Trio of Gamecocks Earn Preseason Rankings
Columbia, S.C. – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) recently released its preseason rankings, featuring three Gamecocks inside the top-110. Fifth-year senior Ayana Akli and junior Sarah Hamner both found their way into the singles and doubles rankings while graduate Shahar Biran made her appearance in the singles rankings.
Akli, in her third season with South Carolina, comes in as the highest ranked singles player on the team at No. 7. The fifth-year spent the majority of the 2023 dual season ranked inside the top-15, peaking at a career-high of No. 6 in the nation in late March. In the NCAA Singles Tournament, Akli made a deep run, completing her season in the quarterfinals as an All-American.
Hamner also placed in the top-25 of the preseason singles rankings, coming in at No. 25. The junior went 19-12 in singles during the 2022-23 season including a pair of wins over players ranked inside the top-10. Hamner was also the 2022 ITA Carolina Region Champion after knocking off the reigning title holder in the championship match.
Biran, in her first singles ranking as a Gamecock, came in at No. 106. The graduate transfer played for four years at Old Dominion University where she was named the ITA Atlantic Region’s Most Improved Senior during her final season.
Rounding out the preseason rankings for South Carolina are Akli and Hamner at No. 10 in the doubles rankings. The duo went 18-9 together during the 2022-23 season including a 9-3 mark in dual play. They entered the NCAA Doubles Tournament together as alternates, eventually making their way into the draw and making a run to the quarterfinals. Their All-American performance led them to an end-of-season ranking of No. 21.
South Carolina women’s tennis will return to action this fall for individual play. A schedule is set to be released in the coming days.
For all the latest South Carolina women’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockWTennis).
ITA Preseason Rankings
7 – Ayana Akli
25 – Sarah Hamner
106 – Shahar Biran
10 – Akli/Hamner