Women’s Tennis | 4/20/2022 1:23:00 PM

Columbia, S.C. – No. 28 South Carolina travels to Gainesville, Fla., for the 2022 SEC Tournament and will play its first match Thursday at 3 p.m. The Gamecocks will face the winner of the match between 11th-seeded LSU and 14th-seeded Kentucky.
 
Match Day Coverage  
Gamecock Notables

  • No. 28 South Carolina has Gamecocks in the individual rankings in No. 5 Sarah Hamner, No. 54 Ayana Akli, No. 119 Elise Mills, No. 22 Hamner/Malkin and No. 41 Megan Davies/Hamner.
  • South Carolina is 8-5 in conference play with notable upsets over then-No. 16 Tennessee and then-No. 13 Auburn. 
  • The Gamecocks have taken down both of their potential foes in the regular season, defeating LSU 6-1 and Kentucky 4-2. Both wins took place on the road.
  • South Carolina was on a three-match winning streak toward the end of the SEC season that was halted by then-No. 16 Florida in a tight 4-3 decision.
  • Akli boasts the best SEC singles record on the South Carolina squad at a 9-2 mark. She’s on an eight-match winning streak with six of those wins coming against ranked opponents.
  • Hamner and Mills have eight SEC singles wins each and have won six of their last 10 matches.
  • Freshman Gracie Mulville earned her first SEC singles win in the regular season finale at Florida in a competitive three sets.
  • Collectively, the Gamecocks have taken down 11 ranked singles players in the SEC.
  • Leading the pack in doubles are Akli and Ana Cruz who have an 8-2 record this SEC season. They are on a six-match winning streak and boast a 12-3 overall dual match record. 
  • South Carolina has six doubles wins in the No. 1 spot, all from Davies and Hamner.
  • Should the Gamecocks advance to the quarterfinals, they will face No. 3-seeded Georgia, the reigning SEC Tournament champions.

 
SEC Tournament History

  • The Gamecocks are competing in their 30th SEC Tournament this season and own an all-time record of 27-28. The Gamecocks have reached the finals on two occasions (2002, 2019) and the semifinals seven times (1995, 1999, 2002, 2010, 2017, 2019, 2021). Carolina has competed in at least the quarterfinals all but five times (1993, 2004, 2008, 2013, 2015) as well. South Carolina won its first SEC Tournament crown in 2019 by defeating a Georgia team that was ranked No. 1 and undefeated going into the match in the championship in College Station, Texas.
  • Since the SEC began crowning a regular-season and tournament champion in 2000, only four teams have won the SEC Tournament. South Carolina became the fourth in 2019, joining Florida, Georgia and Vanderbilt as the only teams to win the event.
  • In the 2021 Tournament, No. 7-seeded South Carolina posted wins over Vanderbilt and Florida to advance to the semifinals. The Gamecocks’ run was halted by Texas A&M with a 4-2 loss.

Scouting the Tigers

  • No. 66 LSU has one ranked player in No. 104 Safiya Carrington.
  • LSU finished the regular season 5-13 with a 4-9 mark in SEC play.
  • The Tigers are 0-2 in neutral site play.
  • LSU has earned the doubles point in six matches this season, five of which were SEC matches.
  • Most recently, the Tigers dropped a 7-0 decision to then-No. 33 Arkansas.
  • The Tigers have not swept a match this season, giving up at least one point in each of their five wins.

 
The LSU Series

  • South Carolina owns the most recent win with a 6-1 victory at LSU in the opening weekend of SEC play. At the time, LSU was unranked.
  • The Gamecocks and the Tigers have met on neutral grounds once before in 1994 with the Gamecocks emerging with the 5-2 win. 
  • South Carolina leads the series 28-7.

 
Scouting the Wildcats

  • No. 61 Kentucky has two ranked doubles pairs in No. 36 Fiona Arrese/Ellie Eades and No. 69 Carlota Molina/Elizabeth Stevens.
  • Kentucky finished the regular season 12-14 with an 0-13 SEC record. Its only non-conference loss was to then-No. 11 Ohio State.
  • The Wildcats earned 13 points in SEC play this year, four of which were the doubles point.
  • Kentucky has the most singles wins in the No. 4 spot with nine alone from Florencia Urrutia.
  • In the No. 3 doubles position, Kentucky has 13 wins. It also has 12 wins in the No. 1 spot.

 
The Kentucky Series

  • The Gamecocks improved to 27-16 against Kentucky with a 4-2 win on the road earlier this season to extend their winning streak in the series to nine. At the time, Kentucky was No. 62 in the ITA Rankings.
  • In the April win, South Carolina notched points in the Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5 singles positions. Kentucky earned the doubles point in the match.
  • South Carolina is 5-3 against Kentucky in neutral site play and has won the last three neutral-site meetings. The foes last met in the SEC Tournament in 2017 with South Carolina beating Kentucky 4-3.
For more information on South Carolina women’s tennis, check out the team on GamecocksOnline and on social media:
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Sixth-Seeded South Carolina Begins SEC Tournament Thursday – University of South Carolina Athletics – South Carolina Gamecocks
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