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Feb. 29, 2008

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team suffered a 4-3 setback to No. 22 Kentucky on Friday at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks dropped to 6-2 on the year and 0-1 in the SEC while UK improved to 10-2 and 1-0.

South Carolina struggled in doubles, losing courts two and three by 8-3 scores. Christine Johnston and Alaina Trgovich won first at two against Natasa Vuckovic and Miljana Jocic, followed by Whitney Spencer and Sarah Woestmann upending Suzanna Mansour and Megan McGavock.

The No. 1 doubles match between Kentucky’s Megan Broderick and Carolina Escamilla and USC’s Gira Schofield and Ana Marija Zubori saw the UK duo fall behind 4-1 after five games. Broderick and Escamilla, though, managed to win the next six games in a row. After Carolina won the following two games, including a game 13 that saw USC fight off two match points, Schofield and Zubori came out on the short end of an 8-6 decision.

Carolina came out strong in singles, winning the first game on five of the six courts to set the early tone. Schofield evened the score after a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Woestmann at the top position, and Zubori put the Gamecocks ahead 2-1 thanks to a 6-1, 6-4 win against Broderick at No. 2 singles. UK countered with Escamilla’s 6-1, 6-4 triumph versus Vuckovic on court three, but Jocic answered at the fourth spot by scores of 6-3, 6-3 playing Trgovich. Johnson finished off Rajic 6-3, 6-3 at five to deadlock the match and turn all eyes to court six.

In the first set between McGavock and Spencer, McGavock took a 4-3 lead after trailing 3-2. Spencer came back to win the next two games and after McGavock tied the score at 5-5, Spencer closed out the set 7-5.

Spencer grabbed a 5-2 advantage in the second, but McGavock broke serve and then held to close the margin to 5-4. After tying the score, Spencer broke McGavock to take a 6-5 lead, but McGavock answered right back to force a tiebreaker. In the breaker, McGavock jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Spencer, but then the Wildcat took control. Spencer won seven straight rallies to help Kentucky escape with a 4-3 victory.

The Gamecocks return to action Sunday facing No. 14 Vanderbilt at noon in Columbia. Fans are reminded that free hot dogs and lemonade will be available.

#22 Kentucky (10-2, 1-0 SEC) def. #30 South Carolina (6-2, 0-1 SEC), 4-3

1. #35 Gira Schofield, USC, def. #79 Sarah Woestmann, UK, 6-2, 6-2
2. #56 Ana Marija Zubori, USC, def. #95 Megan Broderick, UK, 6-1, 6-4
3. Carolina Escamilla, UK, def. Natasa Vuckovic, USC, 6-1, 6-4
4. Miljana Jocic, USC, def. Alaina Trgovich, UK, 6-3, 6-3
5. Christine Johnston, UK, def. Jelena Rajic, USC, 6-3, 6-3
6. Whitney Spencer, UK, def. Megan McGavock, USC, 7-5, 7-6(2)

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

1. Broderick/Escamilla, UK, def. #17 Schofield/Zubori, USC, 8-6
2. Johnston/Trgovich, UK, def. Jocic/Vuckovic, USC, 8-3
3. Spencer/Woestmann, UK, def. Suzanna Mansour/McGavock, USC, 8-3

Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1