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March 25, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – The University of South Carolina women’s tennis team upset the 23rd ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Friday at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Facility, 4-3. For the second straight home match, the Gamecocks would start the match outdoors to only finish it indoors. The win improved Carolina to 8-4 overall and 3-2 in the SEC while the Crimson Tide dropped 6-8 overall and 1-4 in the SEC.

The 23rd ranked Crimson Tide jumped out to an 1-0 lead after sweeping the three doubles contest. Melissa Minor and Natalie McElveen took the first doubles match for Alabama when they defeated Christyn Lucas and Miranda Gutierrez at two, 8-4. Maria Muller and Andrea Brenes clinched the match for the Tide with an 8-5 win at three against Fallon Koon and Megan McGavock. 28th ranked Robin Stephenson and Ashley Bentley finished the sweep with a 9-7 come from behind victory at No. 1 doubles against Danielle Wiggins and Magda Wojdylo.

In singles, the Gamecocks quickly got the match tied up when Magda Wojdylo won 6-3,6-2 at No. 4 against Maria Muller. The Crimson Tide regained the lead when 7th ranked Robin Stephenson defeated Danielle Wiggins 6-4,6-2 at one. Carolina would even it up once again when Miranda Gutierrez defeated Melissa Minor in straight sets 6-4,6-2 at No. 3 singles. Natalie McElveen put the Crimson Tide back on top with a three set win over Fallon Koon at flight five. McElveen overcame a 6-5 deficit in the third set to take the singles match 7-6(3).

Trailing 3-2, the Gamecocks had to take the remaining two matches to get the win and both of those matches would come down to three sets. Freshman Megan McGavock, who was playing in her first ever dual match singles contest, took the first set 6-2 and had a chance to clinch the victory in the second set but Andrea Brenes battled back to take the second set 7-5. In the third set, McGavock rallied from 4-3 down to defeat Brenes 7-5. The win by McGavock tied the match at three and it was then up to Christyn Lucas at No. 2 singles to try to clinch the match for the Gamecocks.

At No. 2 singles, Christyn Lucas battled back after trailing 5-1 in the first set to drop it 7-6(5). Lucas would quickly go down in the second set 5-2 but would make another rally and this time pick up the match to take the set 7-6(4). Lucas jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third set before the match was moved indoors because of darkness. At the indoors, Bentley quickly tied the match up at two games a piece and would go on to take a 4-3 lead in the final stanza before Lucas would once again make another rally to go up 5-4. Bentley, ranked 58th in the country, would take the next game to tie it at 5-5 in the third set and the two would go on to split the next two games to force another set tie-breaker. The Gamecock tennis players and fans started the Gamecock chant and cheered on Lucas as she went on to clinch the victory with a 7-4 win in the tie-breaker and clinch the upset for the Gamecocks.

Christyn Lucas was down in the match early and even when she was one game away from defeat in the second set, she did not give up,” said USC Head Coach Arlo Elkins. “It was a big match for her and the rest of the girls on the team. Everyone on the team stepped up today and competed as hard as they could and they all fought until the end. I am very proud of the team and hopefully we can carry this momentum into our next match on Sunday against Auburn because every match in the SEC will be a challenge.”

Carolina will return to action on Sunday when they host Auburn at 1:00 p.m.

Final Score
No. 27 South Carolina (8-4 OA, 2-2 SEC) 4
No. 23 Alabama (6-8 OA, 1-4 SEC) 3

1. #28 Robin Stephenson/Ashley Bentley (A) d. Danielle Wiggins/Magda Wojdylo (SC) 9-7
2. Melissa Minor/Natalie McElveen (A) d. Christyn Lucas/Miranda Gutierrez (SC) 8-4
3. Maria Muller/Andrea Brenes (A) d. Fallon Koon/Megan McGavock(SC) 8-5
Order of Finish: 2,3,1

1. #7 Robin Stephenson (A) d. Danielle Wiggins (SC) 6-4,6-2
2. Christyn Lucas (SC) d. #58 Ashley Bentley (A) 6-7(5), 7-6(4),7-6(4)
3. Miranda Gutierrez (SC) d. Melissa Minor (A) 6-4,6-2
4. Magda Wojdylo (SC) d. Maria Muller (A) 6-3,6-2
5. Natalie McElveen (A) d. Fallon Koon (SC) 6-3,3-6,7-6(3)
6. Megan McGavock(SC) d. Andrea Brenes (A) 6-2,5-7,7-5
Order of Finish: 4,1,3,5,6,2