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Jan. 31, 2006

The South Carolina men’s tennis team moved up one spot to No. 11 in the latest Fila Collegiate Tennis Poll, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced on Tuesday. The Gamecocks (2-0, 0-0 SEC) were 12th in the preseason poll, and the No. 11 ranking marks the highest in-season ranking for a Carolina team since it was ranked sixth in the second week of the 1991 season.

The Gamecocks opened their season with a pair of 7-0 sweeps over the weekend, defeating Troy and Wofford in Columbia. USC also benefited from Louisiana-Lafayette toppling then-No. 11 Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. over the weekend.

Carolina garnered 648 points in the voting for this week’s poll, falling just 13 points shy of a top-10 ranking. Earning the No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history is Florida, who received all nine first place votes following a 3-0 start that includes a 4-3 win at No. 7 Baylor that snapped the Bears’ 61-match home winning streak in regular season play. Virginia, who was No. 1 in the preseason poll, fell to then-No. 9 Pepperdine on the road and was upset by then-No. 4 Illinois in Charlottesville, Va.

The Southeastern Conference continued to lead the way in ranked teams this week, placing eight teams in the top 25, including five of the top 15. Following Florida at No.1, are Georgia (No. 2), Ole Miss (No. 6), LSU (No. 10), Carolina (No. 11), Tennessee (No. 16), Kentucky (No. 19) and Mississippi State (No. 24).

The Gamecocks return to action this Saturday, Feb. 4, when they host a pair non-conference matches against Appalachian State and Elon. The matches are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., respectively, at the Sam Daniels Tennis Facility. The courts are located on Heyward Street, adjacent to Sarge Frye Field.