NASHVILLE, TN. -- No. 4 seed South Carolina women's tennis battled for every point as it narrowly beat No. 5 seed Kentucky in the third-round of the 2017 SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tenn. Friday evening to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2010. The Gamecocks clinched a fiercely contested doubles point then carried the momentum into singles play to make a 4-3 final.
With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 18-7 overall, while the Wildcats fell to 16-8 on the season.
The doubles tandem of Hadley Berg and Paige Cline (29) claimed their match first, taking a dominating 6-1 victory in the No. 1 doubles. Brigit Folland and Ingrid Gamarra Martins battled to a 7-5 tiebreak to clinch the doubles point and give the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead heading into singles play.
In singles, the bottom of the lineup proved key with South Carolina taking wins on courts four, five and six to claim a 4-3 final score. Berg came out firing on all cylinders to claim a speedy 6-3, 6-0 victory in the No. 5 spot. Silvia Chinellato followed suit, taking down her opponent 6-3, 6-3.
But Kentucky was able to mount a late rally to tie it up with one singles match to play. Mami Adachi upended Cline on court three 6-4, 6-3 to put Kentucky on the board, followed shortly by Aldila Sutjiadi (20) who took down Horvit (58) on court one 6-2, 6-3 to bring the score within one. Akvile Parazinskaite added her point with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Ingrid Gamarra Matins (45) on court two to tie it up at three.
Folland battled her opponent to a tiebreak in the first set, but found her rhythm to dominate her opponent, Morgan Chumney, in the second set to post a 7-5, 6-2 triumph in the No. 6 spot and send the Gamecocks to the semifinals for the first time since 2010.