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Feb. 25, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – The 43rd-ranked Carolina Gamecocks will take on No. 67 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday at the Sam Daniel Tennis Center. The match, scheduled for 1 p.m., is USC’s second against a ranked opponent this spring. South Carolina (9-1, 0-0 SEC) will be playing its first outdoor match of the season, after last weekend’s matches against Troy and Georgia Southern were moved indoors due to rain.

Carolina and the Islanders (2-3, 1-0 Southland) have never met before, however USC is 3-1 all-time against current members of the Southland Conference, and is also 3-1 against Texas A&M-College Station. The ties between the schools do not end there, as the Gamecocks are also 24-16 in matches against schools from the state of Texas. Carolina has not lost a regular season match against a Lone Star State school since a 6-2 loss to Texas in 1991.

USC enters Saturday having won five straight matches and is unbeaten at home this season (7-0). The Gamecocks are being led by the play of juniors Tom Eklund and Geraldo Knorr, as well as sophomore Pedro Rodrigues and freshman Jaime Cuellar. Eklund, who is ranked 68th in the nation by the ITA, is 12-5 on the year in singles and 10-7 in doubles. Eklund has played at No. 1 singles for all of his matches and Nos. 1 and 2 doubles, teaming up with Rodrigues and Cuellar. Knorr is off to a great start after not playing individual matches this fall, and is 7-1 at Nos. 1 and 2 singles. Knorr and Cuellar have teamed up in seven matches this spring and are a perfect 7-0 together in doubles. Rodrigues earned his tenth doubles win of the year last week against Georgia Southern, joining Cuellar as the only two Gamecocks with 10 or more wins in doubles competition. Rodrigues has been just as successful in singles going 13-5 this year, including a 6-0 record at Nos. 2 and 3 singles this spring.

The Sam Daniel Tennis Center is part of the George Terry Spring Sports Center, located on Heyward St. between Sumter and S. Marion. Fans are encouraged to arrive early for the match, as the USC baseball team plays at 1:30 at neighboring Sarge Frye Field, and parking will be tight.