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Morgina, Stojic Set to Compete in ITA All-American Qualifying

Seniors Look to Reach Main Draw at ITA Grand Slam Event


COLUMBIA, S.C. — Anya Morgina and Dijana Stojic from the South Carolina women’s tennis team will play in the qualifying draw of the ITA/Riviera All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif., starting Tuesday.

The ITA/Riviera All-American Championships are the first of three ITA Grand Slam tournaments. The second is the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November and the third is the season-ending NCAA Singles Championship in May.

Prior to the qualifying draw, 64 players compete in a pre-qualifying draw for eight spots in the qualifying draw. Morgina and Stojic automatically reached the qualifying draw by virtue of their Nos. 30 and 68 national rankings. Like pre-qualifying, players in the qualifying draw must win three straight matches to earn one of eight spots in the main draw that consists of 32 competitors.

“This is the second biggest tournament of the year, the NCAA individual tournament being the biggest,” head coach Arlo Elkins said. “It’s a real honor for them and an honor for a school to be sending players out there.”

Stojic owns a 5-1 record in singles this fall. She posted a 3-0 mark at the Milwaukee Tennis Classic and was named the co-singles runner-up at the event along with teammate Jaklin Alawi. Stojic reached the finals of her flight at the Furman Fall Classic and lost in three sets for her lone setback on the year.

“I’m so excited to play the tournament,” Stojic said. “It’s a huge tournament for me, and I’m so glad I could make it my senior year. I don’t expect, honestly, anything big. We will just go there and give everything as always and try to win every match.”

Morgina stands at 4-2 through the Gamecocks’ first two tournaments this fall. She earned the singles champion trophy in Milwaukee and earned a win over the nation’s No. 35-ranked player in the process. At Furman, Morgina rebounded from losses in her first two matches to defeat No. 31 Brynn Boren of Tennessee in her final contest.

“(This tournament), it’s very important to me and I’m sure it’s very important to Dijana as well as our coaches,” Morgina said. “It’s very prestigious. I would really love to complete the qualifying and enter the main draw. This is my biggest goal so far.”

Morgina and Stojic are the first Gamecocks to compete in the ITA/Riviera All-American Championships since Gira Schofield and Ana Marija Zubori made appearances in the qualifying singles and doubles draws in 2007. Current associate head coach Katarina Petrovic is the last South Carolina player to earn a spot in the main draw, doing so in 2000. Petrovic and Rita Winebarger are the only Gamecocks to reach the round of 16, a feat accomplished in 1999 by Petrovic and 1986 by Winebarger.



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