Women’s Tennis Wraps Up Regular Season With a Road Win
Tuscaloosa, Ala. – No. 29 South Carolina women’s tennis shut out No. 61 Alabama 4-0 on their home courts in Tuscaloosa to conclude the regular season on Sunday. The Gamecocks claimed the doubles point and three straight singles matches for the victory.
The Crimson Tide struck first in doubles, taking the match at the No. 2 position 6-3, but South Carolina’s No. 3 pair of Ana Cruz and Allie Gretkowski evened the decision with a 6-4 win from the No. 3 spot in the lineup.
All eyes turned to Court 1 where No. 54 Ayana Akli and Sarah Hamner were taking on No. 32 Loudmilla Bencheikh and Anne Marie Hiser. The match was even throughout but the Gamecocks prevailed, winning the match 7-5 to clinch the doubles point.
In singles play, No. 9 Akli was first to record a win, taking down No. 114 Bencheikh in straight sets. Akli dominated the first set 6-1, but her opponent fought back in the second, taking a 4-2 lead. The Gamecock refused to give in, claiming the next four straight games to win the match with a 6-4 second set.
The next Gamecock to record a win was Cruz who jumped into the lineup at the No. 6 position. Cruz was unstoppable in the first set, taking it 6-1, but battled through a close second set that had to be decided in a tiebreaker. The breaker was all Cruz with the senior coming out on top 7-1 for the victory.
The match clinch came from sophomore Misa Malkin on Court 3. Malkin also recorded a statement 6-1 first set and had to have her second set decided in a tiebreak. In the breaker she claimed the lead early, jumping out to 5-1, and was able to close out the match with a 7-3 breaker in the second set.
Malkin now extends her win streak to seven straight matches, all of them in SEC play.
The women’s tennis team completes the regular season with a 13-9 record and 8-5 record in conference play. The team has earned a bye as the No. 6 seed in the SEC Tournament. They will play the winner of 14-seed Mississippi State and 11-seed Kentucky on Friday, April 20 at 3:00 p.m. The SEC Tournament will take place in Fayetteville, Arkansas, April 19-23.
For all the latest South Carolina women’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockWTennis).
#29 South Carolina 4, #61 Alabama 0
Doubles (order of finish: 2, 3, 1)
- #54 Ayana Akli/Sarah Hamner (SC) def. #32 Loudmilla Bencheikh/Anne Marie Hiser (UA) 7-5
- Petra Sedlackova/Anna Parkhomenko (UA) def. Misa Malkin/Elise Mills (SC) 6-3
- Allie Gretkowski/Ana Cruz (SC) def. Kasia Pitak/Klara Milicevic (UA) 6-4
Singles (order of finish: 1, 6, 3)
- #9 Ayana Akli (SC) def. #114 Loudmilla Bencheikh (UA) 6-1, 6-4
- Petra Sedlackova (UA) vs. #20 Sarah Hamner (SC) 7-5, 3-6, 2-1, unfinished
- Misa Malkin (SC) def. Anna Parkhomenko (UA) 6-1, 7-6 (7-3)
- Anne Marie Hiser (UA) vs. Elise Mills (SC) 6-4, 5-6, unfinished
- Klara Milicevic (UA) vs. Alice Otis (SC) 2-6, 6-3, 4-3, unfinished
- Ana Cruz (SC) def. Ansley Cheshire (UA) 6-1, 7-6 (7-1)