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March 20, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s tennis team (8-6, 0-4 SEC) resumes Southeastern Conference play this weekend, traveling to No. 47 Mississippi State (7-5, 1-3 SEC) on Friday before returning to Columbia to host No. 5 Mississippi (11-3, 3-1 SEC) on Sunday. Friday’s match against the Bulldogs is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre, while Sunday’s match against Ole Miss will begin at 12 p.m. ET at the Sam Daniel Tennis Facility.

The Gamecocks most recently defeated UNLV, 4-3, in non-conference play on the road on March 13. Carolina dropped the doubles point, but four Gamecock victories in singles play, including a victory at No. 1 singles by Yevgeny Supeko, clinched the match for the visiting team. Diego Cubas, Pedro Campos and Johannes Pulsfort also picked up victories against the Rebels.

Like the Gamecocks, Mississippi State traveled to the West last week, competing at UNLV and Nevada in non-conference action. The Bulldogs defeated UNLV, 4-3, and claimed a 6-0 sweep over Nevada. Freshman Tanner Stump claimed the SEC Freshman of the Week award after winning two critical matches for the Bulldogs. Mississippi State boasts two players ranked in the ITA top 50 singles rankings. Ivan Bjelica ranks 37th, while Philippe Frayssinoux ranks 50th.

Mississippi enters weekend action ranked atop the SEC West standings with a 3-1 mark in conference play. The Rebels most recently defeated Troy, 6-0, in non-conference action. Florida will visit Oxford on Friday prior to Sunday’s match in Columbia. Two doubles teams and three singles players rank among the top 35 in their respective ITA category entering weekend action. The duo of Erling Tveit and Jonas Berg rank sixth, while teammates Bram tenBerge and Mattias Wellermann rank 15th. In singles play, Tveit ranks 13th to lead the Rebels, followed by Wellermann in 16th and Robbye Poole in 32nd.

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