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April 24, 2010

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Coach Elkins

ATHENS, Ga. — The No. 16-ranked and fifth-seeded South Carolina women’s tennis team (16-8, 7-4 SEC) had its SEC Tournament run end Saturday with a 4-0 loss to third-ranked and top-seeded Florida (23-2, 11-0 SEC) in the semifinals at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. South Carolina will now await its fate in the NCAA Tournament, set to be announced Tuesday, May 4, on ESPNEWS.

The two teams began with singles play on Georgia’s four indoor courts due to the rainy weather in Athens. All four courts had tight scores early in the competition. At one, the Gamecocks’ Ana Marija Zubori held a 4-3 lead over 11th-ranked Lauren Embree after the first seven games, and Miljana Jocic led Florida’s Anastasia Revzina 3-0 at No. 4 singles. Anya Morgina and Marrit Boonstra of the Gators were tied 2-all at three singles and No. 7-rated Allie Will of Florida led Dijana Stojic 2-1.

Florida then took control of all four courts. Embree came back to win three straight games to take the first set off Zubori and then raced out to a 5-0 lead in the second before surrendering a game. Boonstra won 10 consecutive games against Morgina to win 6-2, 6-0 and finished seconds ahead of Embree, who topped Zubori 6-4, 6-1.

Jocic had a 4-3 lead in the first set before Revzina claimed nine games in a row to win 6-4, 6-0 and put Florida on top 3-0. Stojic fought back from a 5-2 deficit in the first set to make it 5-4, but Will grabbed the next game to earn the set and then won the second 6-0 to send the Gators to Sunday’s championship match between the winner of Ole Miss and Tennessee.

The Nos. 5 and 6 singles matches were in their fourth games of the first sets when played stopped. Joanna Mather from Florida had a 2-1 lead on Adriana Pereira and the Gamecocks’ Madeleine Saari-Byström was on top of Caroline Hitimana 2-1.

Stojic earned a place on the SEC All-Tournament Team for her performances in South Carolina’s three matches. After not finishing singles or doubles against Kentucky, Stojic played a huge role in the Gamecocks’ win Friday over Georgia. She and Zubori defeated the nation’s No. 6-ranked doubles team to clinch the doubles point against the Bulldogs. Stojic then won her singles contest 6-1, 6-3 over Nadja Gilchrist, ranked No. 41, to put South Carolina ahead 2-0 in the match.

#3 Florida (23-2, 11-0 SEC) def. #16 South Carolina (16-8, 7-4 SEC), 4-0

1. #11 Lauren Embree, UF, def. #48 Ana Marija Zubori, USC, 6-4, 6-1
2. #7 Allie Will, UF, def. #108 Dijana Stojic, USC, 6-4, 6-0
3. #75 Marrit Boonstra, UF, def. #125 Anya Morgina, USC, 6-2, 6-0
4. #119 Anastasia Revzina, UF, def. Miljana Jocic, USC, 6-4, 6-0
5. Adriana Pereira, USC, vs. Joanna Mather, UF, 1-2 suspended
6. Madeleine Saari-Byström, USC, vs. Caroline Hitimana, UF, 2-1 suspended

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 4, 2

1. #18 Stojic/Zubori, USC, vs. #4 Boonstra/Will, UF, (Not Played)
2. Jocic/Morgina, USC, vs. #69 Embree/Mather, UF, (Not Played)
3. Pereira/Saari-Byström, USC, vs. Hitimana/Revzina, UF, (Not Played)

Order of Finish: N/A