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Women’s Tennis Drops Heartbreaker in SEC Tournament Quarterfinals
Women's Tennis  . 

Women’s Tennis Drops Heartbreaker in SEC Tournament Quarterfinals

Athens, Ga. – ­No. 19 South Carolina women’s tennis dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker to No. 14 Florida in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament on Friday. The Gators took the doubles point but the Gamecocks were able to claim three singles points and lost the final match on in a third set.

After a delayed start and a move indoors due to early morning rain in Athens, the match finally began half an hour late with all momentum favoring Florida in doubles. The Gators were able to claim the point quickly with a 6-1 win at the No. 3 position and a 6-2 win at the No. 2 position.

Florida was quick to add to their lead in singles with No. 68 Carly Briggs defeating Shahar Biran 7-5, 6-0 at the No. 3 position.

After that the Gamecocks were able to claim their first point of the day with Elise Mills defeating Alicia Dudeney 6-4, 6-4 from Court 4.

South Carolina was then able to tie things up at 2-2 with No. 9 Ayana Akli claiming a 7-5, 7-5 win over No. 71 Sara Dahlstrom on Court 2.

The Gators then regained the lead with a win from the top of the lineup where No. 8 Rachel Gailis defeated No. 16 Sarah Hamner 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

The Gamecocks were able to even things once again with Misa Malkin winning her match from Court 6. In the first set, Malkin battled back from down 0-3 to even things at 3-3 and held serve to force a tiebreaker. In the breaker she went up 4-1 but her opponent Bente Spee fought back to even things at 5-5.

The two players battled and went deep into the breaker with Spee taking leads at 7-6, 8-7, 9-8, and 10-9, but Malkin always found an answer, saving all four set points to eventually claim the set 7-6(10).

In the second set, Malkin again fell 0-3 but battled back to three all. The two opponents each held serve for their next service games but the Gamecock perfectly timed a break to take the lead 5-4 and served out the match 6-4.

The deciding match came down to Court 5 where Olympe Lancelot was in a third set with No. 111 Qavia Lopez. The Gator took the first set 6-3 but Lancelot claimed the second 6-4. In the final set, the two were even up until 3-3 when Lopez was able to break for 4-3 and claim the next two games to win the set and match 6-3.

South Carolina now awaits the NCAA selection show that will take place on April 29 to determine their fate for the remainder of the season.

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

#14 Florida 4, #19 South Carolina 3

Doubles (order of finish: 3, 2)

  1. #50 Alicia Dudeney/Malwina Rowinska (UF) vs. #22 Sarah Hamner/Ayana Akli (SC) 2-5, unfinished
  2. Carly Briggs/Qavia Lopez (UF) def. Elise Mills/Shahar Biran (SC) 6-2
  3. Rachel Gailis/Bente Spee (UF) def. Olympe Lancelot/Misa Malkin (SC) 6-1

Singles (order of finish: 3, 4, 2, 1, 6, 5)

  1. #8 Rachel Gailis (UF) def. #16 Sarah Hamner (SC) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
  2. #9 Ayana Akli (SC) def. #71 Sara Dahlstrom (UF) 7-5, 7-5
  3. #68 Carly Briggs (UF) def. Shahar Biran (SC) 7-5, 6-0
  4. Elise Mills (SC) def. Alicia Dudeney (UF) 6-4, 6-4
  5. #111 Qavia Lopez (UF) def. Olympe Lancelot (SC) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
  6. Misa Malkin (SC) def. Bente Spee (UF) 7-6 (12-10), 6-4