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May 7, 2008

NCAA Tournament Central | South Carolina Notes in PDF Format icon-acrosmall.gif

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2008 Schedule
12-9 Overall • 5-6 SEC
Date Opponent Result
1/25 Troy W, 7-0
1/30 CofC W, 7-0
2/2 at Harvard W, 5-2
2/6 Furman W, 5-2
2/13 Winthrop W, 7-0
2/22 #41 N.C. State W, 5-2
2/23 #24 Clemson L, 0-7
2/29 #22 Kentucky* L, 3-4
3/2 #14 Vanderbilt* W, 4-3
3/7 at #3 Georgia* L, 0-7
3/9 at #17 Tennessee* L, 3-4
3/13 at #52 BYU L, 1-5
3/15 at #53 Utah W, 4-3
3/21 #59 Miss. State* W, 7-0
3/23 at Ole Miss* W, 4-3
3/28 #27 LSU* W, 5-2
3/30 #13 Arkansas* L, 2-5
4/4 at #75 Alabama* W, 4-2
4/6 at #34 Auburn* L, 3-4
4/12 #4 Florida* L, 0-4
4/17 vs. #30 Auburn^ L, 0-4
5/9 vs. #33 VCU# 7 p.m.
* SEC match
^ SEC Tournament (Auburn, Ala.)
# NCAA Tournament (Athens, Ga.)

2008 SEC Standings
Eastern Division
South Carolina
Western Division
Ole Miss
Mississippi State

Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Arlo Elkins
Alma Mater: Northwood Institute, 1971
Overall Record (Years): 382-258 (25)
SEC Record (Years): 102-85 (17)
Assistant Coach: Katarina Petrovic
Alma Mater: South Carolina, 2002

SEC Team Rankings
Rank Team Avg.
2. Georgia 70.73
6. Florida 67.45
11. Vanderbilt 52.21
17. Arkansas 41.50
23. Kentucky 36.26
25. Tennessee 34.63
27. LSU 30.71
29. Auburn 28.31
32. South Carolina 24.19
56. Ole Miss 11.47

SEC Singles Rankings
Rank Player (School) Avg.
1. Aurelija Miseviciute (AR) 58.27
14. Fani Chifchieva (AU) 34.17
15. Megan Falcon (LSU) 34.10
17. Amanda Taylor (VU) 30.45
29. Julia Cohen (UF) 18.99
33. Csilla Borsanyi (UF) 17.31
39. Yvette Hyndman (UG) 15.87
41. Caitlin Whoriskey (UT) 14.72
45. Gira Schofield (USC) 13.54
48. Catherine Newman (VU) 12.81
58. Kelley Hyndman (UG) 9.81
69. Courtney Ulery (VU) 8.18
71. Alex Haney (AU) 8.13
73. Ela Kaluder (AR) 7.96
74. Ana Marija Zubori (USC) 7.95
83. Naoko Ueshima (UG) 6.70
85. Megan Broderick (UK) 6.63
96. Anastasia Revzina (UF) 6.01
101. Sarah Woestmann (UK) 5.71
103. Monika Dancevic (UG) 5.68
106. Karen Nijssen (UM) 5.58
117. Taka Bertrand (VU) 4.90

SEC Doubles Rankings
Rank Pair (School) Avg.
8. Alexander/Boonstra (UF) 43.54
14. Haney/Koning (AU) 33.89
16. Whoriskey/Zubor (UT) 32.50
21. Taylor/Ulery (VU) 24.56
22. Falcon/Hedberg (LSU) 22.80
29. Kaluder/Miseviciute (AR) 20.39
32. Koukhartchouk/Nijssen (UM) 19.44
34. Schofield/Zubori (USC) 17.99
37. Escamilla/Johnston (UK) 16.79
48. Dancevic/K. Hyndman (UG) 13.20
52. Hyndman/Hyndman (UG) 11.61

NCAA Tournament
South Carolina will compete in Athens, Ga., in first-round NCAA Tournament action Friday, May 9, when it takes on Virginia Commonwealth at 7 p.m. The host Bulldogs face Yale earlier in the day at 4 p.m. The winners are set to meet at 4 p.m. the next day for a right to compete in the 16-team NCAA Championship in Tulsa, Okla., over May 15-20.

