March 23, 2014
|#20 Auburn 4, #56 South Carolina 1|
|Women's Singles Results|
|No. 1||#33 Burgmans (AU) def. Lechemia (SC)||6-2, 2-6, 6-1|
|No. 2||#101 Flickinger (AU) def. Popova (SC)||6-4, 6-2|
|No. 3||de Man (AU) def. #95 Folland (SC)||3-6, 6-1, 7-5|
|No. 4||#112 Blevins (SC) def. Kucharova (AU)||6-3, 6-4|
|No. 5||Kasler (AU) vs. Dailey (SC)||6-4, 5-7, 2-4|
|No. 6||Pfeifler (AU) vs. Kanakova (SC)||2-6, 7-6 (3)|
|Order of Finish||4, 2, 1, 3|
|Women's Doubles Results|
|No. 1||#12 Burgmans/Flickinger (AU) def. #61 Lechemia/Kanakova (SC)||8-2|
|No. 2||de Man/Kasler (AU) vs. Blevins/Popova (SC)||4-7|
|No. 3||Kucharova/Pfeifler (AU) def. Dailey/Folland (SC)||8-6|
|Order of Finish||1, 3|
AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 20 Auburn women’s tennis took the doubles point from No. 56 South Carolina and picked up wins from the top of the lineup in singles en route to a 4-1 victory Sunday indoors at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
The win for Auburn (15-4, 5-2 SEC) snapped a three-match losing skid to South Carolina that dated back to 2011 and gives the Tigers their best start in program history through 19 matches.
The victory was also Auburn’s sixth-ever win over the Gamecocks in series history and halfway through the SEC slate, the Tigers are also off to their best start in league play since 1993.
“We knew it was going to be a war from the very beginning. (South Carolina) is a team that is going to come out and fight for every single point until the very end. We knew we had to play our best tennis for us to win,” Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said following the victory.
“South Carolina isn’t a top-50 team, they are top-25 team,” Meisner said. “They are very feisty and have so much energy, playing big-time; power tennis. We matched their intensity and at times we had to weather the storm. I felt like this is a big victory for the team from top through the bottom of the lineup.”
The Tigers started off the match with wins on courts one and three in doubles. The No. 12 tandem of Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger moved to 13-0 in dual matches, 5-0 against conference opponents with 8-2 win against the Gamecocks’ No. 61 Elixane Lechemia and Dominika Kanakova (8-2).
“No. 1 doubles played phenomenal. We knew it would be tough indoors, but they led us into it. Then having two teams that had not played together, before this weekend, battle the way they did was really quite amazing. Every person from the top to the bottom of the lineup fought for the team. Today was a huge team effort,” Meisner said.
Michala Kucharova and Jen Pfeifler clinched the point for the Tigers on court three, taking down Brigit Folland and Caroline Dailey, 8-6, to put Auburn up 1-0.
South Carolina (10-8, 1-6 SEC) evened the match at 1-1 with a 6-3, 6-4 win in singles from No. 112 Megan Blevins over Kucharova on court four. The Tigers rallied back quickly as No. 101 Flickinger picked up a straight-set win on court two, 6-4, 6-2 over Katerina Popova. Flickinger is now 12-2 in dual matches
this year, including 10-2 at No. 2.
Auburn earned two hard-fought three-set wins to close out the match, starting at the top of the lineup with No. 33 Burgmans on court one. The sophomore bested Lechemia 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 to put the Tigers a singles win away from clinching the match.
Sophomore Paula de Man fought back from dropping the first set early in her match and rallied back to knock off the Gamecock’s 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 at No. 3 against No. 95 Brigit Folland, clinching the win for Auburn.
“It was an emotional win and one of the hardest battles we’ve had all year. We really wanted this win having lost 4-3 to them the last two years. … We needed a challenge like this and I’m glad we won the way we did.” Meisner said.
In the final two matches left on court, Jackie Kasler was locked in a third-set battle with the Gamecocks’ Caroline Dailey on court five, while Jen Pfeifler was heading to a third set in her match on court six when play was suspended against South Carolina's Kanakova.
The Tigers hit the road next weekend for two matches and start play Friday at Kentucky. The match is set to begin at 10 a.m. in Lexington, Ky. Fans can follow along with live results on AuburnTigers.com.
For the latest on Auburn's women's tennis follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AUWomensTennis.