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Feb. 5, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – The 39th ranked USC men’s tennis team will travel to Davidson, N.C. Sunday to open a week that has the Gamecocks (2-0, 0-0 SEC) playing six matches in eight days. The stretch opens with a doubleheader Sunday against Charlotte and Davidson. Carolina will head to Chapel Hill, N.C. on Thursday, Feb. 10, to take on the Tar Heels of UNC, then return home to host matches against Elon, Wofford, and Samford Feb. 12-13.

The Gamecocks will look to continue their run of success against schools from North Carolina on Sunday, after downing East Carolina and UNC-Asheville last weekend. Carolina’s all-time record against schools from the Tar Heel State is an impressive 106-37, including 12 wins in the last 14 matches.

In Sunday’s first match, scheduled for 10 a.m., USC will take on the Charlotte 49ers (1-1, 0-0 CUSA). Carolina has never lost a match to Charlotte (10-0), and has won the last three matches by a combined score of 19-0 (2002-04).

The second match, slated for 2 p.m., will feature USC against the Davidson Wildcats (1-2, 0-0 SoCon). USC has dominated the series, winning 29 of the 30 matches the two schools have played, including a 7-0 win last season. The two teams have played every year, except 1979, since 1974. Carolina has won the last 20 matches, dating back to a 6-3 Davidson home win in 1984. With the lone exception of the 1984 loss, USC has dropped more than 2 points in a match against Davidson just once, a 5-3 USC win at Davidson in 1988.

Carolina will likely be without the services of their No. 1 player, junior Tom Eklund (10-4 singles, 5-5 doubles) this weekend. Eklund suffered a back injury in the first set of his 6-2, 7-5 win over ECU’s Paulo Baumer last Saturday, and did not play against UNC-Asheville the next day. The No. 1 slot for USC will most likely fall to sophomore Pedro Rodrigues (6-3 singles, 3-2 doubles). Rodrigues, ranked No. 110 in the nation by the ITA, stepped in for Eklund against UNC-Asheville and posted a 6-0, 6-2 win over the Bulldogs’ John Rambotas. Rodrigues has lost just four games in his four singles sets this season.

Upcoming USC Men’s Tennis Matches:

Thurs. Feb. 10 at UNC-Chapel Hill 2:30 p.m.

Sat. Feb. 12 vs. Elon 1:30 p.m.

Sun. Feb. 13 vs. Wofford 10 a.m.

Sun. Feb. 13 vs. Samford 2 p.m.