Sept. 28, 2013
TULSA, Okla. – South Carolina freshmen Andrew Schafer and Sam Swank pushed through a rain-slowed first round of pre-qualifying at the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championships Saturday at Michael D. Case Tennis Center. Rain in the morning forced second-round action to Sunday, stretching the pre-qualifying into Monday.
Swank was the first Gamecock to take the courts following the delay, facing Victor Cornea of Middle Tennessee State. Shaking off a difficult start to his college season last week, where he lost three three-set matches, Swank was steady against the Blue Raiders’ sophomore, who closed last season with all-tournament honors in the conference championship. South Carolina’s newcomer advanced with a solid 6-4, 6-3 victory and will take on Tulsa’s Matthew Kirby on his home courts.
Schafer carried the momentum of his last outing, a three-set win over the No. 39 player in the nation, into Saturday’s opener against Morgan State’s Evan Ward. The battle of two freshmen tipped in Schafer’s favor early, and the Hilton Head product prevailed 6-2, 6-3. The win pits Schafer against LSU’s John Michael Busch, who advanced in a walkover. The two played in last weekend’s SEC Fall Classic with Schafer picking up his first collegiate victory with a 6-3, 7-5 win in the consolation bracket.
Play resumes on Sunday morning with Schafer and Swawnk taking the court at 10 a.m. (ET). After a first-round bye, junior Ben Barnette is set to start his play at the event with a 11:30 a.m. (ET) match against Vasili Caripi of Oklahoma State.