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April 19, 2006

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Freshmen Gira Schofield and Natasa Vuckovic from the South Carolina women’s tennis team were named to the All-SEC Second Team on Wednesday. Schofield also earned SEC Co-Freshman of the Year honors along with Kseniia Tokarieva from Mississippi.

Schofield recorded a 24-10 singles record during the regular season, which included a 13-7 mark playing No. 1 singles. She went 5-6 in Southeastern Conference play, knocking off two top 20-ranked players along the way in Robin Stephenson of Alabama and Amanda Fish from Vanderbilt. Schofield was 18-16 overall in doubles, playing the majority of her matches with Vuckovic. The Boca Raton, Fla., native Schofield is currently ranked No. 51 in the country and has been as high as 46th this season.

Vuckovic led the Gamecocks in singles and doubles victories thanks to records of 25-14 and 19-15. She notched a 13-6 slate in dual matches playing primarily at two singles where she was 10-6. In SEC matches, she finished 6-5 and was 6-4 in doubles contests. Vuckovic, who hails from Novi Sad, Serbia & Montenegro, was nationally ranked for much of the spring, climbing as high as No. 62.

“Both Natasa and Gira are deserving of being on the All-SEC Team,” USC head coach Arlo Elkins said. “Gira being named Co-Freshman of the Year verifies the outstanding year she had. I’m very proud of them, and the future looks very bright for South Carolina tennis.”

Schofield and Vuckovic are the 10th and 11th South Carolina players to earn All-SEC honors. Schofield’s Freshman of the Year recognition marked the first time in USC history that a Gamecock player earned an individual postseason award from the SEC.