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March 20, 2008

Live Scoring – Mississippi State

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team returns to Southeastern Conference play Friday hosting Mississippi State at 2 p.m. at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center. Carolina then heads to Ole Miss on Sunday to play the Lady Rebels at 1 p.m.

The Gamecocks (8-5, 1-3 SEC) posted a 1-1 record last week in their final two non-conference matches of the regular season. Carolina fell 5-1 at BYU but recovered with a 4-3 decision over Utah two days later in Salt Lake City. Senior Megan McGavock’s win at No. 5 singles decided the outcome against the Utes, as she came back from a 4-0 deficit in the third set to win 7-5 and snap a three-match losing streak for the Gamecocks.

Mississippi State (7-5, 0-4) began the season with a 5-0 record before dropping five in a row. The Bulldogs defeated Eastern Illinois and Indiana State 7-0 and 4-3 last week to move two games over .500. MSU’s conference losses have come at the hands of Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Auburn.

Ole Miss (4-10, 0-4) will face Florida on Friday before hosting the Gamecocks. The Lady Rebels have struggled this season, currently riding an eight-match losing streak. They nearly beat Tennessee in their conference opener on the road, falling 4-3 and also suffered a 4-3 setback to Alabama as well. Georgia and Auburn both defeated Ole Miss 6-1.

South Carolina has never lost to Mississippi State since joining the SEC in the 1991-92 academic year, boasting an 18-0 record. The Lady Rebels hold a 12-10 edge in the series with the Gamecocks but have lost eight of the last nine matches against them. Carolina beat both schools 7-0 last season.

The Gamecocks continue to have two players ranked in the latest ITA rankings with Gira Schofield at No. 44 and Ana Marija Zubori at No. 75. Schofield and Zubori are 33rd in doubles as well. Mississippi State and Ole Miss do not have any singles players currently ranked, however, the Lady Rebels do have a ranked doubles team with Nika Koukhartchouk and Karen Nijssen at No. 42.