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Sept. 19, 2002

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina (6-3) opens SEC play and wraps up non-conference play all this weekend as the Gamecocks host Kentucky (6-3) on Friday at 7 p.m. and Oral Roberts (5-5), Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The Gamecocks are 7-4 in SEC openers and 2-4 in SEC home openers. Kentucky leads the series against the Gamecocks, but USC has won the last four consecutive matches. Carolina leads the series against ORU 2-1.

“We are excited about the weekend. It will be nice to be at home for two weeks and get into a rhythm of playing Friday/Sunday,” said head coach Kim Christopher. “We have played our toughest pre-season schedule this year, and will close it out playing Oral Roberts. They are a very good team that will be a challenge for us. We will open SEC play against Kentucky which is always a good match for us. Kentucky has played us tough for years and the rivalry will be no different this season.”

The Wildcats are coming off of a 2-1 finish at the Kentucky Conference Challenge last weekend. UK defeated Wake Forest and Western Michigan 3-1 but fell to Dayton 3-0. Head coach Jona Braden is 3-6 against South Carolina.

The Golden Eagles are 0-2 against SEC teams so far this season, losing to No. 3 Florida and Arkansas. South Carolina won the last two meetings between the two teams in 1994. ORU is coached by Amy Farber Knowles (Oklahoma ’91) and is 126-53 at the school.

It is also “Ban the Blue” night on Friday. All Gamecock fans that donate a piece of blue clothing for the Salvation Army get in for $1. On Sunday, fans can bring their USC vs. Temple football ticket stub to the match and will be admitted for $1.