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Oct. 10, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – The University of South Carolina is set to host the annual men’s tennis USC Fall Invitational this weekend, Oct. 14-16. More than 150 players from 30 schools will be participating in six singles and four doubles draws. The tournament will begin at 8 a.m. Friday, and run through the weekend, with the flight finals being contested Sunday afternoon. Matches will be played on 26 courts in Columbia, at the Sam Daniels Tennis Center, the Maxcy-Gregg Tennis Center and the Columbia Tennis Center.

The event features six teams that Carolina will face in the 2006 dual match season, including Furman, SEC-rival Arkansas and four ACC opponents, N.C. State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, and archrival Clemson. The field also includes several in-state schools, with The Citadel, Benedict College, Coastal Carolina, College of Charleston, Francis Marion and S.C. State all making appearances.

Another familiar face will also be in Columbia for the tournament, with former USC Head Coach Ron Smarr (1972-84) bringing four members of his Rice Owls squad to the tournament. Current Gamecock Head Coach Kent DeMars surpassed Smarr as the winningest coach in Carolina history with a 5-2 win over Arkansas on March 4, 2005, the 320th win of DeMars’ 21-year tenure at USC.

USC will enter all nine of its current players into the singles tournament, with senior Tom Eklund leading the way as the tournament’s No. 1 seed. In doubles action, USC will send four doubles teams out to the courts, led by Eklund and sophomore Jaime Cuellar, who led the squad in doubles victories as a tandem in 2005, going 17-13, including a 6-2 mark in the SEC.

Other notables in the field include 34th-ranked Oscar Posada of East Tennessee State, 51st-ranked Brandon Wai of Yale and USC’s Cuellar, ranked 83rd in the nation.

Tournament seeds and draws will be announced later in the week. Stay tuned to for updates and information as it becomes available. Fans can keep up with tournament action by heading to the men’s tennis section of the site and clicking on the link to the USC Fall Invitational page.