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Dec. 11, 2012

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina head men’s tennis coach Josh Goffi unveiled a Spring 2013 dual-match schedule that features up to 10 matches against teams that finished the 2012 season ranked among the top 30 in the country. Coming off their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2009, the Gamecocks will host 16 matches this season, including seven against teams that were also part of the 2012 NCAA Tournament field.

“I’m very happy with the way our schedule came together this year,” Goffi said. “Whether it’s from the level of competition or from the duration of the doubleheaders, our team will be tested throughout the season. Our team has matured this fall and is ready to welcome those challenges. The ACC teams always bring a high level of competition that will prepare us for the rigors of the SEC season. As always, we are looking to gain ground in the SEC standings.”

South Carolina wastes little time hitting the courts this season, opening with a double header against Charlotte and Presbyterian on January 12 and quickly following it with another twin bill on January 19 when Furman and Appalachian State come to Columbia. The Gamecocks will then face a ranked team for 20 of the next 22 matches, beginning with Texas at the ITA Kickoff event in Lexington, Ky., on Jan. 25. Based on the outcome of that match against the Longhorns, who closed out 2012 ranked 27th in the coutry, South Carolina will take on either host Kentucky or Michigan State the next day.

February kicks off a stretch of five home matches, which the Gamecocks hope will end with them moving outdoors where fans can enjoy the atmosphere at the $4.6 million Carolina Tennis Center. The homestand begins on February 2 against Georgia Tech and Wofford. Two more Atlantic Coast Conference schools come to Columbia the following week in Wake Forest (Feb. 8) and NC State (Feb. 10), which finished the 2012 season ranked just ahead of the Gamecocks at No. 39. Goffi’s team anticipates the weather clearing by the end of the five-match stint and looks to move out of the indoor facility for the Feb. 20 match against UNC Wilmington, another top-50 finisher and NCAA Tournament participant from last season. South Carolina travels to Virginia to close out the month, taking on William & Mary and VCU on Feb. 22 and 24, respectively.

SEC action kicks off with newcomer Texas A&M coming to Carolina Tennis Center on March 1 for an evening showdown that will be a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament contest in Los Angeles. Arch-rival Clemson closes out the weekend with its first visit to the Gamecocks’ $4.6 million outdoor facility on March 3. A March 8 match with Florida, an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 finisher last year, closes out the home stand.

After four SEC matches on the road, including trips to Georgia, which reached the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, and Auburn, which finished 2012 ranked in the top 20, the Gamecocks come back home to host Arkansas on March 29 and LSU, a top-25 finisher in 2012, on March 31. South Carolina goes back on the road to face Mississippi State and Ole Miss, both ranked in the top 15 at the end of the last season, then closes the regular season at home against Vanderbilt (April 12) and Kentucky (April 14). The Wildcats reached the 2012 Sweet 16 and were ranked seventh in the nation at season’s end.

The SEC Tournament begins on April 17 at Ole Miss, and the NCAA Tournament first and second rounds will be played May 10-12 at various campus sites.