Gamecock Duo Falls in All-American Championship Semifinals
Cary, N.C. – Ayana Akli and Sarah Hamner’s run in the ITA All-American Championships came to a close on Saturday with both Gamecocks falling in singles and the pair also dropping their doubles match.
No. 25 Hamner started the day for the Gamecocks in the singles main draw semifinals, taking on No. 2 Mary Stoiana of Texas A&M. Hamner got off to a strong start, breaking the Aggie on her first service game but the two traded breaks back and forth for most of the remainder of the set. Stoiana was finally able to break Hamner again at 5-5 to go up 6-5 and serve out the first set. With the momentum on her side, Stoiana cruised through the second set 6-4 to knock Hamner out of the draw.
Hamner’s run at the All-American Championships that began in the qualifying draw included extending her singles win streak to ten consecutive matches. Of her ten wins this season, nine of them came over ranked opponents, including two over top-10 foes.
Akli also played in the main draw singles semifinals on the day, facing No. 3 Alexa Noel of Miami. Noel jumped out to a 6-1 first set and was up 3-0 in the second before No. 7 Akli found her footing and battled back to take the second set 6-4. With things evened at a set a piece, Noel rallied to take the final set the same way she took the first in a 6-1 result.
Akli went 3-1 in main draw singles action at the All-American Championships and comes away with three straight set wins, all over top-35 opponents. She is now 6-3 on the season in singles play.
In doubles, No. 10 Akli and Hamner faced No. 12 Guillermina Grant and Mai Nirundorn of Georgia in the consolation semifinals. The Bulldog pair came out on the other side with the win, defeating the pair of Gamecocks 6-1, 6-3.
The Gamecocks will be in action next in Chapel Hill, N.C., where they will compete in the ITA Carolina Regionals Championships. The tournament will begin on Thurs., Oct. 19 and run through Mon., Oct. 23. Hamner looks to defend her title from last season, having been one of the Carolina Region Champions in 2022.
For all the latest South Carolina women’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockWTennis).
ITA All-American Championship Results
Main Draw Singles Semifinals
(3) Alexa Noel (Miami) def. (7) Ayana Akli (SC) 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
(2) Mary Stoiana (TAMU) def. (25) Sarah Hamner (SC) 7-5, 6-4
Main Draw Consolation Doubles Round of 16
(12) Guillermina Grant/Mai Nirundorn (Georgia) def. (10) Ayana Akli/Sarah Hamner (SC) 6-1, 6-3