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Akli, Hamner Named to All-SEC First Team
Women's Tennis  . 

Akli, Hamner Named to All-SEC First Team

Columbia, S.C. – ­South Carolina women’s tennis senior Ayana Akli and sophomore Sarah Hamner both received First Team All-SEC honors, the league announced on Thursday. Both Gamecocks earned the distinction for the second time in as many seasons.

Akli led the team from the No. 1 position in both singles and doubles this season and played in all 23 of South Carolina’s dual matches. She posted a singles record of 31-8 overall and earned a 16-2 record in dual play with a 9-2 mark against SEC opponents. Akli was 22-8 this season against opponents who were ranked including 20 wins in the top-100, nine wins in the top-50, and three wins in the top-25. At one point, Akli went on a 17-match singles winning streak, beginning during the Carolina Kickoff and extending through the majority of the regular season.

In doubles, Akli racked up an overall record of 22-14 with an 11-7 mark in dual play. She went 7-3 in doubles against SEC opponents and ranked as high as No. 32 in the nation when paired with Hamner.

Akli is currently ranked No. 12 in the ITA Singles Rankings, but climbed up to a new career-high ranking of No. 6 this season. She was twice named SEC Player of the Week and clinched four doubles point for the team this season as well as clinching three matches in singles.

This marks Akli’s second appearance on the All-SEC First Team in as many seasons. She earned the distinction last year during her first season in the Garnet & Black and had previously been named to the All-Big Ten Team in both 2020 and 2021, as well as being the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2020 while attending Maryland.

Hamner put together an overall singles record of 19-11 this season and recorded seven of her wins in dual play with five against SEC opponents. She earned ten ranked singles wins with four of them in the top-25 and two in the top-10. She is currently ranked No. 21 in the ITA Singles Rankings but has been ranked as high as No. 6 this season.

In doubles, Hamner has a 20-9 overall record and a team-leading 12-3 mark in dual play. She went 7-3 against SEC pairs this season and ranked as high as No. 32 in the doubles rankings with Akli.

Hamner clinched four doubles points for the team this season and clinched the match versus Wichita State in singles. She also became the program’s first Carolina Region Champion since 1988 during the fall after taking down the reigning Carolina Region Champ.

This is also Hamner’s second appearance on the All-SEC First Team during her second season as a Gamecock. In 2022, Hamner was named SEC Freshman of the Year and made both the All-SEC First Team and the All-Freshman Team.

Akli, Hamner and the rest of the women’s tennis team await a bid in the NCAA Tournament. The selection show will air of Monday, May 1, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Fans are invited to a watch party with the team at the Carolina Indoor Tennis Center with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

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