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March 19, 2006

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team picked up a 6-1 victory over the Winthrop Eagles on Sunday at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. USC improved to 9-4 overall with the win, while Winthrop dropped to 6-7 on the year. It was the 350th career victory for Gamecock head coach Arlo Elkins.

South Carolina won the doubles point, sweeping all three positions. Christyn Lucas and Natasa Vuckovic were the first winners at two doubles, downing Yolanda Araujo and Patricia Coimbra 8-2. Megan McGavock and Gira Schofield clinched the 1-0 advantage for USC when they upended Ana Paula Novaes and Paula Takahashi 8-4 at the No. 1 slot. Miranda Gutierrez and Justine Walsh finished off Larisa Bekmetova and Malin Sjoqvist 8-5 in the final match on court No. 3.

It took Gutierrez less than 45 minutes to put the Gamecocks up 2-0 with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph against Sjoqvist at No. 5 singles. Vuckovic registered South Carolina’s third point by defeating Coimbra 6-3, 6-0 at the second spot. Lucas secured the victory for USC when she recorded a 6-1, 6-1 win at three singles versus Takahashi.

The South Carolina lead became 5-0 thanks to Schofield’s 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles against Novaes. McGavock won USC’s eighth consecutive match on the day with a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Araujo at the No. 4 slot.

Bekmetova won the final match to give Winthrop its lone point. She was a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Walsh at No. 6 singles.

The Gamecocks return to SEC action when they host LSU on Friday at 2 p.m.

#30 South Carolina (9-4, 2-2 SEC) def. Winthrop (6-7, 3-0 Big South), 6-1

1. #60 Gira Schofield, USC, def. Ana Paula Novaes, WU, 6-2, 6-2
2. #88 Natasa Vuckovic, USC, def. Patricia Coimbra, WU, 6-3, 6-0
3. Christyn Lucas, USC, def. Paula Takahashi, WU, 6-1, 6-1
4. Megan McGavock, USC, def. Yolanda Araujo, WU, 6-2, 6-2
5. Miranda Gutierrez, USC, def. Malin Sjoqvist, WU, 6-0, 6-2
6. Larisa Bekmetova, WU, def. Justine Walsh, USC, 6-3, 6-4

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

1. McGavock/Schofield, USC, def. Novaes/Takahashi, WU, 8-4
2. Lucas/Vuckovic, USC, def. Araujo/Coimbra, WU, 8-2
3. Gutierrez/Walsh, USC, def. Bekmetova/Sjoqvist, WU, 8-5