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Feb. 22, 2009

CLEMSON, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team dropped a 5-2 decision at No. 14 Clemson on Sunday to fall to 5-3 on the 2009 season. The Tigers improved to 7-3.

South Carolina fell behind early by losing the doubles point. Estefania Balda and Alexander Luc teamed up for an 8-2 triumph over the Gamecock duo of Dijana Stojic and Suzanna Mansour at No. 3 doubles, while Keri Wong and Laurianne Henry beat Miljana Jocic and Gira Schofield 8-4 on court two to clinch the point.

The Gamecocks did manage a victory at the top position. Natasa Vuckovic and Ana Marija Zubori defeated the No. 27-ranked tandem of Josipa Bek and Ina Hadziselimovic 8-5. It marked the highest ranked team they have beaten this season.

Bek rebounded in singles play by ending Schofield’s 13-match unbeaten streak, winning 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 singles to put the Tigers ahead 2-0. Bek is currently ranked No. 15 in the nation while Schofield is listed at 19th, the highest of the senior’s career.

Stojic got the Gamecocks on the board by cruising to a 6-3, 6-2 win against Hadziselimovic on court three. Sunday marked the debut for the freshman Stojic who sat out the first seven matches this spring.

Clemson pushed forward with Balda’s three-set triumph over Zubori 7-6, 2-6, 6-1. Zubori entered the match at 7-0 this spring playing No. 2 singles and fell to 15-3 overall with the setback.

Luc provided the winning point for the Tigers at the fifth slot with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Ashley Miller. Soon afterward, Vuckovic ran out of steam against Wong to fall 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 at No. 4 singles to make the score 5-1 for Clemson.

With the match decided, the final contest between Jocic and Henry at six singles was played as a pro set, which Jocic won 8-6 to make the final score 5-2.

The Gamecocks will begin Southeastern Conference play March 6 when they travel to Nashville, Tenn., to play No. 16 Vanderbilt.

#14 Clemson (7-3) def. #30 South Carolina (5-3), 5-2

1. #15 Josipa Bek, CU, def. #19 Gira Schofield, USC, 6-2, 6-1
2. Estefania Balda, CU, def. #35 Ana Marija Zubori, USC, 7-6, 2-6, 6-1
3. Dijana Stojic, USC, def. Ina Hadziselimovic, CU, 6-3, 6-2
4. #114 Keri Wong, CU, def. Natasa Vuckovic, USC, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2
5. Alexandra Luc, CU, def. Ashley Miller, USC, 6-2, 6-0
6. Miljana Jocic, USC, def. Laurianne Henry, CU, 8-6

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

1. #58 Vuckovic/Zubori, USC, def. #27 Bek/Hadziselimovic, CU, 8-5
2. Wong/Henry, CU, def. Jocic/Schofield, USC, 8-4
3. Balda/Luc, CU, def. Mansour/Stojic, USC, 8-2

Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1