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March 21, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s tennis team will face Charleston Southern on Wednesday in its final home non-conference match of the year. The match, which is the seventh all-time between the in-state foes, is slated to begin at 2 p.m. at the Sam Daniels Tennis Facility. The Gamecocks (8-9, 1-3 SEC) own a 6-0 advantage in the all-time series with CSU (7-3, 2-1 Big South), with the last match resulting in a 4-0 Carolina victory in 2001. Live scores will be available for the match at USC’s official athletic website,

“I think that we’re going to need at least four or five wins over other NCAA Tournament teams to make this year’s field,” said USC head coach Kent DeMars. “We’ve already gotten two [Wake Forest and Mississippi State] and with the way Charleston Southern is playing, they stand a good chance to make it in the tournament too, so Wednesday is another opportunity for us to pick up a good win.”

Scouting the Gamecocks
USC has been bitten hard and often by the injury bug this season, with juniors Pedro Rodrigues and Dmitry Babenko having missed a combined 20 matches already this year due to injury. When the pair made their comebacks at Georgia and Tennessee a week and half ago, Carolina got word that senior Geraldo Knorr, who leads the team in singles victories this season, would be out indefinitely. The Gamecocks have persevered however, and picked up quality wins over then-No. 13 Wake Forest and Mississippi State.

For the Buccaneers
CSU has started their season off on the right note in 2006, taking wins over Georgia Southern and Bucknell by a combined score of 13-1. The Buccaneers also downed perennial MEAC power and NCAA Tournament participant Hampton, 4-3, on March 11. Charleston Southern has no seniors on its roster, and is led by the play of juniors Quentin Guichard and Jonathan Dean, who play in the top two singles slots, respectively.

Home, Sweet Home
The Gamecocks return home Wednesday against Charleston Southern, and will be hosting their first home match since March 5. USC is 7-3 in the Capital City this year, and holds an impressive 387-107 (.783) record all-time on its home courts. A win on Wednesday against the Buccaneers would guarantee Carolina a winning record at home for the 33rd time in 34 seasons, with the only losing mark coming during the 1988 campaign (3-5).

Up Next
South Carolina will travel to Baton Rouge, La. and Fayetteville, Ark. this weekend to resume Southeastern Conference play against LSU and Arkansas. The Gamecocks will face the Tigers at 3 p.m. (ET) on Friday, March 24. USC began its SEC slate last year with a 4-3 upset of then-No. 9 LSU in Columbia, two days after taking down Arkansas, 5-2, in both teams’ conference opener. USC will meet up again with the Razorbacks on Sunday, March 26, in a contest scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. (ET).