 DNF