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March 7, 2010

Coach Elkins
Anya Morgina

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team provided a dominating performance Sunday at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center, downing No. 15 Arkansas (10-4, 0-2 SEC) by a 6-1 count to improve to 6-3 on the year and 2-0 in the SEC.

The Gamecocks won a hotly contested doubles point, taking courts one and three. Arkansas struck first, though, with Kate Lukomskaya and Kelsey Sundaram defeating Miljana Jocic and Madeleine Saari-Byström 8-5 at the No. 2 spot. The Razorbacks had a 6-2 lead before South Carolina closed the margin to 6-5, but the next two games went to Lukomskaya and Sundaram for the victory.

Ana Marija Zubori and Dijana Stojic answered for South Carolina with their second win in less than a week against a top-20 doubles team. This time, the two beat No. 18-ranked Anouk Tigu and Claudine Paulson 8-4. On Wednesday, Stojic and Zubori beat the No. 15 team in the country from USF.

Adriana Pereira and Anya Morgina pushed ahead of the Arkansas duo of Stephanie Roy and Valentina Starkova 7-5 at No. 3 doubles and appeared ready to close out the match. Arkansas charged back to take an 8-7 advantage, but Morgina held serve to force a tiebreaker. In the breaker, Pereira and Morgina took a 6-5 lead after Pereira served and then an unforced error by Arkansas on the next rally gave the Gamecocks the win.

The momentum the Gamecocks gained in doubles carried over to singles with them winning five of the first sets in singles. Stojic won easily on court two, beating Lukomskaya 6-3, 6-2 to put her team ahead 2-0. Soon afterward, Roy countered for the Razorbacks with a 6-1, 6-4 decision against Saari-Byström at the No. 4 position.

With a 2-1 advantage, Pereira finished off Starkova 6-3, 7-6(5) to pull the Gamecocks within one point of clinching the match. Pereira fell behind 2-0 in the first set before charging back to win six of the next seven games. In the second set, Pereira had a 5-3 lead before Starkova fought back to lead 6-5. In the breaker, Pereira raced out to a 4-1 lead, but Starkova came back to tie it at 4-all. The next two points went to Pereira before she closed out the match 7-5.

Morgina provided the fourth and clinching point for South Carolina by defeating Emily Carbone 6-3, 7-5 on court three. Morgina trailed 5-3 in second set before clawing her way back to win four straight games to snag the victory.

Zubori added to the Gamecocks’ point total with a straight-set triumph against Tigu at the top of the lineup, winning 7-6(5), 7-5 to make the score 5-1. Jocic finalized the score at 6-1 for South Carolina after winning a three-hour match against Sundaram 7-6(5), 6-7(0), (10-6) to improve to 18-4 this season.

South Carolina will be at home for its next match Tuesday versus Wake Forest at 1 p.m.

#58 South Carolina (6-3, 2-0 SEC) def. #15 Arkansas (10-4, 0-2 SEC), 6-1

1. #72 Ana Marija Zubori, USC, def. #54 Anouk Tigu, UA, 7-6(5), 7-5
2. Dijana Stojic, USC, def. Kate Lukomskaya, UA, 6-3, 6-2
3. #111 Anya Morgina, USC, def. Emily Carbone, UA, 6-3, 7-5
4. Stephanie Roy, UA, def. Madeleine Saari-Byström, USC, 6-1, 6-4
5. Miljana Jocic, USC, def. Kelsey Sundaram, UA, 7-6(5), 6-7(0), (10-6)
6. Adriana Pereira, USC, def. Valentina Starkova, UA, 6-3, 7-6(5)

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

1. Stojic/Zubori, USC, def. #18 Claudine Paulson/Tigu, UA, 8-4
2. Lukomskaya/Sundaram, UA, def. Jocic/Saari-Bystöm, USC, 8-5
3. Morgina/Pereira, USC, def. Roy/Starkova, UA, 9-8(5)

Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3