Women’s Tennis Defeats Northwestern 4-2
Charlottesville, Va. – South Carolina women’s tennis defeated Northwestern 4-2 on Friday evening to advance at the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Charlottesville, Va. The Gamecocks gave up the doubles point but were strong in singles, earning four wins to take the match.
The doubles point was close with all three matches being needed for the decision. Senior Ayana Akli and sophomore Gracie Mulville picked up the first win 6-2 from the top spot in the lineup for the Gamecocks, but the Cats responded with a win from the No. 2 position. The final match on was freshman Alice Otis and senior Elise Mills who couldn’t quite close out their match, dropping a close 7-5 decision to give Northwestern the doubles point.
Play transitioned to singles where sophomore Misa Malkin was able to get the Gamecocks on the board to even the match score at 1-1. Malkin took her first set 6-3 and breezed through her second set 6-1 for her first dual victory of the season.
Otis got the next point on the board for South Carolina. The freshman picked up her first career dual win in straight sets, defeating her opponent 6-3, 6-3.
Northwestern didn’t let the Gamecocks hold the lead for long, earning a win on Court 4 to even the match at 2-2.
Mills was able to get the Gamecocks in winning position with her ranked victory on Court 3. The senior took on No. 54 Christina Hand. The first set was even throughout and had to be decided in a tiebreaker that Mills came out on top of 8-6. The second set started in similar fashion, but Mills was able to earn a perfectly timed break to win the second set 6-4 for her first ranked win of the season.
Mulville earned her first career match clinch to send the Gamecocks on to the championship match. The sophomore split sets with her opponent, taking the first 6-3 and giving up the second by the same margin. Mulville then got back on the right track to take her final set 6-3 for the match win.
South Carolina will advance to tomorrow’s championship match where they will face No. 8 Virginia for a chance to earn a ticket to the ITA Indoor National Championships in Seattle, Wash. The match will begin at 3:30 p.m. Live results will be available here and live streaming will be available here.
For all the latest South Carolina women’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockWTennis).
South Carolina 4, Northwestern 2
Doubles (order of finish 1, 2, 3)
- Ayana Akli/Gracie Mulville (SC) def. Briana Crowley/Sydney Pratt (NUW) 6-2
- Justine Leong/Christina Hand (NUW) def. Allie Gretkowski/Ana Cruz (SC) 6-2
- Kiley Rabjohns/Maria Shusharina (NUW) def. Elise Mills/Alice Otis (SC) 7-5
Singles (order of finish 4, 6, 4, 3, 2)
- #20 Ayana Akli (SC) vs. Maria Shusharina (NUW) 6-0, 5-7, 4-2, unfinished
- Gracie Mulville (SC) def. Sydney Pratt (NUW) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
- Elise Mills (SC) def. #54 Christina Hand (NUW) 7-6 (8-6), 6-4
- Justine Leong (NUW) def. Ana Cruz (SC) 6-2, 6-0
- Misa Malkin (SC) def. Briana Crowley (NUW) 6-3, 6-1
- Alice Otis (SC) def. Kiley Rabjohns (NUW) 6-3, 6-3