The South Carolina Gamecocks clinch the biggest matchup of the year and advance to the Sweet 16

The South Carolina Gamecocks have made it to the Sweet 16 in women's tennis for the second year in a row, but this time it was a little different.

Freshman Megan Davies helped lead the No. 10 Gamecocks in a sweep over the No. 23 Cavaliers Saturday.

For Davies, a true freshman, this overwhelming feeling was a first as she reached another victory with her team. Despite the nerves, she was able to secure the point to win the tiebreaker for South Carolina after putting all of her efforts into her match.

“I think I went 3-1 up, so I knew I had it in me," Davies said. "I knew I could get through the set and it was getting really close ... I’ve done it before, I've stayed in there and toughed it out, so I knew if I just kept going every point, then something good would come, hopefully.” 

Not only did Davies carry strong momentum for the Gamecocks, but also Paige Cline and Rachel Rohrabacher after winning three singles in straight sets.

These matches that South Carolina clinched from much preparation allowed them to go on to a 10-0 NCAA Tournament record, which ultimately secured their chance of a back-to-back trip to the Sweet 16. 

The amount of happiness that has filled this South Carolina team is unmatched, especially for Davies. She expressed how she loves that her team was able to clinch the biggest matchup of the year.

This matchup was by no means handed to the Gamecocks as the Cavaliers brought a high level of competition, especially in doubles. However, South Carolina was able to find strength in both singles and doubles through persistence despite the hot conditions. 

“UVA was really tough today," said head coach Kevin Epley. "They really brought it. They’ve got great doubles. We knew that we were going to have to bring it in doubles. They've got two ranked teams at one and two and I think we came out of the blocks fast and hard. That set the tone for the rest of the day ... conditions were tough, but we kept fighting and worked through some things. I’m real proud of the team.” 

The Gamecocks will face Georgia Thursday in the NCAA Sweet 16 Tournament starting at noon in Wake Forest. This match will test South Carolina’s true ability and hopefully push the Gamecocks to new heights for the season.

“Yeah, the girls did it last year, so for me it’s a first time experience, which is great," Davies said." But we keep saying there’s no ceiling on what we can do so we’re kind of pushing the boundaries every day and seeing how far we can get.” 

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