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April 16, 2003

Complete SEC Championships Match Notes in PDF Format
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No. 12 South Carolina enters the SEC Championships seeded seventh and will face tenth-seeded and 22nd-ranked Georgia in its first round match on Thursday. The winner of the match advances to face second-seeded and eighth-ranked Vanderbilt on Friday.

The Gamecocks, up one spot to 12th in this week’s poll, defeated the Bulldogs earlier this season, 5-2, on April 4 in Columbia. USC’s 17-6 dual match record for a .739 winning percentage, was the school’s best since an .828 clip in 1985 (a 24-5 mark), head coach Kent DeMars’ first season. Carolina was 11-2 at home this season, including an 11-match home win streak, 10-5 against ranked opponents and 8-0 against Region II foes. The Gamecocks finished in a three-way tie for fifth in the SEC.

AT THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS:USC reached the second round of the 2002 SEC Tournament in Knoxville, finishing with a 1-1 record. The ninth-seeded Gamecocks defeated Arkansas 4-2 in round one before falling to top-seeded Georgia 4-1. Carolina’s best SEC Tournament performance came in 1999 at Gainesville when the team reached the conference semi-finals. The Gamecocks defeated Mississippi State in the first round and Mississippi in the second round before dropping their semifinal match to LSU.

RALLYING AGAINST THE RANKED:The Gamecocks have recorded an impressive 10-5 record against ranked opponents during the 2003 dual match season. No. 64 Furman, No. 36 Mississippi State, No. 23 LSU, No. 20 Arkansas, No. 39 North Carolina, No. 30 Clemson, No. 23 Georgia Tech, No. 18 Georgia, No. 42 Tennessee and No. 21 Wake Forest all have fallen to the Gamecocks this season. The victory total against ranked teams includes three road wins (Mississippi State, North Carolina and Georgia Tech) USC has won eight of its last 12 matches against ranked opponents.