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March 20, 2015

Live Scoring

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Now halfway through its SEC campaign, No. 47 South Carolina (11-9, 2-4 SEC) hits the road for the second-consecutive weekend. This time the Gamecocks head to Athens to take on the fifth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (13-2, 6-0 SEC) on Sunday, March 22, at 1 p.m.

Looking to rebound from last weekend’s loss to then-No. 55 Tennessee, the Gamecocks will lean on strong doubles play and continued success from the middle of the singles lineup to get past the Bulldogs and back on the winning track. The Gamecocks are 11-3 this season when taking the doubles point and, in singles, have won at least one match out of positions 3-5 in 18 of their 20 matches. Georgia represents the highest-ranked opponent that South Carolina has faced this season and boasts a roster featuring three ranked singles players and four ranked doubles pairings.

South Carolina’s duo of ranked doubles pairings, No. 44 Kyle Koch/Thiago Pinheiro and No. 47 Thomas Mayronne/Harrison O’Keefe, highlight the Gamecocks’ recent success. Mayronne/O’Keefe enter the weekend having won four of their last five matches and now sit at 17-10 overall this season, including 11-6 (3-3 SEC) in dual matches. