Women’s Tennis Extends SEC Win Streak to Six
Columbia, S.C. – No. 25 South Carolina women’s tennis shoutout Missouri 4-0 on Sunday, winning their sixth straight SEC match. The Gamecocks took the doubles point in a tight competition and won three straight singles matches for the clinch
In doubles, play was tight with the Tigers striking first with a 6-4 win from the No. 1 position. With one of three matches already belonging to the Tigers, both remaining matches were must-wins for the Gamecocks.
At the No. 2 position senior Ana Cruz teamed up with junior Allie Gretkowski to take on Missouri’s Emelie Schwarte and Andrea Artimedi. Thee Gamecocks broke the Tigers on their first service game to go up 2-0, but Missouri took the break back to tie it at two all. Cruz and Gretkowski claimed the next two games to go up 4-2, but Schwarte and Artimedi didn’t let the lead last, again responding with a break back to tie it at 4-4. Both teams took their next service games to tie it at 5-5, but the Tigers earned a timely break to lead 6-5 and were on serve going into the final game.
In a must-win situation, Cruz and Gretkowski rallied to take the break back, sending the match to a tiebreaker at 6-6. In the breaker, the Tigers struck first and carried their momentum out to a 4-2 lead, but the Gamecocks didn’t back down, going on a five-point run to close out the set 7-4 for the victory.
The final match on was just as thrilling with Elise Mills and Misa Malkin taking on Missouri’s Gabriela Martinez and Laura Masic. Their match started in a similar fashion to Cruz and Gretkowski’s match with the Gamecocks breaking the Tigers on their first service game to take a 2-0 lead. Missouri’s pair responded with a pair of breaks of their own to take their first lead at 3-2. From there both teams took their own service games until the match reached 6-6 and was forced to a tiebreaker.
In the breaker, the Missouri duo jumped out to an early lead, going up 3-1. The Gamecocks battled back, claiming the next three points to take the lead from the Tigers at 4-3. Martinez and Masic won the next point to tie it at 4-4, but the Gamecocks claimed the next two to lead 6-4. Missouri was only able to claim one more point before the Gamecocks earned the win 7-5, clinching the doubles point.
Play moved to singles where it was all Gamecocks. South Carolina took first sets on five of the six courts, but it was senior Ayana Akli who recorded the first singles win of the day. No. 6 Akli took down No. 75 Mae Canete in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 for her 16th straight singles win. Akli remains undefeated in dual play and is now a perfect 8-0 over SEC opponents.
The next win came from Court 5 where Mills was battling Inah Canete. The senior recorded a dominant win over her opponent, winning the match 6-2, 6-2. Mills is now on a five-match singles win streak.
Sophomore Gracie Mulville delivered the clinch for the team on Court 3. Mulville earned a late break in the first set to win it 6-4 and repeated the results in the second, closing it out 6-4 as well.
This win marks South Carolina’s sixth consecutive win in conference play. The team last won six-straight conference matches in 2021. During the 2021 season, the Gamecocks advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament.
The women’s tennis team will conclude the regular season on the road, traveling to Georgia and Tennessee next weekend before heading down to Alabama to take on Auburn and the Crimson Tide the following weekend.
For all the latest South Carolina women’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockWTennis).
#25 South Carolina 4, Missouri 0
Doubles (order of finish: 1, 2, 3)
- Inah Canete/Mae Canete (MIZ) def. #70 Ayana Akli/Sarah Hamner (SC) 6-4
- Ana Cruz/Allie Gretkowski (SC) def. Emelie Schwarte/Andrea Artimedi (MIZ) 7-6 (7-4)
- Elise Mills/Misa Malkin (SC) def. Gabriela Martinez/Laura Masic (MIZ) 7-6 (7-5)
Singles (order of finish: 1, 5, 3)
- #6 Ayana Akli (SC) def. #75 Mae Canete (MIZ) 6-2, 6-1
- #16 Sarah Hamner (SC) vs. Laura Masic (MIZ) 7-6 (7-4), 4-1, unfinished
- Gracie Mulville (SC) def. Emelie Schwarte (MIZ) 6-4, 6-4
- Misa Malkin (SC) vs. Gabriela Martinez (MIZ) 7-5, 4-2, unfinished
- Elise Mills (SC) def. Inah Canete (MIZ) 6-2, 6-2
- Allie Gretkowski (SC) vs. Andrea Artimedi (MIZ) 6-7 (2-7), 3-5, unfinished