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March 30, 2006

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team will face two SEC West opponents this weekend when it plays at Auburn on Friday at 7 p.m. and at Alabama on Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Gamecocks (10-5, 3-3 SEC) lead both series with a 20-2 all-time record against Auburn and a 9-6 record versus Alabama. South Carolina claimed a 5-0 home victory over the Tigers last season and has posted a winning streak of 15 matches since a 5-3 loss March 9, 1993. The Gamecocks’ last loss to the Crimson Tide was a 4-3 defeat in 2004.

South Carolina split its SEC matches last weekend, beating LSU 6-1 on Friday before dropping a close 4-3 decision to Arkansas on Sunday. Going 2-0 in singles were freshman Natasa Vuckovic and junior Christyn Lucas, who upset the Lady Razorbacks’ 53rd-ranked Ela Kaluder. The Gamecocks have two ranked players in their lineup with freshman Gira Schofield at 68th and Vuckovic at No. 115.

Auburn (5-11, 0-6 SEC) went 0-2 in the SEC last weekend with a 6-1 defeat at Georgia on Friday and a 5-2 setback at Tennessee on Sunday. Since winning their first three matches of the season, the Tigers are 2-11 with SEC losses to Mississippi, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Kentucky in addition to Georgia and Tennessee.

Alabama (7-7, 3-3 SEC) also dropped two SEC matches last weekend, falling 5-2 to Tennessee on Friday and 6-1 to Georgia on Sunday. The loss to Tennessee snapped a five-match winning streak that included victories over Mississippi State, Mississippi and Kentucky. The Crimson Tide’s other SEC loss was to Vanderbilt on March 3. Sunday’s match marks the final home match for Alabama’s seniors, including Robin Stephenson and Ashley Bentley, ranked 12th and 86th in singles and 18th in doubles.

After playing Auburn and Alabama, South Carolina will travel to Lexington, Ky., to take on Kentucky on April 7 at 4 p.m. and will host No. 11 Vanderbilt on April 9 at 1 p.m. at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center.