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March 20, 2011

MT. PLEASANT, S.C. — The 33rd-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team won its fourth match in a row Sunday, ending non-conference play for 2011 with a 7-0 victory over College of Charleston in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. The Gamecocks are now 10-4, while the Cougars are 7-6.

South Carolina fought back to take the doubles point from CofC. The Gamecocks won 8-3 at court three with Katerina Popova and Madeleine Saari-Byström defeating sisters Christin and Caroline Newman 8-3. Carolina, though, trailed 6-3 and 5-2 on courts one and two when the No. 3 match finished.

The Cougars’ Emma Hayman and Irene Viana held on to beat Dijana Stojic and Dominika Kanakova 8-4 on court one. The Gamecocks then faced an uphill battle at No. 2 doubles with Miljana Jocic and Anya Morgina still trailing Kinsey Casey and Katie Lee 6-3.

Jocic held serve to make it 6-4 and then the Gamecock duo earned a break of serve to get the match back on serve. Morgina held to make it 6-all and South Carolina took the ensuing game for a 7-6 advantage. The Cougars answered back with a break versus Jocic, but the Gamecocks came right back with a break at love and Morgina served out the match for a 9-7 triumph.

Stojic put the Gamecocks ahead 2-0 after defeating Hayman 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles to improve to 10-3 this spring. Saari-Byström added South Carolina’s third point a few minutes later, defeating Casey 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 4 position. Josefin Andersson provided the clinching point for the Gamecocks, winning 6-3, 6-1 against Viana at No. 6 singles.

The Gamecocks led in all the remaining matches once Andersson finished. Popova won 11 straight games to open her match at three versus Caroline Newman before ending the contest with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph. Morgina won her first set 6-4 over Christin Newman on court one but lost the second 6-2. The two played a super tiebreaker for the third and Morgina fell behind 5-1 after the first changeover, but she countered to win five straight rallies for a 6-5 advantage. Morgina went on to claim the match 10-7 to run her record to 18-9 on the season. Kanakova was the last win, beating Lee 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (9-7) at No. 5 singles.

South Carolina returns to SEC play Friday when it travels to Starkville, Miss., to face Mississippi State.

1. #41 Anya Morgina, USC, def. Christin Newman, CofC, 6-4, 2-6, (10-7)
2. #103 Dijana Stojic, USC, def. Emma Hayman, CofC, 6-2, 6-2
3. Katerina Popova, USC, def. Caroline Newman, CofC, 6-0, 6-2
4. Madeleine Saari-Byström, USC, def. Kinsey Casey, CofC, 6-2, 6-3
5. Dominika Kanakova, USC, def. Katie Lee, CofC, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (9-7)
6. Josefin Andersson, USC, def. Irene Viana, CofC, 6-3, 6-1

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

1. Hayman/Viana, CofC, def. #34 Kanakova/Stojic, USC, 8-4
2. Miljana Jocic/Morgina, USC, def. Casey/Lee, CofC, 9-7
3. Popova/Saari-Bystrom, USC, def. Newman/Newman, CofC, 8-3

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2