Three In A Row For Schofield
Junior Gira Schofield will compete in the NCAA Singles Championship for the third year in a row this season, making her one of just four players in school history to make NCAAs three times during their careers. The first to do so was Michelle Duda in 1991, 1992 and 1993, followed by Heather Greene in 1994, 1995 and 1996. Current assistant coach Katarina Petrovic, whose last name during her playing days was Markovski, went in 1999, 2000 and 2002. Schofield will also play doubles with Ana Marija Zubori, making Schofield the first player since Jennifer Radman in 2002 to play in both individual tournaments. The NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will be played over May 21-26 in Tulsa, Okla.

Gamecocks In Athens
2008 marks the second time in four years South Carolina has been sent to Athens, Ga., for the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The last time in 2005, the Gamecocks beat Nebraska 4-0 before losing to the host Bulldogs by the same score the next day.

Gamecocks In The NCAA Tournament
South Carolina is makng its 14th consecutive appearance in NCAA play in 2008 and its 18th overall. Carolina is 15-17 in the tournament. The Gamecocks appeared in the first two tournaments in 1982 and 1983 and reached the quarterfinals in ’82, which remains the best showing in school history. The Gamecocks have reached the Sweet 16 five times, with their last appearance coming in 1999. In addition to making the NCAA field 14 times in a row, South Carolina has won 12 of its past 14 first-round matches.

It’s All About Consistency
South Carolina extended its streak of consecutive NCAA appearances to 14 in 2008, which stands as the 11th-longest active streak in the country. Below is a look at the current streaks.

Rank School Streak
1. California 27
Stanford 27
4. Texas 26
5. Florida 22
Georgia 22
7. Arizona State 21
Pepperdine 21
9. Duke 19
10. Southern California 17
Tennessee 14
Vanderbilt 14

Rankings In The Regional
The host Georgia Bulldogs are currently ranked No. 2 in the country and have the No. 2 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament. The Gamecocks are a No. 17-32 seed for the regional while VCU is a No. 33-48 and Yale is No. 49-64. South Carolina is ranked No. 32 in the country and VCU is right behind at 33rd. Yale is not ranked. Georgia and South Carolina each have ranked doubles teams that will not play together in the regional. For the Gamecocks, Gira Schofield and Ana Marija Zubori are 34th and Kelley Hyndman and Monika Dancevic are 48th for Georgia. The following ranked players and doubles team will appear in the regional:

39. Yvette Hyndman (Georgia)
44. Tatsiana Uvarova (VCU)
45. Gira Schofield (South Carolina)
58. Kelley Hyndman (Georgia)
74. Ana Marija Zubori (South Carolina)
83. Naoko Ueshima (Georgia)
103. Monika Dancevic (Georgia)

52. Hyndman/Hyndman (Georgia)

USC-VCU In September
Despite a limited history between the two schools, South Carolina and VCU sort of played a dual match against each other this past September. The UVa Invitational in Charlottesville, Va., pitted one team against another in a dual match format but it was still technically an unflighted tournament. The Gamecocks’ Gira Schofield scored a 6-1, 6-3 win over Tatsiana Uvarova, who plays No. 1 singles for the Rams and Suzanna Mansour won in three sets over Olena Leonchuk, VCU’s No. 4 player. Viktoria Konstantinova beat USC’s Ana Marija Zubori in three sets and Laura Burns won in straight sets against the Gamecocks’ Natasa Vuckovic. Konstantinova will play the second singles position Friday and Burns will be at five.

Series Histories
The Gamecocks and Rams of VCU have little history. VCU leads the all-time series 2-0 after defeating South Carolina during the regular season in 2002 and then again in the second round of the NCAA Tournament that same year. Both matches were played in Columbia, S.C., and it was the last time the Gamecocks hosted a regional. South Carolina has never played Yale, and the history with Georgia is extensive since both teams compete in the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division. The Bulldogs lead the series 34-14 and have won eight in a row over Carolina and 16 of the last 17 meetings. Earlier this season, Georgia defeated the Gamecocks 7-0 in Athens, Ga.

Carolina’s NCAA Lineup
South Carolina will use its usual singles lineup, but the Gamecocks made some changes in doubles at the top two positions. Gira Schofield and Suzanna Mansour will play one and Ana Marija Zubori and Megan McGavock will team up at two doubles. Neither of the two duos have played together in their careers at South Carolina.

