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South Carolina Suffers Tough Loss at Arkansas
Women's Tennis  . 

South Carolina Suffers Tough Loss at Arkansas

Fayetteville, Ark. – No. 45 South Carolina fell in a heartbreaking 4-3 loss at No. 36 Arkansas on Friday. After dropping the doubles point, the Gamecocks came back to win three singles matches and forced a third set in the final match of the night. 
In doubles, Arkansas efficiently took the win at the top of the lineup but would not go unanswered by South Carolina. In the No. 2 spot, Ayana Akli and Ana Cruz played a competitive match with their Razorback opponents and never fell behind to earn the 7-5 win. Moments later, Arkansas won the doubles point with a 6-4 win in the No. 3 spot despite Gracie Mulville and Misa Malkin‘s comeback from an early 1-3 deficit. 
In singles, No. 66 Akli quickly settled in for her match on Court 2. The junior steadily built a 4-1 lead before her Arkansas opponent could win another game. Akli notched the first set 6-2 and took off in the second set. She blanked Kelly Keller 6-0 to earn the first singles point of the match and put the Gamecocks on the board.
Arkansas was quick to earn the next point in the No. 5 spot, but South Carolina tied things up once more. No. 2 Sarah Hamnerbuilt a 4-2 lead in her first set on the way to a 6-3 win. She continued to dominate in the second set, winning the first three games before securing the 6-2 decision to tie the match at two points all.
With the next point going to the Razorbacks, it was up to No. 85 Elise Mills to keep the match alive. The Gamecock junior won the first set 6-4 after coming back from an 0-2 deficit. Arkansas’ Lenka Stara then earned the 6-4 second set victory and secured the first game in the final set. Mills remained steady and pulled ahead to win 6-1 in the third set to tie the match once again with one point left to claim.
In the No. 3 spot, graduate student Megan Davies battled against Indianna Spink. The two were neck-in-neck in the first set, trading game wins until Spink won two in a row to take the first set 7-5. Davies stayed alive in the second set with a commanding 6-4 win to force a final set. 
After dropping the first two games, Davies came back to pull ahead 3-2. Spink fought to win the next three games, but her momentum was broken by Davies who closed in 4-5. In the next game, the two played long rallies but it was Spink who ultimately emerged with the 6-4 win to clinch the match for Arkansas in a 4-3 decision. 
South Carolina will head to Missouri for the continuation of SEC play on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.
(36) Arkansas def. (45) South Carolina 4-3
Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3*)
1. No. 28 Tatum Rice/Morgan Cross (ARK) def. Megan Davies/Sarah Hamner (SC)  6-1
2. Ayana Akli/Ana Cruz (SC) def. Laura Rijkers/Lenka Stara (ARK) 7-5
3. Indianna Spink/Kelly Keller (ARK) def. Gracie Mulville/Misa Malkin (SC) 6-4
Singles (Order of Finish: 2, 5, 1, 6, 4, 3*)
1. No. 2 Sarah Hamner (SC) def. Tatum Rice (ARK) 6-3, 6-2
2. No. 66 Ayana Akli (SC) def. Kelly Keller (ARK) 6-2, 6-0
3. Indianna Spink (ARK) def. Megan Davies (SC) 7-5, 4-6, 6-4
4. No. 85 Elise Mills (SC) def. Lenka Stara (ARK) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
5. Morgan Cross (ARK) def. Misa Malkin (SC) 6-2, 6-2
6. Laura Rijkers (ARK) def. Ana Cruz (SC) 6-3, 6-4

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