Feb. 28, 2008
|Live Scoring – Kentucky||Live Scoring – Vanderbilt|
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team is set to open Southeastern Conference play Friday when it hosts No. 22 Kentucky at 2 p.m. at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center. On Sunday, the Gamecocks welcome No. 14 Vanderbilt to Columbia, S.C., for a noon match.
The Gamecocks are 6-1 after suffering their first loss of the season Saturday against Clemson. Carolina defeated N.C. State the day before falling to Clemson. Kentucky is 9-2 coming into Friday’s contest after beating Kansas and USF last weekend by 6-1 scores. Vanderbilt is 7-0, most recently upending Middle Tennessee State. The Commodores face No. 7 Florida on Friday before taking on the Gamecocks two days later.
South Carolina and Kentucky played in Columbia last year as well and the Gamecocks managed to snap a five-match losing streak to the Wildcats. In arguably Carolina’s most exciting match of the season, UK won the doubles point and South Carolina countered with four wins in singles, two of which were in three sets. With the score tied at 3-3, the final match that remained was between Carolina’s Megan McGavock and Jessica Giuggioli on court five. Giuggioli won the first set in a tiebreaker, but McGavock stormed back to take the second 6-0 and eventually won 6-4 in the third. Kentucky leads the all-time series with Carolina 13-11.
Vandy downed the Gamecocks in Nashville, Tenn., last year 5-2. The Gamecocks lost two matches in singles that went three sets while winning one. Junior Natasa Vuckovic scored one of her biggest victories of the season with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 triumph against Catherine Newman, who was ranked No. 38 at the time. The Commodores have a 14-10 edge in the series and have won eight of the last nine meetings.
Several nationally ranked players will compete in Columbia over the weekend. In addition to No. 35 Gira Schofield and No. 56 Ana Marija Zubori from USC, the Kentucky squad features No. 79 Sarah Woestmann and No. 95 Megan Broderick. The Commodores boast three in the top 50 with Amanda Taylor (29), Catherine Newman (43) and Courtney Ulery (48).
Fans are reminded that free food and drinks will be served at all home matches for the remainder of the season at Maxcy Gregg. Admission to all matches is also free.