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Dec. 10, 2007

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Following the fall women’s tennis season, Gira Schofield and Ana Marija Zubori from the University of South Carolina are both listed among the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southeast Region rankings for singles and doubles. Schofield is ranked sixth in singles and Zubori is eighth while the two are No. 4 in doubles.

Schofield, who has played every dual match of her career in the Garnet & Black at the No. 1 singles position, compiled an 11-5 record in singles. In nine of her 16 contests, her opponent was ranked in the top 100 in the nation and she scored a victory in four of those matches. Ranked a career-high 36th nationally to start the fall, Schofield won the top singles flight at Carolina’s Southern Intercollegiate Championships in October by defeating Zubori in three sets in the final. Schofield concluded her fall as a finalist at the SEC Fall Coaches Classic in Auburn, Ala., the following weekend. During her run at the event, the two-time All-SEC Team honoree knocked off 20th-ranked Amanda Taylor from Vanderbilt 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Zubori also entered the fall with a career-best national singles ranking at No. 77. As a freshman in 2006-07, she boasted an impressive 31-6 record, the most wins in one season by a Gamecock since the 1989-90 season. In addition to being a finalist at the Southern Intercollegiates, Zubori won her singles flight at the Furman Fall Classic in late September. She played some of her best tennis in the championship match, beating Vanderbilt’s No. 27-rated Catherine Newman 6-4, 6-1 for the title. Zubori had one other triumph versus a ranked player during the fall and finished with an 8-5 slate.

Entering the fall, Schofield and Zubori held a ranking of 23rd after reaching a high of No. 18 during the spring. Schofield and Zubori notched a 10-3 record together and were 5-0 against regional teams. Even more impressive was the fact that they defeated every ranked team they faced and three of the four were ranked in the top 10 while the other was among the top 25.

After a first-round victory at the Furman Fall Classic, Schofield and Zubori topped No. 10 Caitlin Whoriskey and Zsofia Zubor from Tennessee 8-3. Whoriskey and Zubor went on to win the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, the first of three Grand Slam events in collegiate tennis. To win their flight at Furman, Schofield and Zubori downed No. 2 Federica van Adrichem and Ani Mijacika of Clemson 8-6, and in November they upended No. 6 Alex Haney and Melissa Koning from Auburn 9-8 at the SEC Fall Coaches Classic.

“Gira and Ana both had excellent fall seasons,” USC coach Arlo Elkins said. “The rankings they earned are a direct reflection of how they played.”

The Gamecocks open their spring season Jan. 30 hosting College of Charleston at 5 p.m.