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March 17, 2006

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 30 South Carolina women’s tennis team will host the Winthrop Eagles on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. Sunday marks the Gamecocks’ final non-conference match of the season before finishing the year with seven consecutive Southeastern Conference matches. USC head coach Arlo Elkins will also be looking for his 350th career victory against the Eagles.

USC (8-4, 2-2 SEC) is coming off a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to the Tennessee Lady Volunteers in which it dropped a 14-12 tiebreaker at No. 2 doubles to lose the doubles point. The Gamecocks could only muster three wins in singles and lost the deciding match at No. 3 singles in three sets.

Prior to Tennessee, South Carolina suffered a 6-1 setback to Georgia for its first SEC loss of the season. Danielle Wiggins registered the Gamecocks’ lone point by winning in straight sets at the No. 3 position. In addition to losing the match, USC lost junior Laura Ganzer when she sprained her ankle in the second set of her contest at No. 4 singles. It is still unknown when Ganzer will return to the lineup.

Winthrop (6-6, 3-0 Big South) comes in having won five of its past six matches and most recently downed Birmingham-Southern by a 7-0 score on March 11. The Eagles’ only defeat since starting 1-5 came by a 4-3 tally on March 9 to Virginia Tech. Winthrop has played one other SEC team this year, falling 5-2 at Georgia in February.

Despite both teams hailing from the Palmetto State, Sunday marks just the third meeting between South Carolina and Winthrop. The Gamecocks were 6-1 victors in 2004 and 2005.

USC returns to SEC play Friday, March 24, when it hosts LSU at 2 p.m.