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March 8, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 40 South Carolina returns to SEC action on Sun., Mar. 9, traveling to No. 26 Florida for a 1 p.m. match at Linder Stadium at the Ring Tennis Complex. The Gamecocks (7-6, 0-1 SEC) are looking for their first win in SEC action against the 5-5 Gators and to shake of near-misses in their last two matches on the road.

South Carolina dropped its last two matches by 4-1 scores with freshman Andrew Schafer posting the lone singles point each time out. But the Gamecocks were within striking distance in both, taking seven sets into tiebreaks before coming up just short of the victories. South Carolina is ready to shake off its 16-27 record in tiebreaks to get back to its winning ways. Senior Tsvetan Mihov holds the No. 55 rank in the nation and, along with No. 112 Andrew Adams will be counted on to set the tone for the rest of the team. Head coach Josh Goffi shook up his doubles lineup in Wednesday’s match at Clemson, looking for the right spark to get matches off to a quick start as well.

Florida enters the weekend with a 5-5 record that includes a win over then-No. 4 Georgia in the ITA National Team Indoors Championships and a loss to then-No. 13 Texas A&M in their SEC opener last week. The Gators boast three nationally ranked singles entries, led by No. 48 Stephane Piro with his 10-11 overall record, including a 2-5 mark in dual matches this spring, although his last four losses have dome to top-40 opponents. Freshman Elliott Orkin hold the No. 62 rank after building his tournament record to 14-7 in the fall. He is 1-1 in dual matches playing in the No. 4 spot in the singles lineup. Spencer Newman is No. 65 in the nation with a 5-5 record this season. Two Gator doubles teams are also ranked with Gordon Watson and Orkin forming the nation’s ninth-ranked tandem behind a 15-6 record. No. 26 Piro and Michael Alford come in at No. 26 in the nation and are 4-6 in dual matches.

The Gamecocks host their first SEC matches of the season next weekend when No. 16 Georgia visits Carolina Tennis Center on Fri., Mar. 14, for a 5 p.m. match. The No. 13 Tennessee Vols visit on Sun., Mar. 16, at 1 p.m.