Aug. 9, 2010
By Diana Koval
Assistant Media Relations Director
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina head men’s tennis coach Josh Goffi today announced his 2010-11 schedule, which includes five fall tournaments and 23 spring dual matches. After preparing his team through the fall competitions, Goffi will lead the Gamecocks into a spring campaign that features matches against 12 teams that played in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, including two national semifinalists. As many as seven of South Carolina’s matches will be against teams that finished among the nation’s top 25 with five others that were included among the country’s 50 best squads at the end of the 2009-10 campaign.
“I’m really excited about this year’s schedule,” Goffi said. “We’ll use the fall primarily as a developmental period with tournaments that give our players the best opportunities to grow individually. Our spring season is a perfect combination of both teams that will present great challenges and teams that give us opportunities to build the necessary confidence to compete in the postseason. We are looking forward to a great year and using it as a solid foundation for the years to come.”
Goffi will keep his squad close to home for much of the fall, playing tournaments in Wilmington, N.C., Durham, N.C. and Athens, Ga., before the group ventures to Cambridge, Mass., for The Chowder Fest at Harvard. The team will wrap up its fall slate at the ITA Regional in Chapel Hill, N.C., in mid October.
South Carolina hosts three dual matches in January, highlighted by a matchup with Georgia Tech, which played into the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. The Gamecocks open ITA Kickoff Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, against NCAA Tournament qualifier UC Irvine and will face NCAA Quarterfinalist Ohio State or William & Mary on the second day of the event.
Back in Columbia, a trio of nearby rivals dot the home schedule as Charlotte, Appalachian State and USC Upstate, which finished the 2009-10 campaign ranked 54th in the country, travel to take on the Gamecocks. South Carolina heads to NC State during the stretch as well.
The Gamecocks will ease into their SEC schedule, hosting Arkansas and LSU, two of just four league teams that did not qualify for the 2010 NCAA Tournament, the first weekend in March. Following a road trip to Auburn and Alabama, South Carolina opens a three-match home stand with NCAA Tournament participant Virginia Commonwealth. Top-50 finisher Mississippi State sets the stage for the rivalry match against Clemson in late March. NCAA second-round finisher Mississippi hosts the Gamecocks to close out the month.
April will provide the most significant test for Goffi’s group, which will face four teams that finished among the nation’s top 12 in 2010, including NCAA semifinalists Georgia and Tennessee. While those two matches will be on the road, South Carolina hosts Vanderbilt to open the month and sandwiches the road weekend with home contests against Kentucky and Florida, both of which advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. South Carolina will play in the SEC Tournament in Gainesville, Fla., April 21-24.