Gamecocks Claim 4-2 Road Win at Kentucky
Lexington, Ky. – No. 34 South Carolina ended the weekend on a high note with a 4-2 win over No. 63 Kentucky. After dropping the doubles point, the Gamecocks came back to win on four singles courts with No. 86 Elise Mills clinching the match for South Carolina.
Doubles were closely contested with Kentucky grabbing the win in the No. 3 spot 6-4. Not long after, No. 38 Megan Daviesand Sarah Hamner came back from an 0-3 deficit and sent their match into a tiebreak. Points went back and forth until Kentucky pulled ahead from 6-6 to clinch the doubles point with a 7-6 (6) win.
The Gamecocks fought back from the beginning in singles. On Court 5, freshman Misa Malkin dominated in her match against Ellie Eades. Malkin quickly built a 5-0 lead before Eades could answer with two games of her own. The Gamecock held steady to close out the first set 6-2 and continued to cruise through the second set. She efficiently blanked Eades 6-0 to give South Carolina its first point.
Next to finish was graduate student Davies who controlled her match against Carla Girbau. After starting 1-1, Davies grew to a 3-1 lead on her way to a 6-2 first set decision. She carried her momentum into her second set to go up 3-0. Girbau won one game, but Davies responded with a 6-1 second set win to give South Carolina the 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats closed in 2-2 with a win on Court 6, but the Gamecocks would not go unanswered. No. 2 Hamner battled in a thrilling first set against Florencia Urrutia. Urrutia led most of the set, but Hamner came back from a 2-5 deficit to take the 7-5 win. From there, Hamner cruised to a 4-1 second set lead before Urrutia tied things up. The Gamecock freshman remained solid to push ahead 6-4 and bring South Carolina closer to the win.
On Court 4, No. 86 Mills dominated in her first set against Lidia Gonzalez. Mills only dropped one game in the first set to win 6-1 and took the first two games in the second set before Gonzalez could respond. The Wildcat eventually took a 5-3 lead, but Mills was not ready to give up.
The South Carolina junior went up 6-5 before the match went into a tiebreak. Her Kentucky opponent led most of the tiebreak to go up 4-1 before Mills built to a 5-4 lead. The next few points were closely contested but it was Mills who would pull ahead to earn the 7-6 (6) victory to clinch the match 4-2 for South Carolina. The win marks Mills’ second clinch of the season.
The Gamecocks return to Columbia for their final weekend of play at home. South Carolina will face No. 9 Auburn on Friday at 5 p.m. and No. 43 Alabama on Sunday at 1 p.m. for Senior Day.
(34) South Carolina def. (63) Kentucky 4-2
Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 1*)
1. Fiona Arrese/Ellie Eades (UK) def. No. 38 Megan Davies/Sarah Hamner (SC) 7-6 (6)
2. Ayana Akli/Ana Cruz (SC) vs. Carla Girbau/Lidia Gonzalez (UK) 4-5 DNF
3. Carlota Molina/Florencia Urrutia (UK) def. Gracie Mulville/Misa Malkin (SC) 6-4
Singles (Order of Finish: 5, 3, 6, 1, 4*)
1. No. 2 Sarah Hamner (SC) def. Florencia Urrutia (UK) 7-5, 6-4
2. No. 61 Ayana Akli (SC) vs. Carlota Molina (UK) 2-6, 6-1, 2-1 DNF
3. Megan Davies (SC) def. Carla Girbau (UK) 6-2, 6-1
4. No. 86 Elise Mills (SC) def. Lidia Gonzalez (UK) 6-1, 7-6 (6)
5. Misa Malkin (SC) def. Ellie Eades (UK) 6-2, 6-0
6. Maialen Morante (UK) def. Gracie Mulville (SC) 6-3, 6-4