Women’s Tennis Upsets No. 23 Vanderbilt
Columbia, S.C. – No. 34 South Carolina women’s tennis defeated No. 23 Vanderbilt 4-1 on Sunday afternoon. After dropping the doubles point, the Gamecocks were dominant in singles, earning four straight for the victory.
In doubles, the Commodores clinched the point with a 6-3 win from the No. 2 position and a 7-5 win from the No. 3 position. The No. 1 matchup was midway through a tiebreaker when play was suspended.
In singles, it was all Gamecocks with No. 14 Sarah Hamner getting the first win to even the match at 1-1. Against No. 80 Anna Ross, Hamner was dominant, taking the match 6-3, 6-4 for her second singles win in as many matches.
Senior Elise Mills was next to put a point on the board with a ranked win over No. 113 Anessa Lee. Mills took her first set 6-3 and battled through a gritty tiebreaker to take the second 7-6(4) to give the Gamecocks the lead.
The next singles win came from Court 3 where sophomore Gracie Mulville took on No. 60 Bridget Stammel. Mulville and Stammel battled through the first set and needed a tiebreak for the decision, but the Commodore came out on top 7-6(2). In the second set, Mulville was relentless, winning the set 6-1 to force a third.
In the final set the Gamecock started hot, going up 5-0, but Stammel fought back, taking the next two games. Mulville was finally able to close out her match with one more game win, taking the third set 6-2. The win over No. 60 in now Mulville’s highest ranked win of her career.
All three remaining matches were in third sets but it was senior Ayana Akli who earned the clinch. The No. 7 ranked Gamecock faced No. 48 Celiia-Belle Mohr of Vanderbilt from the top spot in the lineup. The first set was a back and fourth battle that needed a tiebreak to settle. The Commodore had all the momentum in the tiebreaker and came out on top 7-6(2). In the second set, Akli broke Mohr on her first service game to go up 3-0 and held the lead throughout, winning the set 6-3.
The final set was dead even with Mohr serving first and each player taking their own service games through the ten. While even at 5-5, Akli picked up a much needed break and was able to serve out the match with a 7-5 final set for the win.
The women’s tennis team is now 8-6 overall with a 3-2 mark in conference play. The win marks the team’s first top-25 ranked win of the season.
The Gamecocks will now face their first SEC road match of the season, making the trip to Mississippi to take on Ole Miss and Mississippi State on March 24 and 26.
For all the latest South Carolina women’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockWTennis).
(34) South Carolina 4, (23) Vanderbilt 1
Doubles (order of finish: 2, 3)
- Ayana Akli/Allie Gretkowski (SC) vs. Anna Ross/Holly Staff (VANDY-W) 6-6 (4-5), unfinished
- Celia-Belle Mohr/Marcella Cruz (VANDY-W) def. Sarah Hamner/Gracie Mulville (SC) 6-3
- Anessa Lee/Bridget Stammel (VANDY-W) def. Misa Malkin/Elise Mills (SC) 7-5
Singles (order of finish: 2, 5, 3, 1)
- #7 Ayana Akli (SC) def. #48 Celia-Belle Mohr (VANDY-W) 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 7-5
- #14 Sarah Hamner (SC) def. #80 Anna Ross (VANDY-W) 6-3, 6-4
- Gracie Mulville (SC) def. #60 Bridget Stammel (VANDY-W) 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, 6-2
- Misa Malkin (SC) vs. #111 Holly Staff (VANDY-W) 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 4-2, unfinished
- Elise Mills (SC) def. #113 Anessa Lee (VANDY-W) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
- McKenna Schaefbauer (SC) vs. Amy Stevens (VANDY-W) 7-5, 5-7, 4-3, unfinished