Akli Achieves 100th Career Win, Hamner Records Top-10 Upset
Raleigh, N.C. – South Carolina women’s tennis had a successful second day of action at the NC State Ranked +1 on Friday. Notable events included graduate Ayana Akli recording her 100th career singles win, junior Sarah Hamner notching a top-10 upset, and graduate transfer Shahar Biran recording a pair of wins to advance to the quarterfinals.
In the A-1 draw, No. 7 Akli’s fall season got off to a rocky start, with the graduate dropping her first singles match to No. 56 Mia Kupres of Texas A&M in two sets. The Silver Spring, Maryland, native regrouped for her second match of the day, taking down No. 79 Alina Shcherbinina of Oklahoma 7-6(1), 2-6, 10-4.
The win marked Akli’s 100th career singles victory and 64th as a Gamecock. Akli earned the first 36 wins of her career during her first two years of collegiate competition at the University of Maryland.
Hamner also split results on the day, dropping her first round match but bouncing back for a victory in the second round. Her first singles victory of the 2023-24 season was a big one over No. 9 Carol Lee of Georgia Tech. Hamner, ranked No. 25 by the ITA, earned a statement win over Lee, defeating her 6-1, 6-3.
No. 106 Biran was the only Gamecock to win both of her singles wins on the day. The graduate transfer took down UCF’s Grace Levelston in straight sets in the first round and earned a comeback victory over Miami’s Audrey Boch-Collins 5-7, 6-3, 6-1. Biran has now advanced to the quarterfinals of the A-2 draw and will play Virginia’s Sara Ziodato for a spot in the semifinals.
In the round robin draw, junior Misa Malkin picked up a singles win, defeating Gabriella Broadfoot of NC State 6-3, 2-6, 10-7.
The Ranked +1 will continue on Saturday with two more rounds of singles play beginning at 9:00 a.m.
For all the latest South Carolina women’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockWTennis).
A-1 Draw – First Round
(30) Abigail Forbes (UNC) def. (25) Sarah Hamner (SC) 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
(56) Mia Kupres (TAMU) def. (7) Ayana Akli (SC) 6-2, 7-6(7)
A-2 Draw – First Round
Taya Pachkaleva (TX) def. Elise Mills (SC) 6-0, 6-0
(106) Shahar Biran (SC) def. Grace Levelston (UCF) 6-2, 6-2
Round Robin – First Round
Xinyi Nong (Miami) def. Misa Malkin (SC) 6-1, 6-7(4), 10-8
A-1 Draw – Second Round
(25) Sarah Hamner (SC) def. (9) Carol Lee (GT) 6-1, 6-3
(7) Ayana Akli (SC) def. (79) Alina Shcherbinina (Okla.) 7-6(1), 2-6, 10-4
A-2 Draw – Second Round
(NC-5) Emilija Tverijonaite (ASU) def. Elise Mills (SC) 6-2, 6-4
(106) Shahar Biran (SC) def. Audrey Boch-Collins (Miami) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
Round Robin – Second Round
Misa Malkin (SC) def. Gabriella Broadfoot (NCSU) 6-3, 2-6, 10-7