In its first Southeastern Conference road trip of the season, the Texas A&M women’s tennis team suffered a 4-0 setback at No. 11 South Carolina today at the Carolina Tennis Center.
The Aggies, playing their third consecutive match against a top-20 opponent, fall to 10-3 overall and 1-2 in SEC matches. South Carolina improves to 11-2 overall, including 7-0 in home matches, and also remains undefeated in league play at 3-0.
“South Carolina really took it to us in the doubles,” A&M head coach Mark Weaver said. “They played aggressive as they usually do in the doubles, and we were not able to counter. I thought we responded pretty well in the first sets of the singles and had chances to win four or five of the first sets, and then our chances gradually turned and the match got away. It is important that we bounce back and come out excited to play hard on Sunday against Florida.”
The Gamecocks cruised to the doubles point as A&M managed to win only one game on each of the three courts. South Carolina jumped out to 5-0 leads at the No. 1 and 3 positions, and Megan Davies and Rachel Rohrabacher were first off after handing Aggie freshmen Riley McQuaid and Dorthea Faa-Hviding only their second loss of the season with a 6-1 win at No. 3.
Hadley Berg and Paige Cline clinched the doubles point for South Carolina, defeating A&M’s Eva Paalma and Domenica Gonzalez, 6-1, at the No. 1 line. The Gamecocks also were in command on the No. 2 court, where Ingrid Gamarra Martins and Mia Horvit held a 5-1 lead over A&M’s Macarena Olivares and Tatiana Makarova. The match was stopped once the doubles point was clinched.
South Carolina started out singles play by winning the first set on all six courts, although one set was determined by a tiebreaker and four of the five other first sets were closely contested but ended 6-4 in favor of the Gamecocks. Rohrabacher was first off and gave South Carolina a 2-0 lead with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Faa-Hviding at the No. 6 line.
Reigning SEC Player of the Week and 29th-ranked Berg put the Gamecocks ahead, 3-0, after holding off Olivares, 6-4, in the opening set and then pulling away for a 6-1 second-set win at the No. 2 line.
Cline had the same results at Court 4, where she clipped Makarova, 6-4, in the opening set and then raced to a 6-1 second-set win to clinch the victory for the Gamecocks.
Gamarra Martins, No. 110 in the national singles rankings, won her first set, 6-4, over 111th-ranked Gonzalez, who entered the match 11-0 in dual matches. The second set was tied, 4-4, when Cline clinched the win for South Carolina, and the match went unfinished. Davies, ranked 121st, battled McQuaid to an 8-6 tiebreaker win in the opening set at Court 5, and McQuaid held a 3-1 lead in the second set when play was stopped.
The Aggies continue their road swing on Sunday as they take on defending national champion and 22nd-ranked Florida in Gainesville. First serve is at 12 p.m. (1 p.m. E.T.) at the Ring Tennis Complex.