Kentucky Falls to South Carolina in Second Round of SEC Tournament
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The 14th-seeded Kentucky women’s tennis team concluded its postseason run on Thursday in Gainesville, Florida, dropping a 4-1 decision to No. 6 South Carolina in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Ranked 28th nationally, the Gamecocks now advance to face Georgia in the SEC quarterfinals on Friday. South Carolina improves to 14-9 overall on the season following its win while No. 61 Kentucky drops to 13-15.
Playing at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex, South Carolina jumped out to an early lead by securing the doubles point. Ayana Akli and Ana Cruz first defeated the 36th-ranked duo of Fiona Arrese and Ellie Eades, 6-1, on court one before Megan Davies and Gracie Mulville grabbed the deciding point with their 6-4 victory over Carlota Molina and Florencia Urrutia in the third spot.
Sarah Hamner, who checked in at No. 5 in the latest ITA poll, extended South Carolina’s lead to two after posting back-to-back 6-1 sets over Urrutia on court one. Lidia Gonzalez then put Kentucky on the board and cut its deficit in half, as the freshman posted a big 6-4, 6-0 win in the fifth position against Misa Malkin.
South Carolina then picked up the next two singles matches to win the contest. No. 54 Akli topped Molina in 6-1, 6-3 outcomes on court two before Davies snagged the clinch in her 6-2, 6-0 showing over Carla Girbau in the third spot.
The Wildcats advanced to today’s second round following their stellar opening-round performance on Wednesday. Despite losing the doubles point and dropping the first singles match to 11th-seed LSU, Kentucky won four straight matches with Maialen Morante getting the clinch to beat the Tigers, 4-2.
SEC Tournament Second Round
South Carolina 4, Kentucky 1
1. No. 5 Sarah Hamner (SC) def. Florencia Urrutia (UK) 6-1, 6-1
2. No. 54 Anaya Akli (SC) def. Carlota Molina (UK) 6-1, 6-3
3. Megan Davies (SC) def. Carla Girbau (UK) 6-2, 6-0
4. Ellie Eades (UK) vs. No. 119 Elise Mills (SC) Unfinished
5. Lidia Gonzalez (UK) def. Misa Malkin (SC) 6-4, 6-0
6. Maialen Morante (UK) vs. Gracie Mulville (SC) Unfinished
Order of finish: 1, 5, 2, 3*
1. Ayana Akli/Ana Cruz (SC) def. No. 36 Fiona Arrese/Ellie Eades (UK) 6-1
2. Carla Girbau/Lidia Gonzalez (UK) vs. No. 22 Sarah Hamner/Misa Malkin (SC) Unfinished
3. Megan Davies/Gracie Mulville (SC) def. Carlota Molina/Florencia Urrutia (UK) 6-4
Order of finish: 1, 3*
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