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April 9, 2006

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team fought hard in a 5-2 loss to the No. 7 Vanderbilt Commodores on Sunday at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. USC dropped to 11-8 overall with the loss and 4-6 in the Southeastern Conference, while Vandy improved to 19-3 and 9-1 in the league.

The Commodores held a 1-0 advantage heading into singles play after winning No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. South Carolina’s No. 1 duo of Gira Schofield and Natasa Vuckovic were able to snag an 8-7(3) victory against Taka Bertrand and Amanda Fish.

Bertrand gave Vanderbilt its first win in singles play, downing Vuckovic 6-3, 7-5 on court two. The Commodores went ahead 3-0 after Maggie Yahner registered a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Justine Walsh at the No. 6 slot. Amanda Taylor provided the clincher with a 7-5, 6-4 win against Christyn Lucas at three singles.

South Carolina’s Megan McGavock gave USC its first point of the day with an impressive 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory at the No. 5 spot over Caroline Ferrell. McGavock actually trailed 4-1 in the first set before mounting her come-from-behind win. Minutes later, Vanderbilt added its fifth and final point with Courtney Ulery’s 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision over Miranda Gutierrez at four singles.

Schofield managed to defeated 15th-ranked Fish in the final match on court one. After losing the first set in a tiebreaker 11-9, Schofield came back to win the second 6-1 to force a super tiebreaker. Fish jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but Schofield won seven consecutive points and eventually took the third set by a 10-5 count.

The Gamecocks will end their regular season Saturday at home against No. 3 Florida at 1 p.m. It will be the final home match for seniors Walsh and Danielle Wiggins.

#7 Vanderbilt (19-3, 9-1 SEC) def. #38 South Carolina (11-8, 4-6 SEC), 5-2

1. #53 Gira Schofield, USC, def. #15 Amanda Fish, VU, 6-7(9), 6-1, (10-5)
2. #45 Taka Bertrand, VU, def. #122 Natasa Vuckovic, USC, 6-3, 7-5
3. #88 Amanda Taylor, VU, def. Christyn Lucas, USC, 7-5, 6-4
4. Courtney Ulery, VU, def. Miranda Gutierrez, USC, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
5. Megan McGavock, USC, def. Caroline Ferrell, VU, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
6. Maggie Yahner, VU, def. Justine Walsh, USC, 6-2, 6-2

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

1. Schofield/Vuckovic, USC, def. Bertrand/Fish, VU, 8-7(3)
2. Liberty Sveke/Ulery, VU, def. Gutierrez/Lucas, USC, 8-5
3. Ferrell/Taylor, VU, def. McGavock/Walsh, USC, 8-2

Order of finish: 3, 2, 1