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Sept. 4, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina head men’s tennis coach Kent DeMars today announced his 2009-10 schedule, which includes four fall tournaments and 21 dual matches. After facing strong competition in the fall events, DeMars will lead the Gamecocks into a spring campaign that features eight 2009 NCAA Tournament teams, including four that will visit Columbia. Eight 2009-10 opponents closed the 2008-09 season ranked in the nation’s top 30 with three others included among the country’s 50-best squads.

“We have put together a challenging schedule for this season,” DeMars said. “With the veteran players we have, I look for us to be able to make the NCAA Tournament again and improve on last year’s performance.”

DeMars’ experienced squad opens the fall slate at the Central Florida Invitational (Oct. 9-11) before traveling to Knoxville, Tenn., for an ITA Regional that includes the host Vols as well as Virginia Commonwealth and Utah (Oct. 16-18). The Gamecocks host their South Carolina Fall Invitational Oct. 30-Nov. 1 before closing out the fall at the Auburn Fall Classic the week before Thanksgiving.

South Carolina is back in action with its first dual match against Wofford on Jan. 16 before opening a three-match road stretch at Georgia Tech the following week. Back in Columbia, the Gamecocks kick off a four-match home stand with Charlotte on Feb. 6. NC State, Elon and Appalachian State complete the string and the month of February’s action.

SEC play begins on the road at LSU (Mar. 5) and Arkansas (Mar. 7), before the Gamecocks host Alabama and Auburn, both teams that finished 2008-09 ranked in the top 21 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Carolina steps out of conference to host Nebraska (Mar. 19) before rounding out the four-match homestand with a Mar. 21 showdown with Mississippi, which made the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals and closed 2008-09 ranked No. 4.

The annual showdown against Clemson comes on Mar. 24 on the Tigers’ home courts, and the road trip continues with three SEC matches – Mississippi State (Mar. 28), Kentucky (Apr. 2) and Vanderbilt (Apr. 4). The Gamecocks close their home schedule against two of the SEC’s elite teams, both of which finished the 2008-09 campaign ranked in the top 10. NCAA Tournament quarterfinalist Georgia plays in Columbia on Apr. 9, and Tennessee, which ranked No. 8 at the end of last season, visits on Apr. 11.

After closing out the regular season at Florida (Apr. 17), South Carolina heads to Lexington, Ky., for the SEC Tournament, which begins on Apr. 22.

2009-10 Men’s Tennis Schedule in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader