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South Carolina women’s tennis falls to Duke, bows out in Elite 8

3 wins from a title, USC tennis believes it belongs on this stage

South Carolina women’s tennis coach Kevin Epley previews USC’s trip to Orlando for the final three rounds of the NCAA tournament.
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South Carolina women’s tennis coach Kevin Epley previews USC’s trip to Orlando for the final three rounds of the NCAA tournament.

One of the most successful seasons in recent memory for South Carolina women’s tennis came to an end late Friday night.

The No. 4 Gamecocks were knocked off 4-1 by No. 5 Duke in the Elite 8 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida. South Carolina (23-4) was tight late in several singles matches, but could not hold on.

Ingrid Martins scored USC’s lone singles win with a 6-2, 6-1 victory, the only point before the Blue Devils took the match. She finished 17-2 on the season.

The Gamecocks lost at No. 2 and 4 singles, plus the doubles point in a match delayed by a long Vanderbilt-Georgia match. The other three singles matches went to three sets and Duke clinched the win when Margaryta Bilokin topped Rachel Rohrabacher at No. 6.

The season included the program’s first trip to the NCAA quarterfinals since 2009, and the third trip ever. The 23 wins is the program’s most since 1987, and the 12-1 SEC record is the best ever, surpassing the 11 a season ago.

The Gamecocks will graduate their No. 1 (Martins), No. 2 (Paige Cline) and No. 6 (Rohrabacher) singles players.

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