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March 26, 2010

Coach Elkins
Dijana Stojic

OXFORD, Miss.Dijana Stojic clinched a dramatic 4-3 victory for the 20th-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team (11-4, 4-1 SEC) Friday in Oxford, Miss., versus No. 28 Ole Miss (9-3, 3-2 SEC).

With the match tied at 3-all, Stojic and Karen Nijssen entered a third set after Stojic won the first 6-4 and Nijssen took the second 7-5. Stojic had three match points in the second set with Nijssen serving, but the Rebel was able to fight off each of them and force the third set. In the third, Nijssen won the first game, but Stojic fought her way back to a 2-1 lead. Stojic ended up winning the next four games, wearing Nijssen down with long points and forcing Nijssen to commit unforced errors. In the final two games, Stojic won eight of nine points.

The Gamecocks claimed the doubles point with some impressive performances on courts one and two. Ole Miss won a match first at No. 3 doubles where Abby Guthrie and Laura van de Stroet defeated Anya Morgina and Adriana Pereira 8-2. Soon afterward, the Gamecocks’ No. 20-ranked duo of Ana Marija Zubori and Stojic took down the 12th-ranked team of Kristi Boxx and Nijssen 8-5.

On court two, Carolina’s Miljana Jocic and Rita Maisak raced out to a 4-0 advantage on Gabby Rangel and Conner Vogel, but Ole Miss fought back to make the score 5-4 for South Carolina. The Gamecocks took the next two games for a 7-4 lead, but Rangel and Vogel came back again and closed the margin to 7-6. In the 14th game, Jocic closed out the match up 40-30 when Ole Miss hit a shot from the baseline that sailed long.

Zubori made the score 2-0 for South Carolina when she upended Boxx 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 1 singles position. It was Zubori’s third straight victory and moved her into sole possession of second place on the school’s all-time singles wins list with 104. Zubori is now 20-10 this season and has a career record of 104-34. She is also now one of only seven players in school history to win at least 20 matches four straight years.

Ole Miss answered back with a 7-6(5), 6-1 decision on court six with Rangel defeating Maisak. Vogel tied up the match 2-all when she downed Pereira 6-3, 6-3 at the No. 4 singles spot. Then, it was Morgina who held off Guthrie 6-1, 7-6(5) at No. 3, and van de Stroet came back to beat Jocic 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 on court five to set up the dramatic finish at No. 2 singles.

South Carolina returns home Sunday to host No. 57 Mississippi State at 1 p.m. at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center.

#20 South Carolina (11-4, 4-1 SEC) def. #28 Ole Miss (9-3, 3-2 SEC), 4-3

1. #92 Ana Marija Zubori, USC, def. #57 Kristi Boxx, OM, 6-2, 6-3
2. Dijana Stojic, USC, def. Karen Nijssen, OM, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1
3. Anya Morgina, USC, def. Abby Guthrie, OM, 6-1, 7-6(5)
4. Conner Vogel, OM, def. Adriana Pereira, USC, 6-3, 6-3
5. Laura van de Stroet, OM, def. Miljana Jocic, USC, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0
6. Gabby Rangel, OM, def. Rita Maisak, USC, 7-6(5), 6-1

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

1. #20 Stojic/Zubori, USC, def. #12 Boxx/Nijssen, OM, 8-5
2. Jocic/Maisak, USC, def. Rangel/Vogel, OM, 8-6
3. Guthrie/van de Stroet, OM, def. Morgina/Pereira, USC, 8-2

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2