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March 26, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Gamecock men’s tennis team hits the road this weekend for a pair of Southeastern Conference matches against highly-touted opponents. South Carolina (8-8, 0-6 SEC) travels to face No. 19 LSU (9-6, 2-4) on Friday in a match slated to begin at 3 p.m. (ET), before concluding weekend action at No. 41 Arkansas (10-8, 2-4) on Sunday at 2 p.m. (ET). LSU holds a 20-7 lead in the all-time series with South Carolina, while the Gamecocks hold a slight 11-8 advantage in the all-time ledger against Arkansas.

The Gamecocks enter weekend action in search of their first SEC victory of the season. Facing a pair of SEC West opponents this weekend, South Carolina has struggled in recent weeks, having won just one of its last eight matches. Sophomore Pedro Campos has been the most consistent performer for the young Gamecock squad. Campos owns a 4-2 record in league matches this season.

Ranked among the nation’s top 25 schools this week, No. 19 LSU most recently captured a non-conference victory against No. 17 Rice, before falling in consecutive SEC matches to No. 3 Georgia and No. 10 Tennessee. Ranked 74th in this week’s ITA singles category, Michael Venus paces the Tigers, while teammate Jan Zelezny also ranks among the national best at No. 92. LSU has notable wins this spring over then-No. 22 Vanderbilt and then-No. 25 Texas A&M.

Arkansas also boasts a top-50 national ranking this week, topping out at No. 41. The Razorbacks most recently dropped a set of matches to No. 10 Tennessee and No. 3 Georgia in conference play. Blake Strode paces Arkansas in singles action, ranked 90th this week in the ITA singles chart.

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