April 11, 2006
Columbia, S.C. –
South Carolina’s men’s tennis team will travel to the Upstate on Wednesday to face archrival Clemson in a 2 p.m. contest at the Hoke A. Sloan Tennis Center. Riding the crest of a four-match winning streak, the Gamecocks (13-11, 5-5 SEC) currently sit at No. 35 in the latest Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, while six losses in seven matches have dropped the Tigers (19-8, 3-6 ACC) to the No. 21 spot. Carolina has won 10 of the last 11 against Clemson, including a 6-1 victory in 2005.
For the Gamecocks
Playing its best tennis of the year, USC steps out of SEC play for the final time in 2006 for Wednesday’s match at Clemson. The Gamecocks are also in the midst of a four-match SEC winning streak, the longest regular season run in SEC play in school history. Carolina currently sits in a tie for sixth in the SEC standings with Arkansas, but if the season were to end today, USC would fall to the seventh seed in the SEC Tournament based on its 4-0 loss to the Razorbacks on March 26.
For the Tigers
Clemson began its season on one of its best runs in school history, winning 17 of its first 19 matches, including a 13-match win streak that was highlighted by road wins over No. 16 LSU and No. 27 Georgia Tech, as well as a 5-2 home victory over No. 10 Miami (Fla.) on Mar. 4. Those wins propelled the Tigers up to No. 5 in the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings on March 14. CU has struggled since then however, losing six of its last seven contests, with its lone win in that stretch coming at home over No. 57 Virginia Tech, 4-3, on March 31. A single point decided three of those six losses however, and five of the defeats came on the road in ACC play.
Carolina leads the all-time series with the Tigers, 22-13, including wins in four of the last five at Clemson. The Gamecocks pounded their Upstate rivals, 6-1, in Columbia a year ago, and nine of the USC’s last 12 victories have come by at least a three-point margin.
Following Wednesday’s match at Clemson, Carolina will turn its attention to its regular season finale against No. 14 Florida in Gainesville on Saturday, April 15. The match, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., will be the 20th all-time meeting between the two SEC East rivals. The Gamecocks will then begin their quest for postseason hardware, as they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala. for the 2006 SEC Tournament, hosted by the University of Alabama. The tournament begins with the SEC Awards Banquet on Wednesday, April 19, and runs through Sunday, April 23.