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COLUMBIA, SC Feb. 22, 2013 – The 38th-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team will host a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m. against No. 72 College of Charleston followed by Charleston Southern at 4 p.m. at Carolina Tennis Center. Parking in the Athletics Village Garage on Heyward Street and admission to the tennis matches are free. In the event of inclement weather, play will move to the USC Field House located between Heyward and Whaley.
The Gamecocks (5-3) picked up a 6-1 victory in their last match versus Furman in Greenville, S.C., on Wednesday evening. It marked Carolina’s 30th straight win in the series. South Carolina claimed the doubles point for the sixth time this season in the win thanks to the Nos. 1 and 2 duos who are a combined 13-3 this spring. In singles, the Gamecocks picked up wins at every position except No. 6. Senior Dominika Kanakova provided the clinching point for the match on court four. The Furman match also marked the debut of spring newcomer Elixane Lechemia, who recorded a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 3 singles.
Senior Jaklin Alawi continues to hold a No. 59 national singles ranking and is No. 57 in doubles with Kanakova. She has played the No. 1 position in both singles and doubles the entire spring. Alawi is coming off a win against Lauren Kline, ranked No. 110, for her first win over a ranked opponent this spring. Junior Katerina Popova is No. 114 in singles and owns the team’s best dual record with a 5-1 mark on court two. She and senior Josefin Andersson form the Gamecocks’ No. 2 doubles team that has gone a team-best 7-1 through the first eight matches this year.
College of Charleston (4-2) posted a 6-1 victory in its last match at Georgia Southern on Wednesday, its first contest in Southern Conference play this year. The Cougars defeated Winthrop 6-1 to open the season, just as the Gamecocks did by the same score, and have also beaten Wisconsin and Kansas. CofC has lost 21 in a row to South Carolina and the Gamecocks own a 21-2 advantage in the all-time series dating back to 1978. Carolina defeated College of Charleston 6-1 last year in Columbia, S.C.
Charleston Southern (1-3) will be playing just its fifth match of the 2013 season when it takes on the Gamecocks after their match-up with the Cougars. The Lady Bucs defeated South Carolina State 6-1 to open their season Feb. 2 but have dropped three straight to Stetson, N.C. State and Kansas. Despite the close proximity of the two schools, Charleston Southern and South Carolina have only played one other time. The Gamecocks won that match 8-1 in Columbia on Feb. 7, 1998.
South Carolina will open SEC play after finishing out its non-conference schedule against College of Charleston and Charleston Southern. The Gamecocks head to College Station, Texas, to take on No. 10 Texas A&M on March 1 and then No. 55 Missouri on March 3 in Columbia, Mo.