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March 31, 2006


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 56 South Carolina men’s tennis team got back on the winning track on Friday as it tallied a 4-3 victory over No. 48 Auburn at the Sam Daniel Tennis Facility in Columbia, S.C. A Gamecock squad that has been riddled with injuries snapped a five-match losing streak in the Southeastern Conference, improving to 10-11 overall and 2-5 in league play. Auburn fell to 9-7 overall and 3-4 in the SEC.

South Carolina set the tone by winning the doubles point. Senior Tom Eklund and junior Pedro Rodrigues dispatched Auburn’s Alex Schweizer and Milan Krnjetin, 8-3, at No. 1 doubles. An 8-6 win by Robbert Lathouwers and Lukas Marsoun against Carolina’s Jaime Cuellar and Yevgeny Supeko set up the No. 3 doubles match as the deciding match in doubles. After falling behind, 3-4, sophomore Joseph Veeder and redshirt freshman Thomas Stoddard rallied to claim an 8-5 victory over Auburn’s Nick Lane and Pawel Dilaj.

Singles play featured close battles on nearly every court.

The Gamecocks moved ahead, 2-0, when Supeko picked up a straight-set win over Krnjetin, 6-4, 6-2, at No. 4 singles. Schweizer defeated Eklund at No. 1 singles, 6-4, 7-5, to pull the Tigers within, 2-1. Cuellar pushed the lead to 3-1 at the No. 2 spot. The sophomore gutted out the first set in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (5), against Lathouwers and rolled in the second, 6-0.

With three singles match still on the court, the Gamecocks needed just one to clinch the match. They got it from Rodrigues.

Rodrigues won the initial set, 6-4, but played from behind much of the second. He battled to send the set into a tiebreaker and defeated Lane, 7-6 (6).

After South Carolina had sealed the team win, the Tigers earned a pair of three-set victories at Nos. 5 and 6 singles.

At No. 6 singles, senior Adam Adler retired while trailing Marsoun, 4-6, 6-3, 5-3, at No. 6 singles. Stoddard forced a third set against Dilaj before falling, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, at the No. 5 spot.

Today’s win marked No. 340 at South Carolina for head coach Kent DeMars and is the first for the Gamecocks against Auburn since the 2002 season. Carolina is now 389-107 all-time in matches played at home.

South Carolina will look for its second consecutive win on Sunday, April 2, when No. 40 Alabama visits Columbia. The match is set for a 1 p.m. start at the Sam Daniel Tennis Facility. Live stats will be available throughout the match at