April 18, 2012
Dates: April 19-22, 2012
Location: Starkville, Miss.
Facility:A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre
First Opponent: Auburn at 8 a.m. (CT) April 19
Tournament Central: At HailState.com
Scouting South Carolina
The Gamecocks doubled their overall and SEC win totals from last season as the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class infused the lineup with a depth of talent. South Carolina enters the SEC Tournament with a 15-10 overall record and a 2-9 mark in league action. The slate includes seven wins over ranked teams with five of those coming on the road. For a majority of the season, second-year head coach Josh Goffi has placed three freshmen and two sophomores in the lineup, and the young guns have started to come into form against the stiff competition in the SEC. South Carolina split its last 10 matches of the season and won two of its final five league contests, including a win at Arkansas for its first road league win since March 2009.
Gamecocks in the SEC Tournament
South Carolina is 8-20 in SEC Tournament matches since joining the league in 1992. The Gamecocks advanced to the semifinals in 1999 and have reached the quarterfinals eight times, including four of the last eight years.
Reading the Rankings
In the first computer-generated rankings of the season (Feb. 28), South Carolina was ranked No. 22 behind a 10-1 record heading into SEC action. It was the highest ranking for the program since the week of April 5, 2005. Since then, the Gamecocks have hovered around the No. 35-40 mark and enter the SEC Tournament ranked No. 39.
Two of the three freshmen that have been a regular part of the South Carolina dual-match lineup this season have etched their names in the record books among the program’s best first-year Gamecocks. Andrew Adams leads the team with 27 singles wins this season, which is sixth all-time among South Carolina freshmen. His 37 matches played is sixth among freshmen in school history as well. Adams has achieved these marks as one of just seven true freshmen in the SEC regularly playing among his team’s top three singles spots. Just five of that group have six or more league wins, including Adams, and his 27 total wins are the most out of that group. Kyle Koch has provided steady results in both singles and doubles this season, already proving to be one of the busiest freshmen in school history. His 70 combined singles and doubles matches are the fourth-most all-time by a Gamecock freshmen, and his 45 combined victories are seventh-most. Koch has been his most productive on the doubles court where his 25 victories rank 10th in school history, second among Gamecock freshmen. With 18 of those wins coming in dual-match play, Koch is fourth in the standings in that category.
Not to be lost among the youth movement on the Gamecock roster is senior Ivan Machado, who will close out his career ranked among the program’s top 20 in several categories. A participant in the 2009 NCAA Doubles Championships, the Brazilian has been a fixture in the singles and doubles lineups all four years of his career. Machado holds the school record for dual-match doubles matches played in a career at 96, and he is third overall in doubles matches played with 127. His 63 doubles victories stands 11th in school history, and his 44 dual-match wins on the doubles court are the eighth-most all-time.