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March 22, 2009

TAMPA, Fla. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team snapped a three-match skid Sunday in Tampa, Fla., by defeating USF 5-2 in Tampa, Fla. The Gamecocks moved a game over .500 to 8-7 and USF fell to 5-10.

South Carolina claimed the doubles point from the Bulls. USF won one of the three matches at court three where Allyn Mueller and Jessica Zok defeated Suzanna Mansour and Ashley Miller 8-2. The Gamecocks countered at the top slot with Dijana Stojic and Gira Schofield’s 8-2 triumph over Iciri Rai and Irene Rehberger.

At two doubles, the Bulls’ Natalia Guevara and Christine Wilson took a 4-3 lead after seven games, but Miljana Jocic and Natasa Vuckovic came back to win the next two games. With a 6-5 lead, Vuckovic and Jocic broke USF’s serve, but the Bulls countered with a break to make it 7-6. In the 14th game, Jocic and Vuckovic managed to win on the second deuce to give Carolina a 1-0 lead.

Miller added to the Gamecocks’ point total with a victory over Wilson at the No. 6 position. After breezing through the first set 6-0, Miller trailed 3-1 in the second but came back to win three games in a row to lead 4-3. The two traded games back and forth before Miller broke Wilson’s serve to win the match 7-5 in the second set.

USF scored its first point shortly afterward with Mueller upending Mansour 6-3, 6-2 at No. 5 singles. The Bulls then evened the score at 2-all after Rehberger beat Schofield in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.

At No. 4 singles, Jocic battled her way through the first set 6-4. She led 5-4 after holding serve and then took advantage of unforced errors by Guevara to win the set. In the second, Jocic’s steady play began to wear down Guevara and she went ahead 5-2. After Guevara held serve, Jocic convincingly served out the match to win 6-3 and put South Carolina back on top.

Stojic clinched the match for South Carolina at the No. 2 slot. She won 7-5 in the first set against Rai and then after going down 3-2, Stojic fought her way through four straight games to win the match at 6-3 in the second.

The last match on court at three singles also ended in South Carolina’s favor. Vuckovic lost to Zok 6-2 in the first and fell behind 4-1 in the second before staging an amazing comeback. After getting the second set to 4-all, Zok won the next game to lead 5-4, but Vuckovic responded by winning the next two games before Zok forced a tiebreaker. After pulling out the breaker 7-5, Vuckovic dominated the third set, blanking Zok 6-0 to end the day.

The Gamecocks return to SEC action Friday when they play at Mississippi State.

#33 South Carolina (8-7, 1-3 SEC) def. USF (5-10), 5-2

1. #82 Irene Rehberger, USF, def. #34 Gira Schofield, USC, 6-3, 6-1
2. Dijana Stojic, USC, def. Iciri Rai, USF, 7-5, 6-3
3. Natasa Vuckovic, USC, def. Jessica Zok, USF, 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-0
4. Miljana Jocic, USC, def. Natalia Guevara, USF, 6-4, 6-3
5. Allyn Mueller, USF, def. Suzanna Mansour, USC, 6-3, 6-2
6. Ashley Miller, USC, def. Christine Wilson, USF, 6-0, 7-5

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

1. Stojic/Schofield, USC, def. Rai/Rehberger, USF, 8-2
2. Jocic/Vuckovic, USC, def. Guevara/Wilson, USF, 8-6
3. Mueller/Zok, USF, def. Mansour/Miller, USC, 8-2

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2