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May 3, 2006

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team earned its 12th consecutive NCAA bid Wednesday. USC will head to Chapel Hill, N.C., for first- and second-round competition, which takes place over May 12-13.

The Gamecocks take on No. 21 Wake Forest in the first round Friday, May 12, at a time to be determined later. South Carolina and Wake Forest have met 17 times, with USC holding a 9-8 edge in the all-time series. The two teams last played in 2004 in Clemson, S.C., which also was in the first round of NCAA competition. USC won by a 4-1 score.

Also competing in Chapel Hill are No. 8 North Carolina and South Carolina State.

“I’m glad to be in the NCAA Tournament for a 12th-straight time,” USC head coach Arlo Elkins said. “North Carolina has great indoor and outdoor facilities, and our team is excited about the first-round match with Wake Forest.”

The NCAA Tournament is structured such that 16 regionals with four teams at each site compete for 16 spots in the NCAA Championship, which takes place over May 18-22 at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif. Stanford is also hosting the men’s championship during May 20-24. It is the first time in NCAA history the men’s and women’s championships will take place at the same venue.

Selections for the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships are set to be announced Thursday by 6 p.m. on USC freshman Gira Schofield is a strong contender for a spot in the field of 64 for singles play, as she is currently ranked No. 48 in the country and was named the Southeastern Conference’s Co-Freshman of the Year. Schofield went 25-10 and was 14-7 in dual matches playing exclusively at the No. 1 position.

South Carolina finished the 2006 season with a 12-10 record, marking its 13th-straight year with a winning percentage of .500 or better. The Garnet and Black posted a 4-7 slate in the SEC and reached the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. USC enters NCAA play with a national ranking of 36th and was as high as No. 19 during the season.

Click HERE to view the entire bracket.


The Gamecocks have appeared in NCAAs 16 times in the event’s 25-year existence. USC’s best showing came in the first NCAA Championship in 1982 when it reached the quarterfinals after defeating Florida. South Carolina has made a total of five Sweet 16 appearances with the last coming in 1999. USC has made the tournament field 12 consecutive times and gone to at least the second round 12 times in a row.

1982 • Salt Lake City, Utah (Championships)
Round of 16: def. Florida, 5-4
Quarterfinals: lost Southern California, 1-8

1983 • Albuquerque, N.M. (Championships)
Round of 16: lost Indiana, 2-7

1988 • Los Angeles, Calif. (Championships)
Round of 20: lost BYU, 4-5

1990 • Gainesville, Fla. (Championships)
Round of 20: def. William & Mary, 6-0
Round of 16: lost UCLA, 0-6

1995 • Malibu, Calif. (Championships)
Round of 20: def. BYU, 5-2
Round of 16: lost Georgia, 0-5

1996 • Columbia, S.C. (Regionals)
Quarterfinals: def. Florida State, 5-2
Semifinals: lost Clemson, 4-5

1997 • South Bend, Ind. (Regionals)
Quarterfinals: def. Marquette, 5-3
Semifinals: def. Indiana, 5-2
Final: lost Wisconsin, 3-5

1998 • Knoxville, Tenn. (Regionals)
Quarterfinals: def. N.C. State, 5-2
Semifinals: lost Vanderbilt, 0-5

1999 • Columbia, S.C. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Furman, 5-1
Round of 32: def. Wake Forest, 5-2
Gainesville, Fla. (Championships)
Round of 16: lost Georgia, 1-5

2000 • South Bend, Ind. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Western Michigan, 5-1
Round of 32: lost Notre Dame, 1-5

2001 • Tempe, Ariz. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Florida State, 4-1
Round of 32: lost Arizona State, 2-4

2002 • Columbia, S.C. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Hampton, 4-1
Round of 32: lost VCU, 1-4

2003 • Durham, N.C. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Pennsylvania, 4-3
Round of 32: lost Duke, 0-4

2004 • Clemson, S.C. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Wake Forest, 4-1
Round of 32: lost Clemson, 1-4

2005 • Athens, Ga. (Regionals)
Round of 64: def. Nebraska, 4-0
Round of 32: lost Georgia, 0-4