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Jan. 21, 2009

GREENVILLE, S.C. — The University of South Carolina women’s tennis team won its 26th consecutive match over Furman University on Wednesday in Greenville, S.C., by a 6-1 score. The Gamecocks moved to 2-0 with the victory and the Paladins are off to a 0-1 start to 2009.

The Gamecocks began the evening by winning the doubles point. Natasa Vuckovic and Ana Marija Zubori won first against Laura Gioia and Monica Arguello 8-3 on court one followed by Miljana Jocic and Gira Schofield’s 8-2 triumph over Jessica Preeg and Lauren Tomory at the second position.

South Carolina’s No. 3 doubles team of Suzanna Mansour and Ashley Miller fell behind 6-1 to Jennifer Betts and Brooke Mosteller but managed to climb back into the contest by winning four games in a row. Betts and Mosteller won the next two games, though, to escape with an 8-5 win.

Schofield scored a big win on the evening in singles play by defeating ninth-ranked Gioia at the top singles slot 7-6, 6-1 to extend her unbeaten streak to eight matches. Trailing 4-1 in the first set, the Gamecock senior fought her way into a tiebreaker and cruised through the second to earn her first career victory against a top-10 player. Schofield’s previous best came her freshman year against Robin Stephenson of Alabama who was ranked No. 12 at the time.

Zubori, ranked No. 14 nationally, put the Gamecocks on top 2-0 after winning a three-set battle with No. 37 Arguello at two singles 6-1, 3-6, 6-0. Jocic gave South Carolina its third point with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Susan Bitetti at the No. 4 spot and Vuckovic clinched on court three by upending Preeg 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.

After Schofield’s victory, Mansour retired early in the first set on court five against Tomory trailing 2-1 to give the Paladins their only point in the match. Miller provided the final point for the Gamecocks at No. 6 singles with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Betts.

South Carolina returns to action Friday taking on Miami University in Hamilton, Ohio, at noon. The team then travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face the University of Michigan at 11 a.m. Sunday.

#33 South Carolina (2-0) def. Furman (0-1), 6-1

1. #71 Gira Schofield, USC, def. #9 Laura Gioia, FU, 7-6, 6-1
2. #14 Ana Marija Zubori, USC, def. #37 Monica Arguello, FU, 6-1, 3-6, 6-0
3. Natasa Vuckovic, USC, def. Jessica Preeg, FU, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0
4. Miljana Jocic, USC, def. Susan Bitetti, FU, 6-1, 7-5
5. Lauren Tomory, FU, def. Suzanna Mansour, USC, 2-1, ret.
6. Ashley Miller, USC, def. Jennifer Betts, FU, 6-4, 6-4

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

1. #33 Vuckovic/Zubori, USC, def. Gioia/Arguello, FU, 8-3
2. Jocic/Schofield, USC, def. Preeg/Tomory, FU, 8-2
3. Betts/Brooke Mosteller, FU, def. Mansour/Miller, USC, 8-5

Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3