March 20, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 48 South Carolina looks to post its first conference win of the season as the Gamecocks host two SEC opponents this weekend at the Carolina Tennis Center. The Gamecocks will celebrate USTA Campus Kids’ Day and USTA Ladies’ League Day on Fri., Mar. 21, as they take on the No. 43 Alabama Crimson Tide at 5 p.m. South Carolina continues conference play against No. 30 Auburn on Sun., Mar. 23, at noon.
“We know that this is a big part of our season, coming up,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “We have eight matches left, and the guys are confident, finding their games again. Alabama and Auburn are both very good teams, and we feel like if we can grind through this weekend and come out victorious then it’s going to be hard to stop us down the stretch.”
The Gamecocks own a 6-2 record at home this season and look to continue their success. The doubles team of Andrew Adams and Kyle Koch in the No. 2 doubles spot has added spark to the Gamecock lineup as they boast a perfect record with four consecutive wins. Chip Cox, who has returned to the No. 4 singles position, has been one of the Gamecock’s biggest threats, winning six out of his last eight matches.
Alabama is currently 9-9 with a 2-3 record in league play. Ranked No. 62 in doubles, the duo of Daniil Proskura and Becker O’Shaughnessey have tallied a 3-1 record in SEC play, with an overall record of 6-6. Additionally, Proskura and O’Shaughnessey find themselves ranked in singles at No. 21 and No. 83 in the nation, respectively. Proskura holds a 14-6 overall record and is 6-4 in the No. 1 spot for the Tide. Stuart Kenyon who plays predominately in the No. 3 position has won four of his last five singles matches. The Gamecocks trail in the series 16-21, but won the last two meetings.
For USTA Kids’ Day, there will be free food and on-court games for kids from 4-5 p.m. Inviting participants in area USTA Ladies’ Leagues, the Gamecocks will host a clinic for the league team that brings the most members to Friday’s match. South Carolina Tennis’ booster group, the Garnet Aces, will also host a tailgate before the match. In the intermission between doubles and singles, South Carolina will recognize 28 members of the Boys and Girls Club for outstanding behavior and displaying Gamecock-like qualities.
The Tigers will travel to Columbia after a Friday match in Gainesville against the No. 17 Florida Gators. With a 14-5 record, as well as a 4-1 slate in SEC conference play, Auburn’s sole conference loss comes from a road match against then-No. 16 Mississippi State. Auburn’s lone ranked player, No. 95 Daniel Cochrane, is coming to Columbia boasting a seven-match win streak, predominantly in the No. 3 spot in the Tiger lineup. Cochrane, a senior, has only competed against three ranked opponents, winning two with the third suspended.
The Gamecocks continue league play next weekend with a two-game road trip as they travel to LSU on Fri., Mar. 28, at 4 p.m. and finish the weekend at No. 63 Arkansas on Sun., Mar. 30 at 1 p.m.