Iowa State Defeats South Carolina 4-2 in NCAA Tournament
RALEIGH, N.C. - The No. 24 South Carolina women’s tennis team saw its season end in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday with a 4-2 loss to No. 36 Iowa State at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center in Raleigh, N.C.
The Gamecocks concluded the 2021 season with a 12-12 record, while the Cyclones improved to 14-7 and await the winner of No. 6 NC State and VCU in the second round.
The Gamecocks got off on the right foot by taking the doubles point for the 17th time in 24 matches this season. At the top position, Mia Horvit and Megan Davies, the nation’s No. 14-ranked duo, showed why they have earned that billing by making short work of Christin Hsieh and Thasaporn Naklo by a 6-2 margin. It was the duo’s 14th victory this season.
Iowa State answered back on court two where Sofia Cabezas and Miska Kadleckova got a 6-4 triumph over Silvia Chinellato and Emma Shelton. The match was tied up at 4-all and after Iowa State held, the Cyclones managed to break Shelton’s serve to grab the victory.
South Carolina turned to its most reliable court all season, the No. 3 spot, where Ana Cruz and Allie Gretkowski trailed Maty Cancini and Ting-Pei Chang early 2-1. Cruz and Gretkowski eventually got a break of serve and with a 4-3 lead, Cruz pushed it to 5-3 after holding serve. The Cyclones held to make it 5-4, but Gretkowski stepped up to serve the match out, ripping a backhand winner down the middle of the court between Cancini and Chang to set up match point. Cruz finished off the next rally with a forehand volley winner to secure the 6-4 victory and a 1-0 Gamecock lead heading to singles.
South Carolina increased its lead to 2-0 after Megan Davies got a quick victory in singles at the No. 2 position, downing Maty Cancini 6-3, 6-0.
It was the last point, though, that the Gamecocks would score. Thasaporn Naklo got the rally started for the Cyclones with an upset of No. 30 Mia Horvit on court one by a score of 6-2, 6-4. Miska Kadleckova tied up the match after downing No. 87 Emma Shelton in straight sets at No. 3 singles 6-3, 7-5, and minutes later Christin Hsieh toppled Allie Gretkowski on court four 7-5, 6-4 to put ISU within a point of clinching the match.
With the contest being played indoors due to weather and only four courts available, it took some time to see if No. 5 or No. 6 singles would prove to be the deciding court. It ended up being Chie Kezuka at five who secured the win for the Cyclones with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Ana Cruz.
The No. 6 match between Sofia Cabezas and South Carolina’s Elise Mills was suspended with Cabezas winning the first set 6-2 and the second set tied 3-all.
- South Carolina won the doubles point 17 times in 24 matches this season.
- Allie Gretkowski and Ana Cruz finished the season unbeaten at No. 3 doubles with a 12-0 record. As a team, the Gamecocks were 17-2 on court three.
- Megan Davies picked up her 81st career doubles victory, tying Brigit Folland (2013-17) and Gira Schofield (2005-09) for seventh on the Gamecocks’ all-time list.
- The Gamecocks are now 32-30 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
- South Carolina failed to win at least one match in NCAA play for the first time since 2013. The Gamecocks have earned a bid to 26 consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
Mia Horvit and Megan Davies will both compete in the NCAA Singles Championship that gets underway Sunday, May 23, at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., as well as the NCAA Doubles Championship that begins the following day.
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