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Sept. 29, 2013

TULSA, Okla. – South Carolina freshman Andrew Schafer moved into the final round of pre-qualifying at the 2013 Saint Francis Health System ITA All-American Championships Sunday, winning twice on the courts at Cascia Hall Prep in Tulsa. With a win Monday, he will advance to the qualifying bracket. Gamecock freshman Sam Swank split his matches Sunday, and junior Ben Barnette fell in his second-round contest.

Schafer stormed out of the gates in second-round action against a familiar opponent early in his college career. The Hilton Head, S.C., product took on John Michael Busch of LSU, whom Schafer defeated 10 days ago to earn his first collegiate win. While that match was tight in the second set, the Gamecock freshman had the measure of Busch early on Sunday and cruised to a 6-0, 6-3 victory. The win set up a third-round match against reigning Horizon League Player of the Week Howard Scott of UW-Green Bay. The Phoenix sophomore took the first set 6-3, and the two battled to a tiebreak in the second. The set came down to clutch points late, and Schafer rose to the challenge with a 7-6 (7) win. He carried that momentum into the third set for a 6-2 win to advance to Monday morning’s final round of pre-qualifying.

Swank opened Sunday’s action against Tulsa’s Matthew Kirby. Playing on this home courts, the Hurricane’s sophomore claimed the first set 6-3, but Swank answered with a 6-2 second-set victory. Playing the fourth three-set match of his young college career, Swank matched Kirby deep into the final set. Changing the trend of his previous three-set outings, Swank scored a late service break to win the set 7-5 and advance to the third round. There he was matched up with SEC foe Elliott Orkin of Florida. The two freshmen played evenly throughout, but the fresher Orkin, who had handily won his second-round match, prevailed in the crucial moments, scoring a 6-4, 7-5 victory to end Swank’s run in the event.

Following a first-round bye, Barnette narrowly dropped his second-round outing to Oklahoma State’s Visili Caripi. The OSU junior escaped a tight first set with a late break for a 7-5 win, then went on to take the second set by a single break as well at 6-4.

Schafer’s Monday morning match will determine if he advances to the qualifying rounds, where he could join teammates Chip Cox, Kyle Koch and Thiago Pinheiro who are slated to open play Monday. In the first round of that bracket, Cox is set for a 2 p.m. (ET) contest against Memphis’ Johnny Grimal. Koch will face TCU’s Nick Chappell at 3:30 p.m. (ET), and Pinheiro will take on a familiar foe in Junior Ore of Texas A&M at 11 a.m. (ET).

South Carolina Results

Pre-Qualifying Second Round

Andrew Schafer (SC) def. John Michael Busch (LSU) 6-0. 6-3
Sam Swank (SC) def. Matthew Kirby (TUL) 3-6, 6-2, 7-5
Vasili Caripi (OSU) def. Ben Barnette (SC) 7-5, 6-4

Pre-Qualifying Third Round
Schafer (SC) def. Howard Scott (UWGB) 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2
Elliott Orkin (UF) def. Swank (SC) 6-4, 7-5