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Feb. 11, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – The 41st-ranked South Carolina men’s tennis team will wrap up their busiest stretch of matches in 20 years with a triple-header against Elon, Wofford, and Samford this weekend, in Columbia. The current stretch of six matches in eight days is the longest for USC since they played seven matches in nine days during the 1985 season, en route to Carolina’s first of six Metro Conference Championships.

Saturday’s match, set for 1:30 p.m., features the Gamecocks (4-1, 0-0 SEC) and Elon (1-0, 0-0 SoCon). The tilt is a rescheduled match from January. The original match, scheduled to be USC’s season opener on January 23, was canceled due to poor traveling conditions for the Phoenix. USC and Elon have met just once before, with Carolina winning 4-1 in Columbia on February 18, 1995.

On Sunday, Carolina will take on Wofford and Samford in a doubleheader. The match with the Terriers is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., with the match against the Bulldogs to follow, tentatively scheduled for 2 p.m.

The match against Wofford (1-4, 0-0 SoCon) is the fourth of four matches for Carolina against schools from the Southern Conference. USC is 2-0 in matches against Southern Conference teams so far this season (UNC-Asheville, Davidson) with the Elon match scheduled for Saturday. The Gamecocks and the Terriers have met twice before, with USC winning both matches, including a 6-1 victory in Columbia last season. USC freshman Thomas Stoddard is the only Gamecock to face off with a player from Wofford this year. The match was a 7-5, 6-3 win for Stoddard over Terrier junior Chris Barlow at the USC Fall Invitational in October.

Carolina’s final match of the week is against the Samford Bulldogs (1-1, 0-0 Ohio Valley). USC and Samford have met three times prior, with the Gamecocks holding a 3-0 advantage in the series. The two teams have never met in Columbia, and haven’t met since Carolina won 7-2 and 8-1 on back-to-back days in 1974. The only previous meeting came the year before, in the Gamecocks’ inaugural season.

All three matches are scheduled to take place the USC Indoor Tennis Facility, inside the USC Field House. The field house is located at the corner of Whaley and Marion on the campus of USC, directly across the street from the Eugene Stone Soccer Stadium. The match is open to the public and admission is free.