No. 16 Michigan wins back-and-forth battle against South Carolina at tourney
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — No. 16 Michigan (2-0) handed No. 31 South Carolina its first loss of the 2013 season on Sunday to drop the Gamecocks’ record to 3-1. Michigan advanced to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship with the second-round win in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
The two schools played an exciting doubles point, as the Gamecocks struck first with Adriana Pereira and Ximena Siles Luna defeating Emina Bektas and Kristy Dodge by an 8-2 count at the No. 3 position. Michigan, however, countered quickly with Brooke Bolender and Ronit Yurovsky upending No. 46 Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova 8-3 at the top slot.
After Alawi and Kanakova’s loss, South Carolina’s No. 2 team of Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova faced a 6-4 deficit to Sarah Lee and Mimi Nguyen. The Gamecocks fought back and eventually took a 7-6 lead, at one point winning eight rallies in a row. South Carolina was two points away from winning the match in the 14th game after leading 30-0, but Michigan got the frame to deuce and eventually forced a tiebreaker.
In the breaker, Carolina got a fast start with a 2-0 lead, but the Wolverines won two in a row to knot the score at two. At the changeover, the score remained tied at three and the Gamecocks won the next point for a 4-3 upper hand. Unfortunately for South Carolina, Michigan won the next four rallies to earn the 7-4 victory in the tiebreaker to hand the Gamecocks their first loss of the doubles point this season.
Michigan used the momentum of the doubles point to pounce on the Gamecocks early in singles play. Bolender scored the Wolverines’ first win with a 6-2, 6-2 decision against Kanakova on court three, and Lee followed soon afterward with a 6-1, 6-1 victory against Pereira at No. 5 singles. Bektas provided the clinching point for Michigan, downing No. 34 Alawi 6-3, 6-3 on court one.
The Wolverines also led the No. 2 singles match between No. 61 Yurovsky and No. 96 Popova by a 7-5, 4-0 score when play stopped. No. 94 Amy Zhu won the first set against Siles Luna 6-2 but trailed 4-2 in the second on court 5. At No. 6 singles, Andersson beat Dodge 6-2 in the first and was down 5-2 in the second set.