NCAA Womens Tennis

Women’s Tennis Falls in Heartbreaker During First Round of NCAA Tournament – University of South Carolina Athletics

Women’s Tennis Falls in Heartbreaker During First Round of NCAA Tournament – University of South Carolina Athletics

Raleigh, N.C. – ­No. 19 South Carolina women’s tennis fell to No. 62 Old Dominion in a heartbreaker during the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. The Gamecocks took the doubles point but were bested by the Monarchs in singles.

In doubles, the Gamecocks came out swinging, earning breaks on Courts 1 and 2 to lead 3-0 from both positions while Court 3 held serve.

The first doubles win of the day came quick for South Carolina with Elise Mills and Misa Malkin claiming a shutout 6-0 victory at the No. 2 position. The duo proved to be a strong one despite only having three career matches together and not having played on the same court since early March.

It was South Carolina’s No. 3 pair of Olympe Lancelot and Shahar Biran who clinched the point for the Gamecocks. The duo held serve with their opponents through the first eight games but perfectly timed a late break to take the lead 5-4 and serve the match out for the 6-4 victory.

Play transitioned to singles where the Monarchs claimed the first point to tie things up at 1-1. On Court 4, Mills fells to Lidiia Rasskouskaia 6-0, 6-3, but shortly after No. 11 Ayana Akli took the lead back for South Carolina with her 6-1, 6-1 victory on Court 2.

Old Dominion again tied the match up at 2-2 with on win on Court 5 where Malkin fell to Kira Matushkina 6-1, 6-4 but the Monarch-turned-Gamecock Biran gave South Carolina the lead once again with her 6-2, 7-5 win on Court 3.

With another singles win on Court 5, Old Dominion was able to tie things for the final time of the day at 3-3. Ulyana Romanova bested Lancelot 7-5, 6-4 to send the match decision into the hands of Court 1.

At the top of the lineup, No. 19 Sarah Hamner was in a heated battle against No. 116 Sofia Johnson. Hamner claimed an early break in the first set but Johnson battled back to tie and force things to an eventful tiebreaker that the Monarch claimed 7-6(4).

The second set was a similar result with Hamner taking an early lead but Johnson battling back to even things up at 5-5 and take the lead at 6-5. Hamner was serving for the final game of the set and Johnson had match point at deuce but the Gamecock dug deep to win the deuce point and send the set to a tiebreaker that she would eventually win 7-6(4) to force a decisive third set.

In the third, Hamner claimed her first service game but was broken on her next two to trail 5-1. The Gamecock was only able to claim one more game before Johnson closed the match out with a 6-2 final…

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