Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Jan. 26, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s tennis team opens its 2006 dual match season with a doubleheader against Troy and Wofford on Saturday. The Gamecocks will take on the Trojans at 10:30 a.m., followed by the Terriers at 2:30 p.m. Both matches will be held at the Sam Daniels Tennis Facility, adjacent to Sarge Frye Field on Heyward Street.

No. 12 South Carolina Gamecocks (0-0, 0-0 Southeastern Conference)
Troy Trojans (1-0, 1-0 Sun Belt)
Wofford Terriers (0-2, 0-0 Southern Conference)

Scouting the Gamecocks:
The South Carolina men’s tennis squad enters the 2006 season looking to build on its record-breaking 2005 campaign. The 12th-ranked Gamecocks return five of the six players who started a year ago, and introduce Texas A&M sophomore transfer Yevgeny Supeko. Senior Tom Eklund, who became the fourth Gamecock player to garner first-team all-SEC honors, will lead Carolina in 2006.

For the Trojans:
Troy comes into the new season looking to continue its rise after finishing with an 8-9 record in 2005. The Trojans earned the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Sun tournament and advanced to the finals before falling to third-seeded Central Florida. Troy joins the Sun Belt Conference in 2006, where they will face tough competition in a league that features three nationally ranked programs, including 34th-ranked Middle Tennessee State. The Trojans, who opened their season with a 5-1 win over Florida Atlantic last Sunday, are led by senior Marko Despot and two-time Atlantic Sun Player of the Year junior Irving Morales.

And the Terriers:
Wofford wrapped up its 2005 season with a 7-16 overall mark, but was 5-5 in the Southern Conference, good enough to tie for fourth in the league. The Terriers are led by senior Chris Barlow. Wofford is one of only two in-state foes the Gamecocks will face in 2006. The Terriers have already played two matches this season, falling, 5-2, to Stetson and, 7-0, to Embry-Riddle (Fla.) last weekend.

Carolina vs. Opponents:
The Gamecocks hold a 3-0 series lead on Wofford, and defeated the Trojans in 2005, in the only meeting between the two schools. USC shutout both squads in Columbia last season, taking a 7-0 decision against the Terriers and a 5-0 win over Troy.

Looking Ahead:
USC continues its 2006 campaign next weekend, Feb. 4, when it hosts Appalachian State (10 a.m.) and Elon (2:30 p.m.) in a doubleheader at the USC Indoor Facility. The doubleheader matches are the first of seven matches Carolina has scheduled against foes from the state of North Carolina. The Gamecocks boast an impressive 108-38 mark against all schools from the Tar Heel State, and will also face Charlotte, Davidson, No. 31 North Carolina, No. 45 North Carolina State and No. 15 Wake Forest in the coming weeks.

Home Sweet Home:
Saturday’s matches against Troy and Wofford will be the 485th and 486th matches contested at the Sam Daniels Tennis Center. Carolina holds a 380-104 all-time record in Columbia, where it has had just a single losing season in 33 years (3-5 in 1988). The Gamecocks have lost just one home opener in that span, falling, 6-3, to North Carolina in 1976.

Starting Off On The Right Foot:
South Carolina has a history of impressive performances in season openers. The Gamecocks have won 19 straight on opening day, a streak that dates to a 7-2 loss at UCLA in 1986. USC has never lost the first match of the season when it was played in Columbia.