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Oct. 7, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina men’s tennis opens its 2009-10 slate at the UCF Invitational on Thu., Oct. 8. The Gamecocks and Knights will square off over the course of the three-day event, beginning with double matches on Thursday evening. The teams will play singles and doubles on Friday over two sessions and wrap up play on Saturday morning with another round of singles action.

“We’re excited to start the season and see where we are right out of the gate,” head coach Kent DeMars said. “This weekend will be a good opportunity for everyone to get on the court all three days. It will be a chance for us to face good competition and get ready for regionals next weekend.”

The Gamecocks make their 2009-10 debut with a pair of players toting preseason national rankings. Senior Diego Cubas, who played in the No. 1 singles position last season, is slotted at No. 28 in the country, while senior Pedro Campos, the Gamecocks’ No. 2 singles player in 2008-09, comes in at No. 106. Cubas and sophomore Ivan Machado enter their second season as doubles partners with a No. 9 preseason ranking.

Central Florida has already played two tournaments this fall, most recently at the Seminole Invitational. The doubles tandem of Joe Delinks and Eugene Dolgovykh claimed the event’s B Draw title, while Johan Beigart and Blaze Schwartz advanced to the semifinals of the A Draw bracket. In singles action, Claudio Romano and Delinks reached the quarterfinals of the A and B Draws, respectively.

The Gamecocks will be back on the road next weekend, traveling to Chapel Hill, N.C., for the ITA Regional, which begins on Fri., Oct. 16.