Aug. 18, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina head men’s tennis coach Josh Goffi announced today his 2011-12 schedule, which will feature 15 home matches, including at least seven at the new tennis facility this spring. The youthful Gamecocks will play in four tournaments prior to dual-match play. Fifteen nationally-ranked teams, including 11 NCAA Tournament participants, highlight South Carolina’s 25-match spring schedule.
“Looking at the number of young players we have on our team this year, we felt it was important to build a schedule with that in mind,” Goffi said. “We have four freshmen and three sophomores on the team, so we’ll use the fall primarily as a developmental period. Our spring season is an ideal combination of teams that will present great challenges and teams that give us opportunities to build the confidence of our young team. We look forward to a great year that we will use as a solid foundation for the years to come.”
The Gamecocks will open the season splitting the squad in two locations the weekend of Sept. 16-18. The team’s top four players will play in the Duke Fab 4 Invitational, South Carolina’s second appearance in the unique event. Other Gamecocks will head to the UNC Wilmington Invitational. The group will reunite for the Southern Intercollegiates in Athens, Ga., Sept. 23-25 then proceed to the ITA Regional in Chapel Hill, N.C., Oct. 13-16.
South Carolina kicks off its spring effort with the SEC Indoor Championships in Lexington, Ky., Jan. 13-15, before opening its dual-match slate with a Jan. 21 doubleheader against Appalachian State and Wofford. Goffi has a pair of doubleheaders lined up the following weekend. Elon and The Citadel will take on the Gamecocks on Fri., Jan. 27, before Georgia State, which finished the 2010-11 season ranked No. 65 in the nation and finished second in the Colonial Athletic Association, and Davidson come to Columbia on Sat., Jan. 29.
A three-match road swing includes NCAA Tournament third-round participant Georgia Tech, second-round finisher Wake Forest and NC State. A Furman-Charlotte doubleheader on Feb. 25 will be the final prep for SEC action, which the Gamecocks open at home with a pair of teams that closed 2010-11 ranked in the top five – Georgia, an NCAA semifinalist, and Tennessee, which fell to league-rival Georgia in the NCAA quarterfinals – on Mar. 2 and 4, respectively. South Carolina travels to NCAA quarterfinalist Kentucky and first-round participant Vanderbilt the following weekend, and closes out another three-match road swing at archrival Clemson, which drew a No. 69 ranking at the end of last season.
Back in Columbia, the Gamecocks go out of league play for a Mar. 18 doubleheader against College of Charleston and Coastal Carolina. They then split a weekend, hosting Ole Miss, a top-30 finisher last year, and traveling to Mississippi State, which earned a top-20 ranking at the end of 2010-11.
South Carolina wraps up its home schedule early this season, hosting Alabama on Fri., Mar. 30, and Auburn, another top-20 team from last season, on Sun., Apr. 1. The Gamecocks play their final three matches on the road, traveling to NCAA second-round finisher LSU, Arkansas and Florida, a top-10 finisher in 2010-11. The SEC Tournament kicks off on Thu., Apr. 19 in Starkville, Miss.