Men's Begins SEC Play at No. 13 Texas A&M
Feb. 28, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. –
No. 33 South Carolina (7-4) opens its three-match road trip this weekend in College Station, Texas, against SEC opponent No. 13 Texas A&M (9-4) on Sun., Mar. 2, at 1 p.m., at George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The Gamecocks are riding a two-match win streak, looking to build on that momentum.
“We’re excited to start SEC play,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “We just came off a great weekend. Our guys competed well, played a complete match twice, and that’s what we’ve been searching for. This is one of the first times that we’re competing with someone that is very highly ranked this season. Everything’s been pretty even or ranked just below us, so this is a completely different pressure. More importantly, it’s an exciting type of pressure that we’re looking forward to, starting SEC, playing somebody that’s top 15. It’s a perfect scenario.”
After last weekend’s comeback against San Diego, the Gamecocks look to continue their singles success. No. 55 Tsvetan Mihov has posted solid outings in his past two matches claiming a victory over then-No. 78 Clarke Spinosa and a commanding win against USF. Two Gamecocks, junior No. 112 Andrew Adams and SEC Freshman of the week Andrew Schafer, are on three-match win streaks dating back to their road match at NC State. Adams continued his streak this past weekend with a win over a top-100 opponent. Schafer clinched the winning point for South Carolina over then-No. 44 San Diego in three sets. The doubles duo of No. 34 Chip Cox and Kyle Koch are coming off back-to-back wins at the No. 1 spot in the lineup, with wins over two top-50 nationally ranked pairings.
Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton returns seven letterwinners from last season’s campaign when the Aggies went 14-15, finishing their season in the NCAA Second Round. With a 9-4 record this season and wins over then-No. 22 Illinois and No. 14 Tennessee, Texas A&M boasts the No. 1 doubles duo in the nation in Junior Ore and Jackson Winthrow, who are undefeated in five outings in dual-match play. In addition, the Aggies have three ranked singles entries in their lineup. No. 11 Harrison Adams leads the way with an overall 18-7 record. He is joined by No. 26 Shane Vinsant, who is 3-1 in the No. 1 spot, and by No. 38 Jeremy Efferding, who is 15-8 overall. In addition to their slew of singles rankings, Efferding and Jordan Szabo are 10-2 in dual-match play to rank 29th in the nation. The series between South Carolina and Texas A&M is tied 3-3, with South Carolina’s last win coming in 1991.
The Gamecocks continue their road stretch as they travel to in-state rival Clemson on Wed., Mar. 5., at 2:30 p.m.