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March 5, 2015


Live Scoring

COLUMBIA, S.C. – After opening SEC play on the road last weekend, No. 40 South Carolina (8-7) will play its first matches at home in nearly a month. The Gamecocks host No. 28 LSU (11-1) on Fri., March 6, at 5 p.m. and No. 10 Texas A&M (6-1) and Coastal Carolina (5-3) on Sun., March 8, in a doubleheader set to begin at 11 a.m. Matches are scheduled to be played at Carolina Tennis Center, but could change to the USC Fieldhouse based on weather conditions.

South Carolina is coming off a tough first weekend of SEC action, dropping matches at then-No. 28 Auburn and then-No. 17 Florida. The Gamecocks did, however, continue to get production out of the middle of their lineup with No. 101 Andrew Schafer and Harrison O’Keefe. With wins in three of their combined four matches last weekend, the duo heads into this weekend’s slate with a combined 34-17 overall record and a 20-8 dual-match slate.

“They’ve come to work every single day,” head coach Josh Goffi said of Schafer and O’Keefe. “They’re great tennis players, and the team knows that those guys are in good spots for us. The remarkable thing that they’ve been doing this season is staying locked even having the added pressure. They know there’s pressure on them to win points in order for us to be able to win matches, and they’re doing a phenomenal job staying locked in and not really paying attention to that pressure too much.”

The Gamecocks will call upon their doubles pairings this weekend, which, despite two losses last weekend, are still the team’s calling card as South Carolina enters the weekend having taken the doubles point in 11 of 15 matches this season. Andrew Adams, paired with Kyle Koch and Schafer throughout the season, has been the most consistent performer for the Gamecocks in doubles play. The senior is 15-2 overall and 10-0 in dual-match play. No. 44 Thomas Mayronne / O’Keefe enter the weekend with a 13-9 overall record and 7-5 dual-match mark, playing the majority of their matches out of the Nos. 1 and 2 doubles positions.

LSU comes into the weekend having won eight consecutive matches dating back to January 31. The Tigers’ roster features four ranked singles players [No. 64 Jordan Daigle (8-3), No. 98 Chris Simpson (20-7), No. 119 Justin Butsch (17-7) and No. 125 Tam Trinh (11-15)] and one ranked doubles pairing [No. 57 Daigle/Boris Arias (10-3)]. Daigle and Simpson, who play out of the Nos. 1 and 2 slots for the Tigers, are a combined 16-0 in dual matches this season.

Texas A&M is the highest ranked opponent the Gamecocks have faced this season. Despite their light match total thus far, the Aggies have climbed in the rankings with a number of wins over elite opponents. Texas A&M is riding a six-match winning streak that includes a pair of 4-3 victories over two teams ranked in the top five at the time of their meeting. The Aggies upset then-No.1 Oklahoma, just 11 days after topping then-No. 5 Ohio State. The Aggies also boast opening-weekend wins against then-No. 37 TCU and then-No.33 San Diego. No. 65 Shane Vinsant is 2-1 in dual matches this season and played out of the No. 1 position for the Aggies in their wins over Oklahoma and Ohio State. No. 66 Jeremy Efferding has moved up the top of the lineup as the season has progressed and comes into the weekend with a 17-6 overall record and 5-1 dual-match slate. Harrison Adams and Vinsant make up the No. 8 doubles pairing in the country with an 11-3 overall record and a 5-0 mark in dual matches.

South Carolina is the second consecutive ranked opponent for Coastal Carolina, who dropped a 7-0 decision to then-No. 4 Duke last weekend. Before the loss, the Chanticleers had won five of their previous six matches, including dominant victories over The Citadel, USC Upstate, Francis Marion and Wofford. Philippe Tsangaridis has played each match out of the No. 1 position for Coastal Carolina, amassing a 3-4 record.

Following this weekend’s action, the Gamecocks continue SEC play, hosting Kentucky on Thu., March 12, at 3 p.m. before traveling to Knoxville to take on No. 59 Tennessee on Sat., March 14, at 1 p.m. (ET).