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Gamecocks Battle Back to Defeat Wake Forest
Women's Tennis  . 

Gamecocks Battle Back to Defeat Wake Forest

Columbia, S.C. – ­South Carolina women’s tennis battled back after losing the doubles point to defeat Wake Forest 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. The Gamecocks were able to get the job done in singles, picking up four wins.

In doubles, No. 10 Anna Brylin and Brooke Killingsworth defeated Ayana Akli and Gracie Mulville at the top of the lineup, but on Court 3, Sarah Hamner and McKenna Schaefbauer evened the decision with a 6-4 win of their own. The doubles point decision came down to Court 2 where Alice Otis and Allie Gretkowski were locked in a battle.

The Gamecock pair went up 3-1 early, but gave the break back up for Wake Forest to tie the set at five. The Demon Deacons carried their momentum and were able to close out the set 7-5 to secure the doubles point.

Play moved to singles where senior Elise Mills was the first to get the job done and even the match at one all. Mills was dominant throughout her match, winning the first second 6-2 and the second 6-3.

Mulville was able to get the next singles win for the home team and give their Gamecocks their first lead of the match. The sophomore took down Wake Forest’s Brooke Killingsworth 6-3, 6-4.

The next singles point went to the Demon Deacons with Brylin defeating No. 6 Hamner in a comeback. Hamner took the first set 6-2, but Brylin claimed the next two 6-4 and 7-5. This was Hamner’s first dual singles match of the season after suffering an ankle injury in early January.

Otis was able to regain the lead for South Carolina, defeating her opponent in three gritty sets. The Gamecock took the first set in a strong 6-2 showing, but lost the second set in a tiebreak 6-7 (4). Otis got back on track in the final set, winning it 6-3 to take the match.

The lead again didn’t last long with Wake Forest’s Whitley Pate defeating Misa Malkin in three sets on Court 5. Pate and Malkin split the first two sets, but Pate claimed the final one 6-3 for the point.

With the match tied at 3-3, all eyed turned to Court 1 where No. 13 Akli was taking on No. 29 Casie Wooten. The Gamecock senior claimed the first set 7-5, but Wooten took the second 6-4. There were no breaks throughout the final set and the decision fell to a tiebreaker. The tiebreak was a lengthy back and fourth battle, finally coming to a close with a final score of Akli 13 and Wooten 11. Throughout the course of the tiebreak, Akli saved match point on three separate occasions.

Akli is now 21-6 in singles on the season and is on a nine-match singles win streak that includes ranked wins over Nos. 13, 27, 29, 34, 59, and 111.

South Carolina improves to 4-3 on the season and is on a three-match win streak.

The Gamecocks will be in action next in Stillwater, Okla., where they will face Wichita State and Oklahoma State on Feb. 25 at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. respectively.

For all the latest South Carolina women’s tennis information, continue to follow or the team on social media (@GamecockWTennis).

South Carolina 4, Wake Forest 3

Doubles (order of finish: 1, 3, 2)

  1. #10 Anna Brylin/Brooke Killingsworth (WF) def. Ayana Akli/Gracie Mulville (SC) 6-3
  2. Mia Ahmad/Casie Wooten (WF) def. Alice Otis/Allie Gretkowski (SC) 7-5
  3. Sarah Hamner/McKenna Schaefbauer (SC) def. Nevena Carton/Whitley Pate (WF) 6-4

Singles (order of finish: 4, 3, 2, 6, 5, 1)

  1. #13 Ayana Akli (SC) def. #29 Casie Wooten (WF) 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (11)
  2. Anna Brylin (WF) def. #6 Sarah Hamner (SC) 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
  3. Gracie Mulville (SC) def. Brooke Killingsworth (WF) 6-3, 6-4
  4. Elise Mills (SC) def. Nevena Carton (WF) 6-2, 6-3
  5. Whitley Pate (WF) def. Misa Malkin (SC) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
  6. Alice Otis (SC) def. Maddie Lynch (WF) 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3