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Women’s Tennis Opens SEC Tournament Thursday
Women's Tennis  . 

Women’s Tennis Opens SEC Tournament Thursday

Athens, Ga. – ­No. 19 South Carolina women’s tennis will begin competition at the SEC Tournament on Thursday, entering with a first-round bye as the No. 6 seed. The Gamecocks will take on 11th-seeded and No. 30 ranked Alabama in the second round on April 18 at 9:00 a.m.

The year’s SEC Tournament will take place at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex at the University of Georgia. More information about the tournament as well as spectator information can be found on the tournament webpage.

The tournament webpage also will have both live stats and streaming for the match.

Gamecock Notables

  • South Carolina is 16-6 on the season and 8-5 in SEC play. The team is 4-4 when playing on the road this season and 1-1 in neutral site matches.
  • The Gamecocks have two players in the ITA Singles Rankings – No. 9 Ayana Akli and No. 16 Sarah Hamner.
  • Akli is 24-10 on the season and 11-6 in dual matches, all from the top of the lineup. She won six matches in SEC play and has been ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation this season.
  • Hamner is a team-leading 30-6 overall and 17-1 in dual matches, all from the No. 2 position. This season, she set the program record for most SEC wins is a single season thanks to her 10-1 record in conference matches. Hamner enters postseason play on a ten-match win streak.
  • Also with an impressive win streak is fellow junior Olympe Lancelot who has won each of her last seven completed matches. She is 19-13 overall and went 8-3 in SEC play.
  • Graduate Elise Mills also posted an impressive conference record this season with a 7-3 mark. She is 19-12 overall and 11-4 in dual matches.
  • In the ITA Doubles Rankings – Akli and Hamner come in at No. 22 while Akli and Lancelot are ranked No. 54.
  • Akli and Hamner are 10-8 overall this season and went 6-3 in SEC matches, all from the top of the lineup.
  • Akli and Lancelot went 7-2 this season and 4-2 at the top of the lineup but have not played together since the non-conference schedule.
  • Lancelot now primarily pairs with fellow junior Misa Malkin. The duo is 12-4 overall and went 6-2 in SEC play from the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

SEC Tournament History

  • The Gamecocks have an all-time record of 28-30 in the SEC Tournament.
  • South Carolina has reached the semifinals seven times (1995, 1999, 2002, 2010, 2017, 2019, 2021) and reached the finals on two occasions (2002, 2019).
  • Since the SEC began its women’s tennis tournament in 2000, only five teams have claimed a title – Florida, Georgia, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Texas A&M.

Scouting the Crimson Tide

  • Alabama enters the SEC Tournament as the No. 11 seed and swept 14th-seeded Missouri 4-0 in the first round of action on Wednesday.
  • The Tide is 15-9 overall this season and went 5-6 in SEC play. They are 2-6 when playing on the road and a perfect 5-0 when playing at neutral sites.
  • Alabama has two players in the ITA Singles Rankings – No. 57 Loudmilla Bencheikh and No. 95 Petra Sedlackova.
  • Bencheikh holds down the top of the lineup for the team while Sedlackova primarily plays the No. 2 position.
  • Bencheikh is also in the doubles rankings alongside Anne Marie Hiser. The duo is ranked No. 21 in the country.

Series History versus Alabama

  • South Carolina leads the all-time series against Alabama 23-12 and won each of the last nine matchups.
  • The two teams first faced on March 8, 1980 in Columbia with the Gamecocks sweeping the match 9-0.
  • Under head coach Kevin Epley, South Carolina is 9-4 against Alabama.
  • The Gamecocks won the meeting during the regular season 4-3 in what was then a top-20 upset with South Carolina ranked No. 19 and Alabama ranked No. 17.

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