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March 19, 2010

Coach Elkins

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team (8-4, 3-1 SEC) takes a break from conference play this weekend when it travels to Boulder, Colo., to face the Colorado Buffaloes (7-5, 0-2 Big 12) on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.

The Gamecocks had their six-match unbeaten streak snapped in their last match-up against Auburn on Sunday by a 4-3 score. All four of South Carolina’s losses this year have been one-point decisions. The doubles point proved to be the difference in the match with the Tigers, as it did in two of South Carolina’s other three losses.

Despite the loss to Auburn, two Gamecocks continued their impressive winning streaks in the contest. Miljana Jocic extended her streak of wins to nine matches, while Adriana Pereira posted her seventh consecutive victory. Jocic leads the team in overall victories with a 21-4 record and is 10-1 in duals this season. Pereira is second in wins at 16-6 and owns an 8-1 slate in dual match-ups.

Anya Morgina and Dijana Stojic have been consistent performers for South Carolina as well. Morgina is 9-3 this spring at three singles and is 14-7 overall. She had won four straight matches before suffering a loss at Auburn. Stojic is 10-2 this year with all of her matches coming at No. 2 singles. Dating back to the fall, Stojic has claimed wins in 13 of her last 15 matches.

The Gamecocks’ top doubles team of Stojic and Ana Marija Zubori entered the doubles rankings this week after posting a number of notable wins in the past month. The two have beaten three ranked teams this year and are now the 20th-ranked tandem in the country. Stojic and Zubori are 11-4 overall and 8-4 at No. 1 doubles.

In the singles rankings, Zubori is the lone Gamecock appearing on the list at No. 92. Zubori is 17-10 this season and 5-7 playing at No. 1 singles. She looks to stop a three-match skid Saturday against the Buffs.

Colorado, ranked 63rd, is coming off a 5-2 loss to Iowa State, and the Buff were defeated 7-0 by Nebraska in their Big 12 opener. The Buffs have one win this year against a team currently ranked in the top 50, having defeated Utah (48) 4-3 at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Berkeley, Calif., in January. Colorado played one other SEC team this year when it took a 6-1 defeat to Vanderbilt.

Two Buffs appear in the latest edition of the ITA singles rankings with Melisa Esposito coming in at No. 110 and Monica Milewski at No. 121. Esposito and Camila Belassi combine to make a formidable team in doubles with a national ranking of 31st.

South Carolina will take on No. 31 Illinois at 2 p.m. in Columbia, S.C., on Wednesday following its match with Colorado to mark its final non-conference match of the regular-season. The Gamecocks return to SEC competition Friday, March 26, when they travel to Mississippi to face No. 26 Ole Miss.