CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson women’s tennis team came back to defeat the South Carolina Gamecocks for the first time since 2015 on Tuesday by a final score of 4-2, snapping an eight match losing streak with its bitter rival. With the match on the line, Sophia Hatton came back from a 3-5 deficit to clinch the victory as the Tigers advanced to 9-1 for the first time since 2011.
“There aren’t enough words to describe what this team achieved today,” said Head Coach Amy Sargeant, who was doused in ice water by her team in celebration following the win. “I am so unbelievably proud of their heart and fight from start to finish. We knew South Carolina weren’t going away, and so we stayed focused on being mentally tough and we took it away from them.”
First win over South Carolina since 2015 earns you a water jug shower 🥶 Congratulations, Coach!! pic.twitter.com/hSuGR3dAgU— Clemson Women's Tennis (@ClemsonWTennis) February 14, 2023
First win over South Carolina since 2015 earns you a water jug shower 🥶
Congratulations, Coach!! pic.twitter.com/hSuGR3dAgU
— Clemson Women's Tennis (@ClemsonWTennis) February 14, 2023
“This team is buying into the process and being resilient when things get tough. We are continuing to build a championship mindset and compete on our terms.”
Clemson came out strong in doubles play, as Cristina Mayorova and Eleni Louka earned a convincing 6-2 win on Court 1, and the doubles point came down to a battle on Court 3 between the pairing of Dani Medvedeva/Sophia Hatton and South Carolina’s Elise Mills/Alice Otis. With the match tied at five games apiece, the Gamecock pair managed to win consecutive games to clinch the point.
Singles began well for Clemson, with five Tigers winning their first set. Mayorova continued her sensational start to the season, defeating her opponent in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4 to move to 9-1 on the campaign. No. 13 Ayana Akli was the only Gamecock to win the first set and earned a point for South Carolina on Court 1, while Buyckx won on Court 3 to level the score at 2-2.
“Samantha and Cris got us on the board early, which gave us a momentum swing up and down the line. They were locked in and played on their terms.”
After dropping her second set, Medvedeva pulled out a gritty win on Court 5 by a final score of 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
“Dani came out the blocks early in the third set, looking to be aggressive and finish playing committed tennis.“
With the Tigers up 3-2, Hatton saw a chance to play hero. Down 3-5 in the third set, she flipped a switch and was nearly flawless, taking the next four matches and clinching the 4-2 victory for Clemson. Following the final point, her teammates and coaches mobbed her from all directions in celebration of what was one of the program’s biggest wins of the decade.
“Our Home, Our State.”Couldn’t have said it better ourselves 🗣️🗣️🗣️ pic.twitter.com/I9dcXO7ksD— Clemson Women's Tennis (@ClemsonWTennis) February 15, 2023
“Our Home, Our State.”
Couldn’t have said it better ourselves 🗣️🗣️🗣️ pic.twitter.com/I9dcXO7ksD
— Clemson Women's Tennis (@ClemsonWTennis) February 15, 2023
“Sophia Hatton is the definition of gutsy,” said Sargeant. “She was 5-3 down in the third and saved a couple match points. She played with a calm mind and found a way to win.”
“We will enjoy this win, and we will get back to work on Thursday. Go Tigers.”
The Tigers will return to the Duckworth Family Tennis Facility on Sunday, Feb. 19 to take on Coastal Carolina, with first serve scheduled for 4 p.m.
For all the most up-to-date information regarding Clemson women’s tennis, please visit ClemsonTigers.com and follow @ClemsonWTennis on Twitter and Instagram.