No. 11 Gamecocks Fall in SEC Tournament Quarterfinals
By: USC SID
BATON ROUGE, La. (USC SID) — No. 11 South Carolina women’s tennis had its run in the SEC Tournament halted, suffering a 4-0 defeat to No. 12 Auburn in the quarterfinal round on Friday at the LSU Tennis Complex. The Tigers claimed a tight doubles point and wins at No. 2 and 4 before clinching with a rally at No. 1.
With the loss, South Carolina (18-7, 9-4) looks onward to the NCAA Selection show on Tues., May 3, where it will learn of its destination for the 2016 NCAA Regionals. The Gamecocks, who spent five weeks in the ITA Rankings’ Top 10, hope to host one of the 16 regional tournaments for the first time since 2002.
The Gamecocks dropped a hard-fought doubles point to open the match. After freshman tandem Ingrid Gamarra Martins and Rachel Rohrabacher earned a dominant 6-1 victory at No. 3, the Tigers evened things up with a 6-3 win at No. 1 by No. 11 Alizee Michaud and Pleun Burgmans. Behind the brilliant serve of junior Brigit Folland, she and teammate Caroline Dailey fought back from a 3-5 deficit at No. 2 to level the score at 5-5. The Tigers, however, would pull out the win, 7-5, when a Dailey forehand went long.
Following a dazzling performance on court one on Thursday in which she topped the No. 29-ranked player in straight sets, No. 71 Dailey came out firing for the second straight day with a 6-1 win in her first set over No. 20 Andie Dikosavljevic. Folland also captured a first-set win at No. 5 singles, and senior Ximena Siles Luna earned a 6-4 first-set victory.
Auburn would maintain hold of the match, taking a 2-0 lead with a tough win at No. 2. The Gamecocks kept battling, but Auburn claimed a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 4 to extend its lead to 3-0. Dikosavljevic clawed her way back into the match at No. 1 and went on to top Dailey in the third set and clinch the match for the Tigers.
Head Coach Kevin Epley: “Today was a bit of a disappointment to say the least. I felt like we haven’t played that well in about a month in general, and today was one of those days we were hoping to turn it around and we went the absolute wrong way today. We talk a lot about the fact that its the time of year where teams either take a detour or they push forward, and Auburn was clearly the team that wanted to push forward today. They deserved it. They did a good job of fighting and came out committed to their games, so credit to them. It’s been a good year, and we are certainly proud of the girls for that, but we have a lot of work to do to get ready for the NCAA Tournament.”
The Tigers carried their momentum from doubles to singles, where it earned a split.
- Four of South Carolina’s seven losses this season came to top-15 teams.
- South Carolina’s 18 wins this season marks its most since 1999.
- The freshman tandem of Ingrid Gamarra Martins and Rachel Rohrabacher improved to 5-2 this spring.
Carolina awaits the NCAA Selection show on Tues, May 3, where it will learn its destination for the NCAA Tournament Regional, which begins on May 13.
#12 Auburn – 4, #11 South Carolina – 0
Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2*)
- 11 Michaud/Burgmans (AUB) d. #25 Cline/Berg (SC) 6-3
- Dikosavljevic/Griffin (AUB) d. Folland/Dailey (SC) 7-5
- Martins/Rohrabacher (SC) d. Turner/de Man (AUB) 6-1
Singles (Order of Finish: 2, 4, 1*)
- #20 Andie Dikosavljevic (AUB) d. #71 Caroline Dailey (SC) 1-6, 6-3, 6-0
- #30 Alizee Michaud (AUB) d. #80 Ingrid Gamarra Martins (SC) 6-0, 6-3
- #105 Paige Cline (SC) led #87 Pleun Burgmans (AUB) 2-6, 6-3, 2-1
- Alannah Griffin (AUB) d. Hadley Berg (SC) 6-3, 6-3
- Brigit Folland (SC) led Paula de Man (AUB) 6-3, 5-4
- Ximena Siles Luna (SC) led Caroline Turner (AUB) 6-4, 1-4