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March 17, 2006

Las Vegas – The Gamecock men’s tennis team’s trip to the desert was spoiled on Friday, as Carolina dropped a 5-2 decision to UNLV at the Feritta Tennis Complex. USC dropped to 8-9 on the season (1-3 in SEC play) with the loss, while the Rebels improved to 11-3 overall and 7-0 at home with their first ever victory over the Gamecocks. South Carolina dropped the doubles point, but sophomore Jaime Cuellar and junior Pedro Rodrigues picked up singles victories to give USC its two points in the match.

The Rebels took an early 1-0 lead in the match as they swept the doubles point, becoming just the third team to sweep the point off of the Gamecocks this year. In singles, UNLV increased its lead to two points as Joel Kielbowicz upset USC’s Tom Eklund at No. 1 singles, 6-0, 6-1. Carolina then pulled within one with Rodrigues’ 6-1, 4-3 (ret.) victory over the Rebels’ Brett Hunter at No. 4 singles, but that was as close as the Gamecocks would get in the match, as UNLV took three straight wins on courts three, six and two for a 5-1 lead. Cuellar, ranked 107th in the nation, would cut the final margin to three with his 6-1, 7-6(6) defeat of Romain Massaro at the No. 2 spot.

USC now turns its attention to another non-conference opponent, as the Gamecocks play host to Big South foe Charleston Southern on Wednesday, March 22. The match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the Sam Daniels Tennis Facility on Heyward St., adjacent to Sarge Frye Field. Carolina owns a 6-0 record against the Buccaneers, the last win coming during the 2001 season in Columbia.

At Fertitta Tennis Complex, Las Vegas, NV

1. Kielbowicz/David Campbell (UNLV) def. Cuellar/Eklund (USC) 8-5
2. Wronski/Hunter (UNLV) def. Rodrigues/Adam Adler (USC) 8-4
3. Massaro/Burrows (UNLV) def. Supeko/Babenko (USC) 8-3

1. Joel Kielbowicz (UNLV) def. #115 Tom Eklund (USC) 6-0, 6-1
2. #107 Jaime Cuellar (USC) def. Romain Massaro (UNLV) 6-1, 7-6 (6)
3. Elliot Wronski (UNLV) def. Yevgeny Supeko (USC) 6-3, 6-3
4. Pedro Rodrigues (USC) def. Brett Hunter (UNLV) 6-1, 4-3 retired
5. Wesley Burrows (UNLV) def. Thomas Stoddard (USC) 6-1, 7-5
6. Jonathan Hooper (UNLV) def. Adan Adler (USC) 6-4, 6-2