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Feb. 5, 2015


Live Scoring

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 23 Gamecocks (4-1) return to action with a busy weekend, playing three matches over three days, including matches against two top-30 opponents. South Carolina will take on No. 18 Wake Forest (3-2) on Friday at 4 p.m. and, on Sunday, No. 29 NC State (5-2) at 11 a.m. and Wofford (2-1) at 4 p.m. All matches will be played at the USC Fieldhouse. On Sunday, the first 150 fans to arrive will receive a 2015 South Carolina schedule rally towel.

Sunday’s doubleheader will be the Gamecocks’ second twin bill of the season. South Carolina earned convincing victories over then-No. 55 Elon and Furman on the spring season’s opening weekend. Since then, the Gamecocks have played three matches, all against top-35 opponents, with wins over No. 31 Stanford and No. 28 Clemson.

South Carolina’s win over rival Clemson was its most dominant of the season, winning the first three singles points of the afternoon to clinch the match after taking a competitive doubles point, which was capped off by a tiebreak-victory by the Gamecocks’ No. 1 pairing of Thiago Pinheiro / Kyle Koch. The senior duo is now 4-1 in dual-match play this season, earning wins over Elon, Furman, Ole Miss and Clemson’s No. 60-ranked pairing of Hunter Harrington/Alejandro Augusto. South Carolina’s other doubles pairings, Andrew Adams / Andrew Schafer and No. 46 Thomas Mayronne / Harrison O’Keefe are a combined 6-1 on the season. In singles, No. 83 Schafer enters the weekend with a 4-0 record in dual-match action this spring. The sophomore has won in straight sets in three of his four victories and dropped only two sets this season.

The first of South Carolina’s opponents this weekend, Wake Forest, enters the match at 3-2, coming off a 5-2 loss to No. 2 Oklahoma. South Carolina and Wake Forest have both faced Clemson already this season, with both holding the Tigers to just one point. The Wake Forest roster features a trio of ranked singles players, No. 12 Romain Bogaerts, No. 52 Jon Ho and No. 102 Maksim Kan. However, the Demon Deacons are led by freshman Noah Rubin, who was ranked as the nation’s top recruit by Tennis Recruiting Network. The five-star, blue-chip prospect has played every match at the top of the Wake Forest singles lineup and ahs amassed a 4-1 record. Rubin dropped his first match of the season last weekend to No. 20 Andrew Harris of Oklahoma.

NC State travels to Columbia boasting a 5-2 record that includes wins over No. 30 Northwestern and No. 59 Michigan State. Its two losses came at the hands of a pair of top-35 teams, No. 23 Mississippi State and No. 32 Harvard, who each beat the Wolfpack 4-3. NC State’s roster consists of three ranked players, No. 39 Nick Horton, No. 51 Austin Powell and No. 123 Robbie Mudge. Powell plays primarily out of the No. 1 slot for the Wolfpack and has amassed a 5-1 dual-match record. Powell won in straight sets in each of his first three matches and has earned victories over two ranked opponents.

Wofford has earned victories over King College and North Carolina A&T this season while dropping a 4-3 decision to Winthrop last weekend. Prior to facing the Gamecocks, the Terriers will take on Appalachian State and Clemson this weekend. South Carolina defeated Wofford last season 4-1 in a match that featured three singles points from current Gamecocks Pinheiro, Adams and Schafer.

After this weekend’s matches, the Gamecocks take to the road, beginning a stretch of seven consecutive matches outside Columbia. South Carolina will first take on Middle Tennessee, Belmont and No. 21 Memphis next weekend followed by a trip to California to face San Diego State and No. 35 San Diego. On Feb. 26, the Gamecocks open regular season SEC play when they take on No. 38 Auburn. South Carolina travels to Gainesville for the second time this season to take on No. 14 Florida Gators on Feb. 28 before finally returning home on March 6 to face the No. 42 LSU Tigers.