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Feb. 8, 2007

The South Carolina Men’s Tennis team will host its third consecutive doubleheader this Saturday, Feb. 10, at the USC Indoor Fieldhouse. The Gamecocks will welcome the Charlotte 49ers at 10:30 a.m. followed by a 2:30 p.m. meeting with the Davidson Wildcats. Entry to all home matches is free. Live updates for both matches will be available online at

About the Gamecocks
South Carolina comes into Saturday’s doubleheader with a 4-0-spring record after wins over Wofford, Troy, Appalachian State and Charleston Southern. The Gamecocks have only lost two points in their four matches, including one by injury retirement. The Gamecocks are No. 39 in the latest ITA team rankings.

Despite a rash of injuries, South Carolina made the NCAA Tournament for the 13th-straight season in 2006, which ranks as the eighth-longest active streak nationally. Five letterwinners are back from that team, including senior Pedro Rodrigues, juniors Jaime Cuellar, Yevgeny Supeko and Joseph Veeder and redshirt sophomore Thomas Stoddard. USC also welcomes four newcomers, freshmen Pedro Campos, Ivan Cressoni, Spencer Feldman and David Wolff. Head coach Kent DeMars is in his 23rd season at the helm of the Gamecock program. The 1989 National Coach of the Year, DeMars has guided his USC teams to 17 NCAA berths. Former Gamecock standout Jeff Kefalos (1976), is back for his 10th season as DeMars’ assistant coach.

Scouting Charlotte
The 49ers are expecting a strong showing in 2007, already assembling a 6-2 overall record coming into Saturday’s match. After an 11-14 season in 2006, the team was picked to finish first in the pre-season Atlantic-10 coaches poll. Experience is on the 49ers side as the squad returns five letter winners, including No. 39 Roy Sichel. The junior recently was selected as the A-10 player of the week for the second consecutive week, after winning seven out of his first eight singles matches including an impressive straight sets victory over No. 23 Benjamin Carlotti of North Carolina.

Scouting Davidson
Davidson has 3-1 team record on the season, blostered by notable 12-0 record in doubles play this season. The Wildcats come into Saturday’s match riding a three-match win streak. Flaviu Simihaian is undefeated at first singles, winning all three matches he has played in. The Wildcats are led by first-year head coach Drew Barrett, who took the reins of the program when 34-year coaching legend Jeff Frank retired after the Wildcats’ 10-12 campaign in 2006.

Series History
The Gamecocks have a 12-1record all-time and current six-match win streak against Charlotte. The 49ers’ lone victory in the series came in 2000. South Carolina claimed a 6-1 win in last season’s contest on Feb. 11 in Columbia.

South Carolina’s series with Davidson is one of the most played in school history, spanning 32 matches and dating back to 1974. The Gamecocks are 31-1 all-time versus the Wildcats. Davidson defeated Carolina, 6-3, in 1984 for its only win in the series. In 2006, Carolina posted a 7-0 victory over the Wildcats on Feb. 11.

Cressoni Keeping it Close
Freshman Ivan Cressoni has started his Gamecock career with a 4-0 record in singles play and shown his ability to pull out close matches in the process. Three of Cressoni’s four wins have come in three-set matches. Against Troy’s Medan Dusan on Jan. 28, Cressoni fell behind, losing the first 6-4, but rallied to take the second and third sets by a score of 7-5. A week later on Feb. 4, he surrendered the first set to Appalachian State’s Zack Williams, 6-3, but bounced to win the second, 6-4 and clinch the match in a 10-point, third set tiebreaker, 10-7. Cressoni completed the doubleheader with a three-set triumph over Charleston Southern’s Chris Peek, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5.

Wins All Around
All seven Carolina players who have competed in a singles match this spring have winning record and four Gamecocks are undefeated. Junior Yevgeny Supeko and freshman Ivan Cressoni lead the squad with a 4-0 records, followed by freshman David Wolff, who is 3-0. Redshirt sophomore Thomas Stoddard and freshman Spencer Feldman are both 2-0. Freshman Pedro Campos has a 3-1 record. Campos’ only loss came to No. 72 Irving Morales of Troy at No. 1 singles. Junior Jaime Cuellar is 2-1 with his only loss coming by injury retirement against Charleston Southern.

Coming Up
The Gamecocks will return to the courts Wednesday, Feb. 14, when they play host to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The match is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be the first played at the outdoor Sam Daniel Tennis center. South Carolina will also travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 17, for a 1 p.m. showdown with the Tar Heels. Both teams are perennial powers in the ACC and are currently ranked No. 26 (Wake) and No. 22 (UNC) nationally.