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March 25, 2010

Coach Elkins

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 20 South Carolina women’s tennis team (10-4, 3-1 SEC) returns to SEC play with a split weekend of matches, playing first at Ole Miss (9-2, 3-1 SEC) on Friday at 4 p.m. ET and then hosting Mississippi State (9-5, 1-3 SEC) on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center.

The Gamecocks are coming off their final non-conference match of the year Wednesday, a 4-3 victory over Illinois. For the second match in a row, South Carolina lost the doubles point but managed to win at least four singles contests to pick up the victory. Ana Marija Zubori provided the clinching point at No. 1 singles with a straight-set performance for her second win in a row. Also winning for the Gamecocks were Miljana Jocic, Anya Morgina and Dijana Stojic.

Ole Miss, ranked 28th, played just one match during the open weekend of conference play, defeating West Florida 5-0 in Pensacola, Fla., on March 16. The Rebels currently sit atop the SEC Western Division standings at 3-1 and are tied for third in the overall standings with South Carolina and Tennessee. Ole Miss’ one conference loss came at Arkansas 5-2. The Rebels only other loss this year was at Clemson 4-3 during the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in January.

Kristi Boxx is the Rebels’ only ranked player in singles at No. 57. She and Karen Nijssen combine to form the nation’s No. 12-ranked doubles team. Boxx is 6-2 this season at No. 1 singles and 13-8 for the season overall. Conner Vogel has the team’s best record overall at 22-6 and is 8-2 in duals playing at positions two, three and four. Abby Guthrie owns a 20-5 record and is 7-3 in duals playing the same spots as Vogel.

Mississippi State, under the direction of first-year head coach Daryl Greenan, holds a national ranking of 57th takes on No. 4 Florida on Friday before heading to Columbia, S.C. The Bulldogs began their open weekend of conference competition with a 6-1 triumph over Florida Gulf Coast on March 17 before losing 4-3 to Florida International three days later. MSU’s one victory in SEC play this year was a 5-2 win over Kentucky.

South Carolina and Ole Miss have split the 24 all-time meetings between the two schools. The Rebels won nine of the first 11 match-ups but have won just once in the last 11 meetings. The Gamecocks currently own a six-match winning streak over the Rebels. Versus Mississippi State, South Carolina is 20-1 and the Gamecocks are a perfect 20-0 playing the Bulldogs since joining the SEC.