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April 4, 2003

Columbia, S.C. – No. 20 South Carolina began its five-match homestand by defeating 2002 National Finalist and 18th-ranked Georgia, 5-2, improving to 15-4 overall, 4-4 in the SEC. The Gamecocks remain undefeated at the Sam Daniel Tennis Center this season and will host No. 42 Tennessee at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 6.

“Anytime you beat Georgia in tennis, it is a big win,” said head coach Kent DeMars. “Their program has as good a history as anyone and we knew the match would be hard fought just like each one is in the SEC.”

After falling behind 1-0 following doubles play, USC’s Swedish trio of Tom Eklund, Marcus Westman and Carl Wermee notched three singles victories for the Gamecocks. Eklund posted a 6-1, 6-3, win at No. 5 singles over Raian Luchici, Westman a straight-set, 6-1, 6-4 win over Stephan Timu, and 116th-ranked Wermee took a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, decision over Strahinja Bobusic.

Carolina’s Ben Atkinson came from behind to defeat Jason Varela at No. 6 , 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, for the fourth-straight USC singles victory and clinching-win.

Angelo Niculescu, ranked No. 72, won his No. 2 singles match over 39th-ranked Nicolas Boeker, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (5).

No. 67 Seth Rose fell just short in his upset bid versus 3rd-ranked Bo Hodge, winning the first set 7-6 (3), but dropping the final two, 7-6 (4) and 6-4.

“This win is big in terms of hosting a regional,” said DeMars. “Both teams are trying to reach the top-16 to host and this victory could potentially be a key to doing that.”

USC hosts four matches in the next eight days, beginning with a 1 p.m. Sunday contest with Tennessee.

No. 20 SOUTH CAROLINA (15-4, 4-4) 5, No. 18 Georgia (7-12, 3-6) 2
1. #28 Nicolas Boeker/Bo Hodge (UGA) def. Angelo Niculescu/Tom Eklund (USC), 8-1
2. Stephan Timu/Will Glenn (UGA) def. Seth Rose/Carl Wermee (USC), 8-4
3. Raian Luchici/Strahinja Bobusic (UGA) def. Marcus Westman/Ben Atkinson (USC), 8-4
Georgia wins the doubles point, leads 1-0

1. #3 Bo Hodge (UGA) def. #67 Seth Rose (USC), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-4
2. #72 Angelo Niculescu (USC) def. #18 Nicolas Boeker (UGA), 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (5)
3. Marcus Westman (USC) def. Stephan Timu (UGA), 6-1, 6-4
4. #116 Carl Wermee (USC) def. Strahinja Bobusic (UGA), 6-1, 2-6, 6-4
5. Tom Eklund (USC) def. Raian Luchici (UGA), 6-1, 6-3
6. Ben Atkinson (USC) def. Jason Varela (UGA), 3-6, 7-5, 6-3