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March 5, 2006

OXFORD, Miss. — The No. 24-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team capped off its opening weekend of SEC play with a 4-3 victory over No. 32 Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., on Sunday. The Gamecocks moved to 8-2 overall and 2-0 in league play, while the Rebels fell to 6-2 and 0-2.

USC claimed the doubles point by winning at the first and third positions. The freshmen duo of Gira Schofield and Natasa Vuckovic upended No. 41-rated Ilona Somers and Virginia Tomatis 8-6 at one doubles. Christyn Lucas and Danielle Wiggins combined for an 8-6 triumph over Mimi Renaudin and Preethi Subramanian to give South Carolina the 1-0 advantage heading into singles play.

Schofield registered the Gamecocks’ first win in singles, downing Tomatis 7-6, 6-3 at the No. 1 slot. The Rebels answered with Somers’ 7-6, 6-0 win at two versus Vuckovic. Lucas put USC within a point of clinching when she topped Subramanian 6-4, 7-5 on court six. Ole Miss came back again, this time winning No. 3 singles with Nika Koukhartchouk’s 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 decision over Wiggins.

Megan McGavock was able to secure the victory for the Gamecocks with her team ahead 3-2. After losing the first set 6-4 to Renaudin at the No. 5 spot, she rallied with a 6-3 win in the second set and took the match 6-4 in the third.

Kseniia Tokarieva snagged the final point of the match for Mississippi by defeating Laura Ganzer in three sets 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 at the fourth position.

The Gamecocks return home for the first of five consecutive home matches beginning Friday at 2 p.m. versus No. 23 Georgia.

#24 South Carolina (8-2, 2-0 SEC) def. #32 Mississippi (6-2, 0-2 SEC)

1. #46 Gira Schofield, USC, def. Virginia Tomatis, UM, 7-6, 6-3
2. Ilona Somers, UM, def. Natasa Vuckovic, USC, 7-6, 6-0
3. Nika Koukhartchouk, UM, def. Danielle Wiggins, USC, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
4. Kseniia Tokarieva, UM, def. Laura Ganzer, USC, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
5. Megan McGavock, USC, def. Mimi Renaudin, UM, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
6. Christyn Lucas, USC, def. Preethi Subramanian, UM, 6-4, 7-5

Order of finish: 1, 2, 6, 3, 5, 4

1. Schofield/Vuckovic, USC, def. #41 Somers/Tomatis, UM, 8-6
2. Koukhartchouk/Tokarieva, UM, def. Ganzer/McGavock, USC, 8-3
3. Lucas/Wiggins, USC, def. Renaudin/Subramanian, UM, 8-6

Order of finish: 2, 1, 3