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Jan. 6, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Three South Carolina men’s tennis players are among the ITA Carolinas Regional rankings as released by the organization this week. In singles, sophomore Nick Jones is rated 14th while senior Ivan Machado is 17th. Machado and freshman Carl Eguez are rated the No. 9 doubles tandem in the region as well.

Jones posted a 6-3 record in the first fall competitions of his career. He opened the campaign with a fifth-place showing in the top bracket of the Duke Fab Four Invite. He topped North Carolina’s Joey Burkhardt, who entered the season ranked No. 75 in the country, at the event. Jones went on to reach the round of 32 at the Southern Intercollegiates and earned a spot in the round of 16 at the season-ending Carolinas Regional in Chapel Hill.

Machado’s senior season got off to a slow start as he missed the first two tournaments of the season, but he made up for it with a strong showing in the Carolinas Regional to earn the regional ranking. He handily dismissed his first two opponents at the event then battled back from a set down to reach the round of 16. Machado dropped a tough tie-breaker in the second set of that match to extend the match to three sets before falling to Wake Forest’s Adam Lee, who enters the spring season ranked 16th in the region.

Teaming with Eguez, Machado also earned a spot in the doubles rankings behind a strong showing the Carolinas Regional. The duo advanced to the round of 16 before dropping a tough match to Appalachian State’s top tandem.

South Carolina kicks off its spring season with a trip to Lexington, Ky., for the SEC Indoor Championships. Play begins on Fri., Jan. 13, and continues through Sunday. The Gamecocks’ first dual match of the season comes as part of a doubleheader at the USC Indoor Fieldhouse on Sat., Jan. 21. The day begins at 10 a.m. against Appalachian State with the Gamecocks hosting Wofford at 4 p.m.