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March 14, 2010

Coach Elkins

AUBURN, Ala. — South Carolina’s 20th-ranked women’s tennis team (8-4, 3-1 SEC) dropped a 4-3 decision at Auburn (7-5, 1-3 SEC) on Sunday to see its six-match unbeaten streak come to an end.

The Gamecocks appeared in control despite Adriana Pereira and Anya Morgina’s 8-1 loss at No. 3 doubles to the Tiger duo of Paulina Schippers and Plamena Kurteva. After Auburn’s win on court three, Ana Marija Zubori and Dijana Stojic took a 7-4 lead at one over Caroline Thornton and Myrthe Molenveld. The South Carolina tandem closed out the match with an 8-4 win.

On court two, South Carolina’s Miljana Jocic and Rita Maisak held a 7-4 lead over Fani Chifchieva and Jil Hastenrath. The Tigers managed to make it 7-5 with Maisak serving. South Carolina had two match points on Maisak’s serve, but Auburn was able to fight its way through and take the game to close the margin to 7-6. Chifchieva and Hastenrath ended up winning the next three games as well for a 9-7 victory and a 1-0 lead heading to singles play.

Auburn made the score 2-0 after Chifchieva finished off Zubori 6-0, 6-4 at the No. 1 singles position and Hastenrath followed with a 6-0, 6-4 win of her own over Maisak at the No. 6 spot to make it 3-0. Jocic got the Gamecocks on the board with a dominant 6-0, 6-1 performance over Thornton on court four, and Pereira closed the margin to one by upending Schippers 6-4, 6-4 at No. 5 singles.

The deciding match came at the No. 3 slot between Morgina and Molenveld. Molenveld won the first set 6-3 and charged ahead 5-2 before Morgina raced back in to the match. At 5-2, Morgina won eight of nine rallies to quickly make the deficit 5-4, and she continued hitting winner after winner in the next two games to go ahead 6-5. Molenveld took the next game to force a tiebreaker and then had a 4-2 lead at the changeover in the breaker. Morgina fought back to 5-all, but Molenveld won two straight long rallies to come away with the victory.

The final match on court between Stojic and Daniela Vukadinovic was in a third set once the team score went to 4-2 in favor of Auburn. Stojic won the first set 6-4 and Vukadinovic took the second by the same score. After losing the first game of the third set, Stojic found herself with a 5-2 lead with Vukadinovic serving. Vukadinovic held serve and Stojic was broken at love to make it 5-4 for South Carolina. Stojic ended up winning the next game when Vukadinovic double faulted at 30-40.

South Carolina will return to action Saturday when it takes on Colorado at 1 p.m. ET in Boulder, Colo.

#63 Auburn (7-5, 1-3 SEC) def. #20 South Carolina (8-4, 3-1 SEC), 4-3

1. #76 Fani Chifchieva, AU, def. #72 Ana Marija Zubori, USC, 6-0, 6-4
2. Dijana Stojic, USC, def. Daniela Vukadinovic, AU, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
3. Myrthe Molenveld, AU, def. #111 Anya Morgina, USC, 6-3, 7-6(5)
4. Miljana Jocic, USC, def. Caroline Thornton, AU, 6-0, 6-1
5. Adriana Pereira, USC, def. Paulina Schippers, AU, 6-4, 6-4
6. Jil Hastenrath, AU, def. Rita Maisak, USC, 6-0, 6-4

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

1. Stojic/Zubori, USC, def. Thornton/Molenveld, AU, 8-4
2. Chifchieva/Hastenrath, AU, def. Jocic/Maisak, USC, 9-7
3. Schippers/Plamena Kurteva, AU, def. Morgina/Pereira, USC, 8-1

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2