No. 15 Gamecocks fall to No. 8 UCLA, 4-3
SEATTLE, Wash. – The South Carolina women’s tennis team fell, 4-3, in a hard-fought battle to UCLA in the first round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship on Friday evening at the Seattle Tennis Center.
The No. 15 Gamecocks are now 4-2 on the season, while the No. 8 Bruins move to 5-0, advancing to the quarterfinals.
With a snow storm moving in, host Washington and the two tennis centers were trying to get in as many matches as possible before the weather hit. All matches were played with singles coming first and doubles being played only if necessary to decide the match.
“(Friday) was a tough one to swallow,” head coach Kevin Epley said. “It came down to a number one doubles match with two highly ranked teams and UCLA stepped up. We have to credit the Bruins for a very hard-fought match. The great thing about this tournament is that we get to go right back at it again (Saturday) against another strong team. We just have to learn from (Friday) and move on.”
Starting things off with singles, No. 79 Mia Horvit was not able to find her groove opposite of No. 117 Ayan Broomfield, falling on court three, 6-1, 6-1.
At the No. 2 position, No. 38 Paige Cline battled hard against No. 18-ranked Elysia Bolton, but ultimately fell, 7-5. Cline started strong in her second set, taking a, 3-0, lead, but higher-ranked Bolton proved to be too much for Cline, who dropped her match, 7-5, 6-3.
Competing on court six, Kennedy Wicker was not able to overcome Alaina Miller, falling to the Bruin in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0.
On court one, No. 16-ranked Ingrid Gamarra Martins and Jada Hart traded first and second sets, 6-3, to head to a third. Gamarra Martins took an early, 2-0, lead in the final set over Hart. Not ready to go down, Hart rallied to tie the third set, 4-4. Falling behind, 5-4, Gamarra Martins won three-straight games to take her match, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Her victory gave South Carolina its first point of the day, making the score, 3-1, UCLA.
Megan Davies downed Abi Altick at the No. 4 spot in straight-sets, 6-4, 6-2, bringing the Gamecocks within one of UCLA, 3-2.
Silvia Chinellato and Taylor Johnson went back-and-forth in their first set, resulting in a tiebreaker. The two continued to go toe-to-toe in the breaker, with Chinellato coming out on top, 7-6 (5). In the second set, Chinellato trailed up until tying it, 4-4. She then claimed two-consecutive games, ultimately winning her match, 7-6 (5), 6-4, and tying the overall match, 3-3, sending it to doubles for the deciding point.
Knotted at 3-3, everything came down to doubles. UCLA took the first win after No. 23 Davies and Rachel Rohrabacherdropped their match to No. 15 Bolton and Hart, 6-2, on court two.
At the No. 3 position, Chinellato and Cline broke away from a, 3-3, tie, claiming three games in-a-row, topping Johnson and Miller, 6-3.
With the match coming down to No. 1 doubles, No. 4-ranked Gamarra Martins and Horvit and No. 14 Gabby Andrews and Broomfield battled for the victory. With Carolina down, 5-4, in the match, Gamarra Martins and Horvit played hard, but ultimately fell to the Bruins, 6-4.
Tentatively, South Carolina is set to face off against No. 9 Oklahoma State in the consolation bracket on Saturday.
Written by: USC Athletics