1. Gira Schofield
2. Ana Marija Zubori
3. Natasa Vuckovic
4. Suzanna Mansour
5. Megan McGavock
6. Jelena Rajic

1. Suzanna Mansour/Gira Schofield
2. Megan McGavock/Ana Marija Zubori
3. Jelena Rajic/Natasa Vuckovic

VCU’s NCAA Lineup
Like South Carolina, VCU will use a standard singles lineup for the NCAA Tournament, but the Rams have also reinvented their top two doubles teams. Viktoria Konstantinova and Laura Burns will play at the top spot for the first time this season and Tatsiana Uvarova and Vera Petrashevitch will do likewise at No. 2 doubles.

1. Tatsiana Uvarova
2. Viktoria Konstantinova
3. Kateryna Yergina
4. Olena Leonchuk
5. Laura Burns
6. Kateryna Malakhova

1. Viktoria Konstantinova/Laura Burns
2. Tatsiana Uvarova/Vera Petrashevitch
3. Olena Leonchuk/Kateryna Yergina

Live Video Coverage In Athens
Fans who are not able to make the trip to Athens will still be able to follow the action on, as the Bulldogs are providing live video coverage of all the matches free of charge.

Vuckovic Among Elite Gamecock Company
Junior Natasa Vuckovic is among elite company at South Carolina having won at least 20 singles matches three consecutive seasons. Only six other Gamecocks have accomplished the feat, the most recent being Jennifer Radman, Tamara Sutton and Lynn-Yin Tan. All three players won at least 20 per season four straight years from 1999 to 2002. Rita Winebarger also posted four consecutive seasons of 20 or more wins from 1985 to 1988, as did Carolina Culik from 1987 to 1990. Tobi Rakic fell two wins shy of making it four straight her senior year after reaching 20 wins in 1995, 1996 and 1997. Winebarger actually won over 30 matches in three of her four years, a large reason why she owns the school’s all-time record for singles wins at 127.

In The Rankings
Gira Schofield and Ana Marija Zubori have been ranked in singles and doubles the entire season. Schofield achieved a career-high ranking of No. 23 in singles in March and is currently rated No. 45. Zubori set her career mark in February by reaching No. 56 and is ranked No. 74 in the latest poll. The two have been ranked the entire spring in doubles as well, ascending as high as No. 9 in January and February. Carolina’s top duo is ranked No. 34 on the April 28 rankings list.

Silver Anniversary Season
Head coach Arlo Elkins is in his 25th season at the helm of the Gamecocks. Elkins has been the head coach at Carolina longer than any other Gamecock head coach with the exception of Mark Berson, who just completed his 30th season with men’s soccer. Elkins has accumulated over 375 victories, been to 16 NCAA Tournaments including this season, three NCAA Sweet 16s, was 1988 USPTA Southern Division Coach of the Year, 1994 ITA Southeast Region Coach of the Year, 1995 SEC Coach of the Year and a 2003 South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame inductee.

2008 SEC Tournament Results
The Georgia Bulldogs won the SEC Tournament for the second year in a row in 2008. Results from the tournament were as follows:

Thursday, April 17 – First Round
#6 LSU def. #11 Alabama, 4-1
#7 Kentucky def. #10 Ole Miss, 4-0
#5 Tennessee def. #12 Mississippi State, 4-0
#8 Auburn def. #9 South Carolina, 4-0

Friday, April 18 – Quarterfinals
#3 Arkansas def. #6 LSU, 4-0
#2 Georgia def. #7 Kentucky, 4-1
#4 Vanderbilt def. #5 Tennessee, 4-0
#1 Florida def. #8 Auburn, 4-0

Saturday, April 19 – Semifinals
#2 Georgia def. #3 Arkansas, 4-3
#1 Florida def. #4 Vanderbilt, 4-2

Sunday, April 20 – Final
#2 Georgia def. #1 Florida, 4-3

AgSouth Athlete Of The Year
Sophomore Ana Marija Zubori was voted this year’s AgSouth Athlete of the Year by Gamecock fans. During the 2007-08 season, an AgSouth Athlete of the Week was chosen and then in April, fans voted for a male and female athlete of the year based upon the weekly winners. George Bryan IV from men’s golf was the male recipient. The two sophomores received their awards prior to the South Carolina vs. Florida baseball game May 2.

Weekly Award For Rajic
Jelena Rajic was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Week on April 2. Rajic helped Carolina defeat LSU with a 6-0, 6-0 victory against Kylie Adamek at No. 6 singles, and she also teamed with Natasa Vuckovic for a 9-7 triumph over the Tiger duo of Adamek/Robinson at the third doubles position. In a 5-2 loss to Arkansas, Rajic picked up one of the Gamecocks’ two points in singles play, a 5-7, 6-4, (10-1) win versus Audrey Bordeleau. The Lady Razorback entered the match with a 28-8 overall record and was 10-2 at No. 6 singles while owning a 15-3 record in dual matches. Rajic shared the honors with Karen Nijssen of Ole Miss.

