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April 21, 2010

SEC Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader | SEC Tournament Central

Coach Elkins

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The 16th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (14-7, 7-4 SEC) enter the 2010 SEC Tournament holding the No. 5 seed and will face 12th-seeded Kentucky (2-19, 0-11 SEC) on Thursday in the first round at 10 a.m. in Athens, Ga., on the Henry Field Courts.

SEC Tournament Schedule

All times listed below are Eastern Time. The tournament takes place in Athens, Ga., at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

Thursday, April 22
#8 LSU vs. #9 Alabama – 10 a.m.
#5 South Carolina vs. #12 Kentucky – 10 a.m.
#6 Vanderbilt vs. #11 Mississippi State – 2 p.m.
#7 Arkansas vs. #10 Auburn – 2 p.m.

Friday, April 23
#1 Florida vs. LSU/Alabama – 10 a.m.
#4 Georgia vs. South Carolina/Kentucky – 10 a.m.
#3 Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt/Mississippi State – 2 p.m.
#2 Ole Miss vs. Arkansas/Auburn – 2 p.m.

Saturday, April 24
Semifinal #1 – 10 a.m.
Semifinal #2 – 2 p.m.

Sunday, April 25
Championship Match – Noon

SEC Tournament History

The Gamecocks have advanced to at least the quarterfinals in 15 of the 18 SEC Tournaments in which they have participated. South Carolina has received a first-round bye four times (1996, 1999, 2002, 2007) and reached at least the semifinals on two of those occasions (1999, 2002). South Carolina’s best showing was in 2002 when it hosted the tourney for the first and only time in school history and lost 4-0 to Florida in the championship. In the semis that year, the Gamecocks knocked off Georgia, the No. 1 team in the nation at the time of the match.

SEC Tournament Lineup

The Gamecocks will use the following lineup at the SEC Tournament this year:

1. #18 Ana Marija Zubori/Dijana Stojic
2. Miljana Jocic/Anya Morgina
3. Adriana Pereira/Madeleine Saari-Byström

1. #48 Ana Marija Zubori
2. #108 Dijana Stojic
3. #125 Anya Morgina
4. Miljana Jocic
5. Adriana Pereira
6. Madeleine Saari-Byström

Zubori Named SEC Player of the Week

Senior Ana Marija Zubori snagged SEC Player of the Week honors March 31. Zubori posted an undefeated record at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles in helping the Gamecocks down Illinois, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Zubori began the week by clinching South Carolina’s 4-3 victory over Illinois as the last match on court with a straight-set victory against Megan Fudge. She then followed up by teaming with Dijana Stojic to topple the then-No. 12 doubles team in the country of Kristi Boxx and Karen Nijssen of Ole Miss and then beat Boxx in straight sets in helping South Carolina to another 4-3 decision. Against Mississippi State, Zubori and Stojic won 8-4 and Zubori won in straight sets again to finish her impressive week.

Pereira Earns First SEC Honor

Freshman Adriana Pereira picked up the first conference award of her career when she was named SEC Freshman of the Week on April 7. Pereira helped the Gamecocks to a 7-0 win over Kentucky and a 5-2 triumph against Vanderbilt. It marked the first time South Carolina defeated both schools in the same season since 1999. Pereira posted an undefeated record at No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles with partner Anya Morgina. Pereira upended Elle Coldiron of Kentucky 6-1, 6-0 and then downed Rachael Dillon from Vanderbilt 7-6(3), 6-3. In doubles, she and Morgina topped Coldiron and Nicole Scates 8-1 and then defeated Hannah Blatt and Dillon 8-6.

Pereira Ties School Record

Freshman Adriana Pereira tied a school record this season when she recorded nine regular-season SEC singles victories. Natasa Vuckovic set the record in 2007 and Ana Marija Zubori tied it last season. Pereira played every position in the bottom half of the singles lineup in getting to nine wins.

