Gamecocks Set for Regular Season's Final Weekend
April 10, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 35 South Carolina men’s tennis travels to Lexington, Ky., for a doubleheader on Fri., April 11, facing Murray State (3-12, 1-6 OVC) at 10 a.m. and No. 14 Kentucky (16-7, 8-2 SEC), at 4 p.m. The Gamecocks conclude their regular season at No. 27 Vanderbilt (13-8, 4-6 SEC) on Sun., April 13, at 1 p.m.
Head coach Josh Goffi and the Gamecocks wind up their regular season with three matches this weekend, two of which are against top-30 teams. South Carolina will look for No. 75 Andrew Adams to keep his momentum at the top of the singles lineup, where he has won three of his last four matches. No. 78 Tsvetan Mihov has become a dominant player since taking up the No. 2 position, also winning three of his last four matches. Kyle Koch boasts a stellar 7-1 conference record, with his sole league loss coming from the Gamecocks’ SEC debut. Freshman Andrew Schafer is 23-9, with a 13-4 record in the No. 6 singles position. In doubles, the Gamecocks have been solid at the No. 2 spot in the lineup but will need more consistent play at the top and bottom of the lineup.
South Carolina opens the busy weekend against Murray State, which is currently 3-12 and 1-6 in Ohio Valley Conference play. The Racers have one senior, Adam Taylor, who paces the squad with a 6-14 singles record. Taylor also leads in doubles with partner Max McLean. The duo has a 5-7 record in the No. 1 spot in the lineup. The Gamecocks will be Murray State’s fourth ranked opponent this year after falling to three teams in the top-50 early in the season.
The Gamecocks close out Friday against No. 14 Kentucky, which is coming off Wednesday’s doubleheader sweep that included a 4-1 win over No. 1 Ohio State. An experienced team, Kentucky is led by one of its six seniors and the No. 13 player in the country, Tom Jomby. He sits in the No. 1 spot in the Wildcat lineup with a 17-3 overall record (5-2 SEC) and is the highest ranked singles player in the SEC. The Wildcats have two additional ranked singles players in No. 95 Alejandro Gomez and No. 113 Beck Pennington, who play in the Nos. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively. In the No. 1 doubles position, Jomby and Kevin Lai are currently ranked No. 20, with a recent win over the No. 3 team in the country. In the No. 2 spot, Gomez and Pennington have won nine of their last 10 matches.
Following its matchup against the Wildcats, South Carolina heads to Nashville for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the No. 27 Commodores, who host No. 15 Florida Gators on Friday. Vanderbilt is home to the nation’s No. 3 doubles team of Gonzales Austin and Ryan Lipman. In the top spot of the lineup, the duo is currently 24-4 and 7-1 in SEC play, including a 13-4 record against nationally ranked opponents. In singles, Austin is ranked No. 19 with a 23-7 record and his last victory coming off then-No. 11 Jomby. Lipman is the 60th-ranked player in the country with a 11-3 record in the No. 2 spot in the Commodores’ singles lineup.
The Gamecocks await their SEC Tournament seeding, for the event that begins on Wed., April 16, in Nashville.