April 14, 2006
South Carolina (13-12, 5-5 SEC) puts a cap on its regular season Saturday, April 14, when it travels to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the No. 14 Florida Gators (13-6, 7-3 SEC). Match time is set for 1 p.m. at Linder Stadium at the Ring Tennis Complex.
Saturday’s match can be followed live on Florida’s athletics web site, www.gatorzone.com. Click on the Live Stats link in the Events Calendar on the main page.
The No. 35 Gamecocks had a four-match win streak snapped on Wednesday at No. 21 Clemson in a 6-1 loss. Junior Pedro Rodrigues picked up a 6-2, 6-3 victory, his fourth straight in singles, for USC. Thought its win streak ended, Carolina has posted four straight SEC wins going into Saturday’s match against Florida. The Gamecocks’ streak began on March 31 with a 4-3 win over Auburn. Carolina completed a weekend sweep by beating Alabama, 4-3, on April 2. South Carolina defeated No. 21 Kentucky, 4-1, in Columbia on April 7 before hitting the road for a 5-2 decision at Vanderbilt on April 9. The stretch stands as a school record for consecutive regular season SEC wins.
Entering Saturday’s finale, South Carolina is fourth in the SEC East standings and tied for sixth, along with Arkansas, in the overall standings. Undefeated and top-ranked Georgia has clinched the SEC East and overall league titles.
The Gators own a 13-6 overall record and a 7-3 mark in SEC play. UF currently sits in second place in the SEC East standings and tied for second overall, along with Ole Miss and LSU. Florida boasts a four-match win streak coming into the weekend. The Gators topped Alabama, 6-1, on March 31 and then defeated Auburn, 4-3, on April 2 in Gainesville. UF picked up a 6-1 win at Vanderbilt on April 7 and then won at Kentucky, 4-3, on April 9.
Florida owns a 16-3 lead in the all-time series with the Gamecocks. The two teams last met on May 21, 2005, in the NCAA Round of 16 in College Station, Texas. Florida, ranked No. 3 and seeded fourth in the NCAA Tournament, moved on with a 4-0 win over Carolina.
Up Next: The SEC Tournament
The bracket for the 2006 SEC Tournament will be finalized following Saturday’s matches. The league championships kicks off on Thursday, April 20, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and continues through Sunday, April 23.
South Carolina Coach Kent DeMars
Gamecock head coach Kent DeMars is the winningest coach in South Carolina men’s tennis history. Now in his 22nd season at South Carolina and his 33rd year of collegiate coaching, DeMars has amassed 555 career victories, including 341 at USC.