Gamecocks Open Season Hosting South Carolina State
Jan. 21, 2011
Despite the close proximity of the two schools, Saturday marks just the second all-time meeting between South Carolina and South Carolina State. The Gamecocks and Bulldogs first met Feb. 18, 2007, in Columbia in a match that ended 7-0 to favor the Gamecocks.
South Carolina is coming off a 17-9 record in 2010, reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament and making its 16th consecutive appearance in the event. The Gamecocks ended the year ranked No. 19, their second straight top-20 finish. SCSU won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference for the sixth year in a row last season and finished with a 13-6 record after falling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to national runner-up Florida.
Individually, four Gamecocks achieved national rankings in the ITA's first spring poll. Junior Anya Morgina topped the charts at No. 37 in singles and doubles with partner freshman Dominika Kanakova. Both are career-high marks for each player. Junior Dijana Stojic received a No. 93 singles rating and freshman Katerina Popova came in at No. 117.
Morgina led the Gamecocks in both singles and doubles victories last fall with marks of 10-3 and 9-3. She won singles flights at the SEC Fall Coaches Classic and the Northwestern Wildcat Invitational. Morgina and Kanakova combined for a perfect 5-0 record and claimed their flight at the SEC event.
Stojic had a productive fall, going 6-3 in singles and 6-2 in doubles. She started the season by winning singles MVP honors at the Milwaukee Tennis Classic while finishing in third place at the Wildcat Invitational.
Popova won her first four matches as a Gamecock, earning singles MVP runner-up accolades in Milwaukee. She ended the fall winning two of three in both the Furman Fall Classic and the Northwestern tournament to finish 7-2 in singles. Popova put together a 6-4 record in doubles matches.
Following Saturday's match, South Carolina will take on its next five opponents on the road beginning with Furman on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The Gamecocks then head to Coral Gables, Fla., to face Arizona State in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Saturday, Jan. 29.