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March 25, 2011

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The 34th-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team won its fifth match in a row Friday, beating Mississippi State 7-0 in Starkville, Miss. The Gamecocks improved to 11-4 overall and 3-2 in the SEC while the Bulldogs dropped to 2-9 and 0-5 in the league.

South Carolina grabbed an early 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point thanks to courts two and three. Katerina Popova and Madeleine Saari-Byström collected the first win at No. 3 doubles, beating Danielle Terpko and Vivian Pietraroia 8-1. Miljana Jocic and Anya Morgina clinched the point with an 8-2 triumph against Mariia Ryzhova and Jordan Zachary for their fourth win in a row.

The Bulldogs did manage to get a win at No. 1 doubles with Alexandra Perper and Olesya Tsigvintseva upending Dominika Kanakova and Dijana Stojic 8-3. The match stood at 3-all after six games, but Perper and Tsigvintseva ran off five games in a row for the victory.

The Gamecocks coasted in singles. At six, Adriana Pereira recovered from an early 3-1 deficit versus Elizabeth Hall to win the first set 6-3. Hall then withdrew from the match because of an injury to give South Carolina a 2-0 advantage. Popova finished off Terpko 6-2, 6-0 on court three for the Gamecocks’ third point. Kanakova served up a 6-0, 6-0 triumph over Pietraroia at No. 5 singles for her 18th win of the season and improved to 11-3 in duals in securing the win for South Carolina.

Soon after Carolina had the match won, Saari-Byström earned a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Tsigvintseva at four. Stojic then defeated Ryzhova 7-5 and was leading 2-1 in the second when Ryzhova pulled herself from the match due to an injury. Stojic upped her dual match record on the year to 11-3 in the process and is now 17-6 overall.

The final match on court between Morgina and Perper at the No. 1 slot saw Morgina come back from several deficits in the first set to win a 7-0 tiebreaker. In the second, Morgina charged ahead 5-1, but Perper fought her way back into the match, getting it back to 5-all. Morgina managed to hold serve for a 6-5 lead and then won on Perper’s serve after getting the score to 30-40. It marked Morgina’s fifth consecutive win and her team-leading 19th victory of the year.

South Carolina will host No. 29 Ole Miss on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center.

1. #41 Anya Morgina, USC, def. Alexandra Perper, MSU, 7-6 (7-0), 7-5
2. #103 Dijana Stojic, USC, def. Mariia Ryzhova, MSU, 7-5, 2-1 retired
3. Katerina Popova, USC, def. Danielle Terpko, MSU, 6-2, 6-0
4. Madeleine Saari-Byström, USC, def. Olesya Tsigvintseva, MSU, 6-2, 6-2
5. Dominika Kanakova, USC, def. Vivian Pietraroia, MSU, 6-0, 6-0
6. Adriana Pereira, USC, def. Elizabeth Hall, MSU, 6-3 retired

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

1. Perper/Tsigvintseva, MSU, def. #34 Kanakova/Stojic, USC, 8-3
2. Miljana Jocic/Morgina, USC, def. Ryzhova/Jordan Zachary, MSU, 8-2
3. Popova/Saari-Bystrom, USC, def. Terpko/Pietraroia, MSU, 8-1

Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1