Zubori on the Career Charts

Senior Ana Marija Zubori’s name appears all throughout many of the Gamecocks’ career top-10 lists. With 107 singles victories, Zubori is second in school history behind only Rita Winebarger, who accumulated 127 from 1984 to 1988. With a 107-36 record, Zubori’s 74.8 percent winning percentage in singles stands in eighth place. Her 81 doubles triumphs ranks tied for fourth with 2009 senior Gira Schofield. With 188 combined victories in singles and doubles, Zubori is third behind Winebarger (198) and Lynn-Yin Tan (204).

Career-High Singles Ranking for Stojic

Sophomore Dijana Stojic began the fall season ranked 114th in the nation, the first time she received a ranking in her career. She disappeared from the rankings until the April 13 edition had her pegged at No. 93. Stojic earned a couple of key victories against ranked opponents to get back in the rankings, first defeating then-No. 27 Jackie Wu of Vanderbilt and then-No. 67 Maria Sorbello from Tennessee. Stojic earned another win over a ranked opponent early in the spring season when she upended then-No. 65 Keri Wong from Clemson. Stojic is currently ranked 108th in the latest rankings.

Three Gamecocks Ranked in Singles

The April 13 ITA singles rankings featured three Gamecocks with Ana Marija Zubori coming in at 53rd, Dijana Stojic at 93rd and Anya Morgina at 110th. It marked the first time since spring 2002 three Gamecocks appeared in the singles rankings at the same time. That season, Kathy Boyanovich, Katarina Markovski (now Petrovic, the Gamecocks’ associate head coach) and Jennifer Radman all held national singles rankings at the same time. Radman finished the season at No. 50, Markovski was 70th and Boyanovich earned a ranking of 95th. The ITA’s April 20 rankings this spring still have Zubori, Stojic and Morgina ranked. Zubori stands 48th, Stojic is 108th and Morgina is 125th.

Stojic/Zubori Ranked Among Top 20

Ana Marija Zubori and Dijana Stojic held steady at No. 18 in the nation for doubles in the April 20 edition of the ITA rankings. It marks the highest ranking in doubles for a Gamecock duo since Zubori and Gira Schofield were rated 17th in the spring of 2008. Zubori and Schofield began that year ranked ninth in the nation, the second highest ranking in school history since South Carolina joined the SEC for the 1991-92 academic year.

A Program of Consistency

South Carolina extended its streak of consecutive NCAA appearances to 15 in 2009, which stands as the 11th-longest active streak in the country. During those 15 years, the Gamecocks have advanced beyond the first round 13 times and reached the round of 16 three times. Below is a look at the current streaks.

Rank School Streak
1. California 28
Stanford 28
4. Texas 27
5. Florida 23
Georgia 23
7. Arizona State 22
Pepperdine 22
9. Duke 20
10. Southern California 18
11. South Carolina 15
Vanderbilt 15
Tennessee 15

Success Among the Best

Since first competing in the SEC in 1992, the Gamecocks have enjoyed consistent success in a league that is arguably the toughest in the nation. Since the league expanded to 12 teams, the Gamecocks are one of six SEC schools to win 100 league matches, and their .550 (115-94) winning percentage ranks fifth in the conference. South Carolina has now posted a winning league record in 12 of 19 seasons. Below is a list of teams’ SEC regular-season records since the league expanded to 12 teams in 1991-92. The list is sorted from best to worst winning percentage.

Team W L Pct.
Florida 197 12 .943
Georgia 172 37 .823
Vanderbilt 142 66 .683
Tennessee 133 76 .636
South Carolina 115 94 .550
Ole Miss 109 100 .522
Kentucky 95 114 .455
LSU 76 132 .365
Alabama 70 139 .335
Auburn 56 152 .269
Arkansas 59 150 .282
Mississippi State 28 180 .135

Gamecocks Ranked 16th

South Carolina’s No. 16 national ranking heading into the SEC Tournament is its second highest mark of the spring. Earlier in April, the Gamecocks were ranked 15th, their best ranking since 2002 when they were as high as 12th and finished the year 16th. Last season after making a run to the NCAA quarterfinals, South Carolina earned the No. 17 spot in the final rankings.

