March 6, 2008
|Georgia Live Scoring
|Tennessee Live Scoring
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two more of the Southeastern Conference’s top teams await the South Carolina women’s tennis team this weekend. The Gamecocks first take on No. 3 Georgia at 3 p.m. Friday in Athens, Ga., and then face 17th-ranked Tennessee at 1 p.m. Sunday in Knoxville, Tenn.
South Carolina opened league play last week with a split against Kentucky and Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks lost the doubles point to the Wildcats and came up one victory short in singles to lose 4-3. Two days later, though, they rebounded with a 4-3 decision over then-No. 14 Vanderbilt to improve to 7-2 overall and 1-1 in the SEC.
Georgia is off to a 2-0 start in the conference and boasts a 9-1 record overall. The Bulldogs have recorded wins against some of the nation’s top teams this year, including No. 2 Georgia Tech and No. 7 Southern California. Last weekend, UGA knocked off Mississippi State 4-0 and then followed with a 6-1 triumph over Ole Miss.
Tennessee (8-2, 2-0 SEC) will first play No. 5 Florida on Friday before hosting the Gamecocks. The Lady Volunteers’ two losses this season were 4-3 decisions to Wake Forest and Michigan. UT had to fight its way through two road matches with Ole Miss and Mississippi State last weekend, winning 4-3 against the Lady Rebels and 5-2 versus the Bulldogs. The Lady Vols’ marquee win thus far came against No. 13 North Carolina in January by a 4-3 margin.
The Gamecocks will look to snap a seven-match losing streak in the series with Georgia. Carolina’s last win against the Bulldogs was in 2002 in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament when South Carolina hosted the event. Georgia was the No. 1-ranked team in the nation at the time. Georgia leads the all-time series with South Carolina 33-14.
Tennessee is ahead in the all-times series by just two games at 18-16. Last year in Knoxville, the Gamecocks came out on top 4-2 to mark their first win on the Lady Vols’ home courts since 1993. Tennessee managed to win the next meeting 4-3 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. The match was decided at No. 1 singles where UT’s Blakeley Griffith won in three sets against Gira Schofield.
The Bulldogs have several ranked players in singles, although, the Gamecocks’ two are both higher in the standings. Monika Dancevic is the highest for UGA at No. 71, followed by Kelley Hyndman (76), Yvette Hyndman (96) and Naoko Ueshima (125). Schofield and Ana Marija Zubori are 23rd and 69th while also ranking 19th in doubles. Kelley Hyndman and Dancevic are No. 26 and Yvette Hyndman and Ueshima are 33rd.
The Lady Vols have one ranked player with Caitlin Whoriskey at No. 61, but she did not play singles the past two matches. She and Zsofia Zubor are the No. 7-rated doubles tandem in the country. Schofield and Zubori took on the UT duo last fall at the Furman Fall Classic and won 8-3. Whoriskey and Zubor went on to win the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, the first of three grand slam tournaments in college tennis.