Akli Earns Second SEC Player of the Week Accolades
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina women’s tennis senior Ayana Akli was named Player on the Week by the Southeastern Conference on Wednesday. The Silver Spring, Maryland, native lead the Gamecocks to a perfect 3-0 weekend at home this week with sweeps over Coastal Carolina and Yale, and clinched the deciding point in a 4-3 comeback win over Wake Forest.
Against Coastal Carolina, Akli and her doubles partner Gracie Mulville recorded a 6-2 win to start the day, and Akli went on to record a dominant 6-0, 6-1 win in singles. Against Yale, Akli again took down her singles opponent in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
Against Wake Forest, Akli delivered the deciding point that gave the Gamecocks a comeback win after dropping the doubles point. She defeated No. 29 Casie Wooten 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(11) to clinch the match. Her final set was a battle in which she saved match point three times in the lengthy tiebreaker before taking the 13-11 win.
Akli is now 21-6 in singles overall on the season and a perfect 6-0 in dual play, all from the top spot in the lineup. She has a 12-6 overall record against ranked opponents and is on a nine-match singles winning streak with eight of her nine wins coming in straight sets.
Akli is ranked No. 10 in the latest ITA singles rankings, the highest singles ranking of her career. This is the second SEC Player of the Week honors of the season for Akli and the second of her career. She is the only player in the conference to receive the honor more than once this season.
South Carolina’s women’s tennis team will continue non-conference play this weekend with a doubleheader on the road. They will travel to Stillwater, Okla., where they will take on Wichita State and Oklahoma State on Sat., Feb. 25. The match against the Shockers will begin at 11:30 am. ET with the match against Oklahoma State beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
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