Women’s Tennis Travels to Charlottesville for ITA Kickoff Weekend
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina women’s tennis will travel to Charlottesville, Va., to compete in the ITA Kickoff Weekend, hosted by Virginia. Matches will take place at the Boar’s Head Sports Club and will run Fri., Jan. 27 and Sat., Jan. 28.
Second-seeded South Carolina will face No. 3 seed Northwestern on Friday beginning at 6:00 p.m. following top-seed Virginia taking on fourth-seeded Washington State at 3 p.m.
The winners of the two matches will face on Saturday in the championship match at 3:30 p.m. with the consolation match to follow at 6:30 p.m.
The ITA Kickoff Weekend events are hosted by 15 sites across the country with 60 teams competing for 15 available spots at the ITA Indoor National Championships in Seattle, Wash. Teams at each site were selected via a summer draft where coaches have the opportunity to pick where they would like to play.
All matches are free and open to the public. Those who cannot attend in-person can watch live streaming here and live scoring here.
- South Carolina’s Ayana Akli was recently named the SEC Player of the Week after having upset the nation’s No. 13 player Alana Smith of NC State in straight sets at the Gamecocks’ dual season opener.
- Akli is currently on a four-match win streak dating back through tournament play with all four wins coming in straight sets over ranked opponents.
- Fellow senior Ana Cruz continues to be a staple of the doubles lineup. Cruz has a career dual doubles record of 29-12 and posted a 15-7 mark during the 2022 season.
- Freshman Alice Otis is in search of her first statement win. Otis joined the team at the start of January and picked up her first dual doubles win in South Carolina’s dual season opener against NC State.
Scouting the Wildcats
- Northwestern is 2-1 so far on the season with sweeps over UIC and Chicago State. Their first loss of the season came at the hands of No. 21 Vanderbilt in a 5-2 decision.
- The Wildcats are led by junior Maria Shusharina who is playing at the No. 1 position for the team for the second consecutive season.
- Northwestern has been consistent at the bottom of their lineup with perfect 3-0 records at the No. 5 and 6 positions.
- Northwestern went 14-10 last season and earned an invitation to the NCAA Championships where they fell in the first round to Wake Forest.
Scouting the Cougars
- Washington State is 2-0 on the season with a sweep on Montana and a narrow 4-3 victory over Gonzaga
- The Cougars are home to the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week Maxine Murphy who wen 1-1 in both singles and doubles during the team’s opening weekend.
- Washington State went 8-15 overall during the 2022 season with their season ending the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Championships.
Scouting the Cavaliers
- Virginia is ranked No. 8 in the latest ITA Coaches Poll. The Cavaliers opened their season with a 7-0 win over Richmond and a 6-1 win over James Madison.
- Graduate transfer Julia Adams leads the team from the top spot in the lineup. She is 12-9 overall in singles on the season and is ranked No. 34 in the nation.
- Virginia is home to five other ranked singles players – No. 50 Elaine Chervinsky, No. 62 Annabelle Xu, No. 77 Hibah Shaikh, No. 90 Natasha Subhashm and No. 98 Melodie Collard.
- The Cavaliers also have three ranked doubles pairs – No. 3 Chervinsky/Subhash, No. 25 Adams/Xu, and No. 49 Collard/Shaikh
- South Carolina leads the all-time series against Virginia 9-4 but the Cavaliers are 2-4 in Charlottesville. The two teams last faced in 2021 with Virginia coming out on top 4-1.
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