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Sept. 23, 2010

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina men’s tennis travels to Athens, Ga., this weekend for the Southern Intercollegiate Championships. The nation’s oldest fall college tennis tournament in America begins Fri., Sept. 24, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex with finals scheduled to be played on Mon., Sept. 27.

“This [tournament] is a great opportunity for us to build on what we accomplished last weekend,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “Last week a number of players exceeded expectations, and this weekend is an important one for them to build on that success. This is an event where it is necessary for players to show they are gaining ground. I’m excited to see how the we respond to this level of competition.”

All six Gamecocks competing this fall will participate in the event with two slotted into each of the three singles divisions of the tournament. Junior Ivan Machado and sophomore Alexander Kostanov will play in the 64-player Division I bracket. Machado is 3-1 so far this fall after advancing to the final of the Duke Fab Four Invite last weekend. Kostanov is 2-2 on the season with a sixth-place finish in the Duke event.

Division II is a 128-player bracket that includes senior Chris Sheehan and sophomore Harry Menzies for South Carolina, both of whom have a first-round bye in the draw. Sheehan is 3-2 in singles play this fall, including a win in the consolation final of the UNC Wilmington Collegiate Tennis Invitational. Menzies turned in a strong effort at the Duke Fab Four, advancing to the consolation final to lift his season record to 2-4. He picked up his first career win over a nationally ranked player as he topped No. 109 Corado Tocci of Virginia Tech. Freshman Jake Bowling and junior Harry Walker will battle it out in the 64-player Division III bracket.

The tournament also features two doubles brackets. Kostanov and Machado have a first-round bye in the Division I draw. The duo teamed for the first time at the Duke Fab Four Invite last week and won their consolation third-place match. The Gamecock other two teams of Menzies/Sheehan and Bowling/Walker are slotted into the Division II bracket. The latter duo has a first-round bye.