Sept. 18, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina opens its 2014-15 season this weekend at the SEC Fall Classic in Gainesville, Fla. Six Gamecocks will compete against nine of their league rivals in a four-day event that features a 96-entry singles draw and 48-team doubles bracket. Including South Carolina’s Andrew Adams at No. 25, there are 12 nationally ranked entries in the singles bracket, while the doubles draw features four ranked tandems.
“The goal of starting with a big tournament like this is to show our guys the level they’re going to have to play at,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “For some it will be a rude awakening, and for others it will be a great way to start the year with results validating the work they’ve put in. All of our guys have gotten better throughout the summer, so this weekend will be a great measuring stick to verify for them that they can feel good about the work they’ve put in.”
- Senior Andrew Adams, coming off his 2013-14 All-America campaign will face Ole Miss’ Zach Wilder in opening round action. Adams is ranked 25th in the nation and is the No. 4 seed in this event.
- Senior Kyle Koch closed last season on a 12-match win streak, which he will put on the line against Jordan Belga of Florida in first-round play.
- Redshirt freshmen Thomas Mayronne and Harrison O’Keefe make their Gamecock debut on Friday, after joining the program in January and practicing with the team last spring. Mayronne opens against No. 36 Florian Lakat of Mississippi State, while O’Keefe will take on LSU’s Boris Arias.
- Sophomores Andrew Schafer and Sam Swank make their return to this event, which was their introduction to college tennis last season. Schafer, who led the team with 27 singles wins last season, is matched up with Harrison Kennedy of LSU on Friday, and Swank will take on the tournament’s top seed in No. 9 A.J. Austin from Vanderbilt.
- Last season’s most successful doubles team for the Gamecocks returns to the court with Adams and Koch ready to take on Jovan Parlic and Santiago Munoz of Arkansas. The South Carolina tandem went 12-5 last season, including an 8-3 mark in SEC play.
- Sophomores team up with Schafer and Swank set to face the nation’s 37th-ranked team and the No. 2 seed in the tournament, Jordan Szabo and Jeremy Efferding of Texas A&M.
- Mayronne and O’Keefe form the Gamecocks’ freshman tandem for this weekend, lining up against No. 39 team of Elliott Orkin and Maxx Lipman of Florida on Friday.