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Feb. 24, 2012

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 46 South Carolina men’s tennis makes its debut in Carolina Tennis Center this weekend with a doubleheader on Sat., Feb. 25. The Gamecocks (8-1) will take on Furman at 10 a.m. before hosting Charlotte at 4 p.m. at the $4.6 million facility, weather permitting. It is the last tune-up before South Carolina kicks off its SEC schedule next weekend against No. 4 Georgia and No. 21 Tennessee.

“The team is really excited about getting outside and playing our inaugural match in our new facility,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “We have been very successful at the lower spots in our lineup, and it will be important for us to have all six guys out there on the court at once. It builds a different momentum for the match. It’s just one of the reasons we’re looking forward to this weekend.”

South Carolina is coming off a great win at then-No. 46 UNC Wilmington as the Gamecocks rallied back from some difficulties in doubles and early deficits on the singles side. The Gamecocks came back to win all but two of the singles matches to secure the team victory. South Carolina has gotten the best production from the second half of the order this season, including a perfect 9-0 record at No. 6 singles, a position that has been manned by four different Gamecocks. Freshman Andrew Adams has been playing farther up the lineup in the Nos. 2 and 3 positions much of the season, and has been a key factor for South Carolina’s strong start. He is 8-1 in dual matches this season and has provided the match-deciding point four times in the team’s nine outings.

Furman brings a 2-6 record into the weekend after winning its last two matchups. The Paladins have gotten three wins at the top of their singles lineup this season, led by Andrew Mellow’s two. In doubles action, the lower two spots have found the most success, headlined by Alex Christ and Joel Cook. The duo is ranked No. 49 in the nation behind a 2-2 overall record in dual-match play.

Charlotte is 7-2 on the season and is riding a three-match win streak into Columbia this weekend. The 49ers’ lineup is balanced with Jack Williams manning the No. 1 singles spot with a 6-3 record in dual matches. Anthony Davison’s 6-1 mark in dual match action includes a 4-1 record in the No. 5 singles spot and wins in his last three outings.

Following Saturday’s matches, South Carolina begins the rigors of SEC play, starting with a 2:30 p.m. match against No. 4 Georgia on Fri., Mar. 2. The No. 21 Tennessee Vols then come to Carolina Tennis Center for a 1 p.m. contest on Sun., Mar. 4.