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March 4, 2007

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s women’s tennis team coasted to its third consecutive victory Sunday, defeating Mississippi 7-0 at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks improved to 8-2 on the season and 2-0 in the SEC, while the Lady Rebels fell to 4-7 and 0-1 in league play.

Christyn Lucas and Natasa Vuckovic set the tone early in doubles with an 8-0 victory against Carlin Cochran and Soledad Podlipnik at the second position. Gira Schofield and Ana Marija Zubori clinched the doubles point for Carolina when they disposed of Ilona Somers and Kseniia Tokarieva 8-3 at the top slot. The remaining match on court 3 saw Laura Ganzer and Vanessa Pinto complete the doubles sweep with an 8-6 triumph over Nika Koukhartchouk and Preethi Subramanian.

Pinto pushed South Carolina’s lead to 2-0 when Tokarieva retired in the second set with an injury. Pinto won the first set 6-0 and was leading 2-1 at the changeover when her opponent conceded the match. The victory increased Pinto’s record to 4-0 this year at No. 2 singles.

Megan McGavock was next to finish for the Gamecocks, downing Cochran 6-0, 6-2 at six singles. McGavock won the first nine games of the match before Cochran got on the board. It was McGavock’s 10th victory of the 2006-07 season.

Two minutes after McGavock left the court, Lucas secured South Carolina’s third consecutive win with a 6-0, 6-0 decision over Subramanian at five. Zubori finished next by recording a 6-0, 6-3 victory against Koukhartchouk on court 3, and Vuckovic followed with her 6-2, 7-5 win over Podlipnik at the fourth spot.

At the No. 1 singles position, Schofield fell behind 3-0 in the first set to Somers, but came back to win six of the next seven games to claim the set 6-4. The two players stayed on serve until Schofield recovered from a 30-love deficit in the ninth game with Somers serving to go ahead 5-4. Schofield cruised in the ensuing game, hitting multiple winners to close out the match.

South Carolina continues the conference portion of its season Friday playing at Georgia at 2:30 p.m. The Gamecocks then head to Tennessee for a 1 p.m. contest Sunday.

#38 South Carolina (8-2, 2-0 SEC) def. #73 Mississippi (4-7, 0-1 SEC), 7-0

1. Gira Schofield, USC, def. Ilona Somers, UM, 6-4, 6-4
2. Vanessa Pinto, USC, def. Kseniia Tokarieva, UM, 6-0, 2-1 retired (injury)
3. Ana Marija Zubori, USC, def. Nika Koukhartchouk, UM, 6-0, 6-3
4. Natasa Vuckovic, USC, def. Soledad Podlipnik, UM, 6-2, 7-5
5. Christyn Lucas, USC, def. Preethi Subramanian, UM, 6-0, 6-0
6. Megan McGavock, USC, def. Carlin Cochran, UM, 6-0, 6-2

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

1. #41 Schofield/Zubori, USC, def. Somers/Tokarieva, UM, 8-3
2. Lucas/Vuckovic, USC, def. Cochran/Podlipnik, UM, 8-0
3. Laura Ganzer/Pinto, USC, def. Koukhartchouk/Subramanian, UM, 8-6

Order of finish: 2, 1, 3