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Feb. 10, 2006

Columbia, S.C. –

The South Carolina men’s tennis team is looking to pick up its fifth and sixth wins of the 2006 campaign this Saturday, when it hosts non-conference rivals Charlotte and Davidson at the USC Indoor Facility in Columbia. The 12th-ranked Gamecocks (4-0, 0-0 SEC) will be trying to start the season 6-0 or better for the fifth consecutive year.

Scouting the Gamecocks
Despite a pair of wins over Appalachian State and Elon, the South Carolina men’s tennis team fell one spot to 12th in the latest Fila Collegiate Tennis Poll, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced on Tuesday. Last week’s No. 11 ranking marked the highest in-season ranking for a Carolina team since it was ranked sixth in the second week of the 1991 season.

For the 49ers
The Charlotte 49ers (1-4, 0-0 A-10) come into today’s match off of a tough weekend at the Virginia Tech Invitational, Jan. 27-29, in Blacksburg, Va. The Atlantic-10’s newest member school opened up on the right foot, defeating fellow A-10 rival St. Bonaventure, 7-0, on day one. That would be the last win for Charlotte however, as the 49ers dropped two 4-3 decisions to Radford and Maryland-Baltimore County, on either side of a 6-1 loss to No. 52 Virginia Tech.

And the Wildcats
Davidson enters today’s match on a two-match winning streak, after defeating Division II Presbyterian, 4-3, on Feb. 4 and taking out Queens, 6-1, on Tuesday. The Wildcats’ (3-1, 0-0 SoCon) trip to Columbia is Davidson’s first road match of the year after opening with four straight matches at the Knobloch Indoor Center in Davidson, N.C. The only loss of the year for Davidson was a 6-1 defeat to South Carolina State, on Jan. 29.

Carolina vs. Opponents
The series between the Gamecocks and Davidson is one of the longest-running series in school history, with the two schools having played 31 matches against one another. The series, which is also the most lopsided in school history, began during the 1974 season, and the teams have met every year since, with USC holding a 30-1 lead. The history between Carolina and Charlotte is not as deep, but the schools have contested 12 matches, with USC winning 11 of those, including the last five.

Home Sweet Home
After sweeping Appalachain State and Elon, Carolina holds a 384-104 all-time record in Columbia, where it has had just a single losing season in 33 years (3-5 in 1988). The Gamecocks have not lost a home non-conference match since it dropped a 5-2 decision to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi last season, and has never lost to the Wildcats at home (16-0).

Non-Conference Dominance
USC has fared well against the non-conference opponents on its 2006 schedule, and the Gamecocks boast a 179-49 record versus those teams since 1973. Against Davidson’s Southern Conference, Carolina is 114-4 all-time, and 18-1 against the members of the A-10 Conference.

Looking Ahead:
Carolina will host ACC-foe North Carolina this Monday, Feb. 13. The 34th edition of the border rivalry will begin at 2 p.m. and be held in the USC Indoor Facility. Following that, the Gamecocks will head to Seattle, Wash., for the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor National Championships. It will be USC’s 10th appearance in the prestigious tournament, which is hosted by the University of Washington, Feb. 17-20.