Team Serbia/Florida
It only takes a quick glance at the Gamecocks’ roster to see that South Carolina’s players either hail from Serbia or Florida. Even though sophomore Ana Marija Zubori is listed as being from France, she holds citizenship in Serbia as well. She was born in Serbia but was sent to live in France with her sister when fighting broke out in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

SEC Success
Since first competing in the SEC in 1992, the Gamecocks have enjoyed consistent success in a league that is arguably the toughest in the nation. Over the past 17 seasons, the Gamecocks are one of five SEC schools to win 100 league matches, and their .545 (102-85) winning percentage ranks fifth in the conference. South Carolina has posted a winning league record in 10 of those 17 years. Below is a list of teams’ SEC regular-season records since the league expanded to 12 teams in 1991-92. The list is sorted from best to worst winning percentage.

Team W L Pct.
Florida 179 8 .957
Georgia 154 33 .824
Vanderbilt 129 58 .690
Tennessee 117 70 .626
SOUTH CAROLINA 102 85 .545
Ole Miss 96 91 .513
Kentucky 92 95 .492
LSU 69 118 .369
Alabama 63 124 .337
Auburn 50 137 .267
Arkansas 45 142 .241
Mississippi State 26 161 .139

NCAA Individual History
South Carolina has placed either a singles competitor or doubles team in 21 of 27 NCAA Individual Championships. Laura Berstein remains the only Gamecock to advance to the round of 16 in singles, doing so in 1983 in Albuquerque, N.M. In doubles, Helen Crook and Victoria Davies are the only USC duo to go as far as the semifinals, which happened in 1994 in Athens, Ga. In 2006, Gira Schofield became just the second USC freshman to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship. If one were to count the individual and team tournaments, South Carolina has participated in at least one NCAA event every year since 1990, a streak of 19 appearances in a row.

Teaching An Old Dog A New Trick
Even though she’s a senior for the Gamecocks, Megan McGavock showed mid-season it is never too late to try something new in tennis. After suffering a six-match losing streak during the spring, head coach Arlo Elkins decided the biggest thing hurting McGavock was an inconsistent serve. Consequently, Elkins worked with McGavock and reinvented her serve by significantly reducing her backswing to reduce her margin for error. She now starts with her racket already behind her head before her ball toss and the result has been almost no double faults in her matches. Her record is 6-2 since making the switch.

Career Records Updates
Senior Megan McGavock is looking to end her career as a Gamecock ranked among the top 10 in school history for singles, doubles and combined victories. Should she finish among the top 10 in all three, McGavock would be one of only five Gamecocks listed on all the categories. The other four are currently Michelle Duda, Rita Winebarger, Jennifer Radman and Lynn-Yin Tan. With 77 singles wins, McGavock needs two more to crack the top-10 list, while her 62 in doubles is already tied for 10th and her 139 combined victories is tied for ninth.

Not Many Have Done It
In the history of Gamecock women’s tennis, not many players have won more combined singles and doubles matches through their first two years with the program than current sophomore Ana Marija Zubori. Her current total of 93 has been beaten by only five other players, including Jodi Kenoyer (96, 2002-03), Lynn-Yin Tan (100, 1999-00), Nathalie Rodriguez (101, 1990-91), Biljana Mirkovic (108, 1987-88) and Paulette Roux (109, 1987-88). Mirkovic actually used to coach Zubori when she was a junior making her way up the ranks.

All-SEC Accolades
For the second year in a row, the Gamecocks’ top three singles players of Gira Schofield, Ana Marija Zubori and Natasa Vuckovic received places on the All-SEC Team. All three players were second-team honorees. Schofield made the second team as well in 2006 as a freshman and was a first-team selection last year. Vuckovic has been on the second team all three years at South Carolina, while Zubori made the squad for the second time in as many years. Schofield and Vuckovic are among an elite group in that they are two of only three players in school history to receive three All-SEC awards during their careers. Heather Greene was the other, doing so from 1994 to 1996.

Jocic Out For The Season
Freshman Miljana Jocic was enjoying a productive freshman year but had to undergo minor knee surgery in April that ended her rookie campaign. She is expected to be at full strength next fall.