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Nov. 1, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina men’s tennis heads to its final tournament of the fall, traveling to Winthrop for the Carolinas Invitational this weekend. Senior Harry Menzies and sophomore Ben Barnette will represent the Gamecocks in the event, which begins on Friday with singles action starting at 2 p.m.

Menzies has been limited this fall to just one tournament so far, but he advanced to the consolation round of 16 at the ITA Carolina Regional, picking up his first win of the season with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Furman’s Tyler Droll. Barnette brings a 2-2 record into this weekend’s event after he also reached the consolation round of 16 at the ITA Carolinas Regional. He posted convincing victories in the back draw before falling to teammate Chip Cox.

“The original plan was for Harry and Ben to play in four or five tournaments this fall because they didn’t get much match play last year, but some injuries slowed them down early on,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “Both worked hard to come back and are playing pretty good tennis right now. You have to play matches to fill comfortable, and that’s what we’re hoping to give them this weekend. It is the last chance of the fall for them to put things together in a tournament, and it will be interesting to see how they perform.”

Both Menzies and Barnette are playing in the top singles bracket at the Carolinas Invitational. Menzies opens against Georgia State’s Victor Valente, who recently reached the finals of the ITA Southeast Regional Championships and earned an at-large bid into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. Barnette takes on Winthrop’s Peter Nagovnak, who opened this season winning his bracket at the 49er Invitational in Charlotte.

The Carolinas Invitational runs through the weekend with one doubles and two singles matches scheduled for Saturday before the finals for both singles and doubles are played on Sunday.