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Feb. 17, 2006


Seattle – The 10th-ranked South Carolina men’s tennis dropped its opening round match at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Friday, falling, 4-1, to SEC rival Ole Miss at the Seattle Tennis Club. The Gamecocks (6-2, 0-0 SEC) earned the doubles point for the third straight year over Ole Miss, but could not fend off the fifth-ranked Rebels in singles play. Carolina will take on 13th-seeded Florida State in the consolation bracket on Saturday.

Ole Miss turned its midweek win over Portland into instant momentum in doubles, taking the No. 3 doubles match, 8-1, as the Rebels’ Juan Pablo Di Cesare and Robbye Poole downed Adam Adler and Thomas Stoddard. Carolina battle back however, and tied the point at one match a piece with Tom Eklund and Jaime Cuellar’s 8-5 win over Bram ten Berge and Jakob Klaeson on court two. The point would come down to a dramatic match at No. 1 doubles, with USC’s Geraldo Knorr and Yevgeny Supeko upsetting 40th-ranked Erling Tveit and Eric Claesson, 9-7, to hand Carolina the doubles point for the third straight match against Ole Miss.

Ole Miss clawed its way back into the match with wins at Nos. 5 and 6 singles, with Dmitry Babenko and Adam Adler falling in straight sets to Poole and Klaeson, respectively. The Gamecocks fell behind 3-1 after Eklund was unable to topple 26th-ranked Erling Tveit at No. 1 singles, falling 6-1, 6-4 to the Rebels’ sophomore. Ole Miss would clinch the match, and their third straight berth in the quarterfinals of the Championships, with Di Cesare’s 7-5, 6-1 win over USC’s Knorr on court four.

South Carolina will face the 13th-seeded Seminoles (3-4, 0-1 ACC) on Saturday morning at the Seattle Tennis Club. The dual match, scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. (ET), will be the 12th match in series between the two schools. USC has won eight of the previous 11 meetings, including four of the last five. The teams have not met since the 1996 NCAA Tournament, a 4-2 win for FSU at the Clemson Regional.