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Feb. 6, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team fought its way to a 5-2 victory over Furman on Wednesday evening at the USC Indoor Fieldhouse in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks improved to 4-0 on the year, while the Paladins dropped to 3-3.

After a slow start on all three courts in doubles, the Gamecocks began to pull away at one and two doubles. At one, Gira Schofield and Ana Marija Zubori went ahead 6-2 after being behind 2-1 and eventually won 8-4 versus Laura Gioia and Natasa Manojlovic. The No. 2 Gamecock doubles team of Miljana Jocic and Natasa Vuckovic defeated Monica Arguello and Lauren Osborne 8-5 to put South Carolina ahead 1-0.

The remaining match on court three between USC’s Suzanna Mansour and Megan McGavock and the Paladins’ Jessica Preeg and Lauren Tomory required a tiebreaker after the score was 7-7. The South Carolina duo actually trailed 6-3 before winning four straight games. In the breaker, Mansour and McGavock came away with a 7-4 win.

Furman knotted things up at 1-all when Gioia upended Zubori 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 1 singles slot, but the next two matches belonged to South Carolina. Schofield won first for Carolina, a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Arguello at two, followed by Jelena Rajic’s 7-5, 7-6(5) triumph against Jessica Preeg at four singles.

The Paladins kept themselves in the match, though, when Osborne overcame a first-set loss to Vuckovic at the No. 3 spot to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. Jocic wasted no time in her match to clinch the win for Carolina, beating Tomory 6-1, 6-2 at five singles, and McGavock closed out the day with a 6-2, 7-5 win versus Manojlovic at the bottom slot.

South Carolina will return to action in one week when it hosts Winthrop at 5 p.m. Feb. 13 at the USC Indoor Fieldhouse.

#31 South Carolina (4-0) def. Furman (3-3), 5-2

1. #75 Laura Gioia, FU, def. #73 Ana Marija Zubori, USC, 6-4, 6-3
2. #26 Gira Schofield, USC, def. Monica Arguello, FU, 6-3, 6-3
3. Lauren Osborne, FU, def. Natasa Vuckovic, USC, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
4. Jelena Rajic, USC, def. Jessica Preeg, FU, 7-5, 7-6(5)
5. Miljana Jocic, USC, def. Lauren Tomory, FU, 6-1, 6-2
6. Megan McGavock, USC, def. Natasa Manojlovic, FU, 6-2, 7-5

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

1. #9 Schofield/Zubori, USC, def. Gioia/Manojlovic, FU, 8-4
2. Jocic/Vuckovic, USC, def. Arguello/Osborne, FU, 8-5
3. Suzanna Mansour/McGavock, USC, def. Preeg/Tomory, FU, 8-7(4)

Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3