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March 16, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina men’s tennis hosts the first of three straight home matches on Thu., March 17, at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center. The Gamecocks take on No. 56 VCU at 2 p.m., looking for their second-straight non-conference victory.

The Gamecocks are 6-8 on the season, including a 2-2 mark in SEC action. South Carolina swept its last non-conference opponent with a 7-0 win at The Citadel last week. The Gamecocks have been getting solid production from the bottom half of the singles lineup of late. Freshman Chip Cox headlines that group with his 8-4 singles record, playing mostly No. 4 in the lineup. Manning the No. 5 spot, senior Johannes Pulsfort is 5-8, and has won three of his last six outings in straight sets. Sophomore Harry Menzies has found a home in the No. 6 slot and is 4-5 in dual-match play. His seven total singles wins this season already matches his win total from his freshman campaign.

VCU is 14-3 so far this season, including 10 shutouts among its 14 wins. The Rams’ three losses all came to opponents ranked in the top 50, and they are riding a seven-match win streak into Columbia. Senior Tim Johanssen plays in the No. 1 spot in the lineup and is 22-4 so far this season. Johanssen has won his last eight matches, including a victory over a top-100 opponent. Sophomore Max Wennakoski mans the No. 2 spot for the Rams with a 15-7 overall record. Sophomores Jamie Vazquez and Camill Salomon hold down the top doubles spot for VCU, turning in an 8-4 record.

South Carolina continues its three-match home stand on Sat., March 19, at 1 p.m. against SEC rival Mississippi State. The Gamecocks close the string with a 2 p.m. contest with Clemson on Wed., March 23.