With the loss, the Bulldogs dropped to 9-12 on the season and 1-10 in the SEC. South Carolina improved to 13-8 overall and 4-6 in conference play.
State was put to the test from the beginning of doubles play, as the 41st-ranked duo of Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran fell to South Carolina’s 54th-ranked tandem of Dominika Kanakova and Elixane Lecheima 8-4. The Gamecocks would clinch the doubles point on court 2, as MSU’s Rosie Dion and Timea Guibe fell by the same score to Meghan Blevins and Katerina Popova. Doubles play was then suspended with Rosalinda Calderon and Georgiana Patrasc trailing 7-5 on court 3.
The Gamecocks carried their momentum into singles, as USC’s Blevins took the decision on court 4 over Dion, 6-0, 6-0. Tran would be the next to fall for State, dropping a 6-2, 6-1 decision on No. 5 to Gamecock Caroline Dailey.
The Bulldogs would continue to fight, making things difficult for South Carolina in the remaining four matches, but the Gamecocks would eventually clinch the match with a 6-3, 6-1 from Luna on court 6 over MSU’s Calderon.
Singles play was then suspended with the Bulldogs battling it out on courts 1 through 3. The 66th-ranked Patrasc gave a tremendous effort on No. 1, but trailed 7-6 (5) and 5-1 to USC’s 117th-ranked Lecheima at No. 1. MSU’s Perper was locked in a tough match against Popova at No. 2, trailing 7-5, 4-3, and the rookie Guibe had just entered the third set on court 3 against No. 122 Brigit Folland.
“South Carolina is a really good team,” said head coach Daryl Greenan. “They came out really strong in doubles and we gave them a battle. Our doubles has been good all year, but today it just wasn’t enough. We came out with a good effort in singles and we were battling extremely well on a couple of courts, but we just didn’t have enough in the end.”
The Bulldogs will conclude the 2014 regular season on the road next weekend, traveling to Missouri on Friday, April 11, and No. 10 Texas A&M on Sunday, April 13. State will then return to Missouri for the 2014 SEC Championship, which begins April 16.
For more information on the Mississippi State women’s tennis team, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateWT), Facebook (HailStateWT) and Instagram (HailStateWT).
No. 44 South Carolina 4, No. 75 Mississippi State 0
April 5, 2014 – A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre – Starkville, Miss.
2. Meghan Blevins/Katerina Popova (USC) def. Roseline Dion/TImea Guibe (MSU), 8-4
1. No. 117 Elixane Leecheima (USC) vs. No. 66 Georgiana Patrasc (MSU), 7-6 (5), 5-1, susp.
2. Katerina Popova (USC) vs. Alexandra Perper (MSU), 7-5, 4-3, susp.
3. No. 122 Brigit Folland (USC) vs. Timea Guibe (MSU), 5-7, 6-4, 1-0, susp.
4. Meghan Blevins (USC) vs. Rosie Dion (MSU), 6-0, 6-0
5. Caroline Dailey (USC) def. Naomi Tran (MSU), 6-2, 6-1
6. Ximena Siles Luna (USC) def. Rosalinda Calderon (MSU), 6-3, 6-1
Order of finish