Gamecocks Conclude Home Slate with 4-1 Win Over Alabama
Columbia, S.C. – No. 34 South Carolina topped No. 42 Alabama 4-1 in its final home match of the season. After dropping the doubles point, the Gamecocks came back to win four singles matches with graduate student Megan Davies clinching the win in her final home appearance.
In doubles, Ayana Akli and Ana Cruz were first to finish their match, efficiently topping their Alabama opponents 6-2 to extend their winning streak to six. Despite the win in the No. 2 spot, the Crimson Tide took the doubles point with wins at the top and bottom of the lineup.
The Gamecocks needed four wins in singles and settled in quickly on all courts. On Court 1, No. 2 Sarah Hamner dominated in her match against Ola Pitak. Hamner went up 5-0 in the first set before Pitak earned a game. The Gamecock freshman took the first set 6-1 and continued to perform in the second, earning another 6-1 win to get South Carolina on the board in straight sets.
At the bottom of the lineup, junior Cruz played an impressive match against Ansley Cheshire. Cruz blanked her Alabama opponent 6-0 in the first set and built to 10 game wins in a row with a 4-0 start in the second set. Cheshire grabbed two games of her own, but the Sao Paulo, Brazil, native held her ground. Cruz took the second set 6-2 with a forehand that Cheshire returned into the net to give the Gamecocks the 2-1 lead.
In the No. 4 spot, No. 104 Elise Mills played a competitive match against Anne Marie Hiser. Mills fought back from a 1-3 deficit in the first set to even the match twice on her way to the 6-4 win. The second set began just like the first, with Mills pushing back to 3-3 from a 1-3 deficit. From there, the junior locked in and completed a six-game run to take the second set 6-3.
With the match on the horizon, Davies was next to finish. The Gamecock veteran was down 1-3 in the first set before evened things up at 3-3. She was neck-in-neck with her Alabama opponent for the next few games, but it was Davies who took the first set 6-4.
Davies settled in for the second set and quickly built to a 5-1 lead over Anna Parkhomenko. In a long rally at match point, Davies hit a forehand that Parkhomenko could not return. Davies clinched the match with a 6-1 second set to help South Carolina defeat Alabama 4-1.
The Gamecocks will finish out the regular season with a road match at No. 15 Florida on Saturday, April 16 at 12:30 p.m.
(34) South Carolina def. (42) Alabama 4-1
Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1*)
1. Anna Parkhomenko/Petra Sedlackova (UA) def. No. 30 Megan Davies/Sarah Hamner (SC) 7-6 (6)
2. Ayana Akli/Ana Cruz (SC) def. Kasia Pitak/Ola Pitak (UA) 6-2
3. Anne Marie Hiser/Sydney Orefice (UA) def. Kendall Couch/Gracie Mulville (SC) 6-4
Singles (Order of Finish: 1, 6, 4, 3*)
1. No. 2 Sarah Hamner (SC) def. Ola Pikak (UA) 6-1, 6-1
2. No. 57 Ayana Akli (SC) vs. No. 102 Petra Sedlackova (UA) 6-3, 0-6, 3-0 DNF
3. Megan Davies (SC) def. Anna Parkhomenko (UA) 6-4, 6-1
4. No. 104 Elise Mills (SC) def. Anne Marie Hiser (UA) 6-4, 6-3
5. Gracie Mulville (SC) vs. Kasia Pitak (UA) 6-7 (5), 5-1 DNF
6. Ana Cruz (SC) def. Ansley Cheshire (UA) 6-0, 6-2