Pereira Steps Up

South Carolina lost freshman Josefin Andersson for the season when she ruptured her Achilles during the second set against Clemson. The incident opened the door for freshman Adriana Pereira to showcase her skills. She played in two matches prior to Andersson’s injury, going 1-1. Upon entering the lineup permanently, Pereira won her first eight matches and is currently 14-4 this spring. She also ended up tying the school record for regular-season SEC singles wins with a 9-2 record and her 15 combined SEC singles and doubles victories is the third most in school history. For the entire season, Pereira has a 22-9 record playing singles.

Jocic Enjoying Impressive Season

Gamecock junior Miljana Jocic is in the midst of her best season since coming to South Carolina. She had her freshman year cut short by a knee injury to finish 20-8 in singles. As a sophomore, she struggled through the first half of the spring and at one point her record dipped to 10-13. She managed to pick her game up a notch to finish the campaign at an even 16-16. Jocic came back in the fall to post an 11-3 record and won her flight at the SEC Fall Coaches Classic while making the finals of her draw at the Furman Fall Classic. This spring, she is second on the team in dual match victories with a 15-3 record and leads the team in overall wins with a 26-6 mark.

Plenty of Close Calls

South Carolina has taken plenty of close losses this season. In fact, six of the Gamecocks’ seven losses have come in 4-3 decisions. South Carolina’s final match of the regular season ended as a 4-0 loss to Florida since the two coaches agreed to suspend any matches on court once the outcome had been decided. With the exception of the Florida match and a 4-3 loss to Washington, South Carolina has registered at least three victories in singles every time it has taken the court.

NCAA Team History

The Gamecocks have made a total of 19 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship appearances in the event’s 28-year history. South Carolina owns an all-time record of 19-19 in the tournament. South Carolina’s best showing came in the first championship in 1982 when it reached the quarterfinals after defeating Florida and in 2009 when it also made the quarters after downing Washington. South Carolina has made a total of six Sweet 16 appearances, with the last coming in 2009. The others were 1982, 1983, 1990, 1995 and 1999.

NCAA Individual History

South Carolina has placed either a singles competitor or doubles team in 22 of 28 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships. Laura Bernstein remains the only Gamecock to advance to the round of 16 in singles, doing so in 1983 in Albuquerque, N.M. In doubles, Helen Crook and Victoria Davies are the only South Carolina duo to go as far as the semifinals, which happened in 1994 in Athens, Ga. If one were to count the individual and team tournaments, South Carolina has participated in at least one NCAA event every year since 1990, a streak of 20 appearances in a row.

NCAA Championship Format History

The NCAA first held a championship for women’s tennis in 1982 in Salt Lake City. For the first six championships, the field consisted of just 16 teams and expanded to 20 starting in 1988. From 1988 to 1995, eight of the 20 teams selected played first-round matches and the other 12 received byes. From 1996 to 1998, the NCAA changed the format to include 58 teams, with 10 receiving automatic bids to the 16-team championship. The other six spots were determined through tournaments in six regions (East, Central, Midwest, Southeast, Southwest, West) with eight schools in each. In 1999, the NCAA adopted what is still the current format of a 64-team bracket where each team must play every round. First- and second-round matches are played at 16 campus sites with four teams each, and the round of 16 and beyond is held at one institution. Starting in 2006, the NCAA combined the men’s and women’s round of 16 and beyond at the same location over the same time frame and included the individual championships there as well.

All-America Criteria

All-America teams are awarded in tennis for singles and doubles play. No voting takes place, so the teams are decided based on the following criteria:

1. Top 16 seed in NCAA Singles Tourney, or
2. Reach round of 16 in NCAA Singles Tourney, or
3. Finish in top 20 of final ITA rankings

1. Top eight seed in NCAA Doubles Tourney, or
2. Reach quarters of NCAA Doubles Tourney, or
3. Finish in top 10 of final ITA rankings