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April 7, 2006

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team suffered a 5-2 setback Friday in Lexington, Ky., to the No. 22-ranked Kentucky Wildcats. USC fell to 11-7 overall and 4-5 in the Southeastern Conference, while UK improved to 15-6 and 8-1 in league play.

USC fell behind 1-0 heading into singles play after the Wildcats claimed the doubles point by winning the top two positions. The Gamecocks managed an 8-2 victory from Miranda Gutierrez and Christyn Lucas in their match with Danielle Petrisko and Caroline Winebrenner at No. 3 doubles.

The Gamecocks tied the contest up at 1-1 after Natasa Vuckovic made short work of Lara Maurer at the No. 2 slot 6-1, 6-2. It was Vuckovic’s team-leading 25th victory of the season.

The Cats responded when Joelle Schwenk upended Gutierrez 6-3, 6-3 on court three, and Kim Coventry put UK within one point of winning the match with a 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Gira Schofield at the No. 1 spot.

South Carolina continued to hang tough, chopping the lead to 3-2 after Lucas registered a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win at No. 4 singles against Petrisko. Carolina Escamilla sealed the win for Kentucky with a 6-1, 6-3 decision over Megan McGavock on court five. Jessica Giuggioli won by default at the No. 6 slot versus USC’s Grace Blakely with Blakely up 5-4 in the first set.

The Garnet and Black will host No. 7 Vanderbilt on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center. The Commodores were defeated 5-2 by No. 3 Florida on Friday in Gainesville, Fla., marking their first SEC loss of the season after starting 8-0.

#22 Kentucky (15-6, 8-1 SEC) def. #38 South Carolina (11-7, 4-5 SEC), 5-2

1. #47 Kim Coventry, UK, def. #53 Gira Schofield, USC, 6-7, 6-3, 6-1
2. #122 Natasa Vuckovic, USC, def. Lara Maurer, UK, 6-1, 6-2
3. Joelle Schwenk, UK, def. Miranda Gutierrez, USC, 6-3, 6-3
4. Christyn Lucas, USC, def. Danielle Petrisko, UK, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
5. Carolina Escamilla, UK, def. Megan McGavock, USC, 6-1, 6-3
6. Jessica Giuggioli, UK, def. Grace Blakely, USC, 4-5 default

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

1. Coventry/Escamilla, UK, def. Schofield/Vuckovic, USC, 8-3
2. Maurer/Schwenk, UK, def. Blakely/McGavock, USC, 8-1
3. Gutierrez/Lucas, USC, def. Petrisko/Caroline Winebrenner, UK, 8-2

Order of finish: 2, 3, 1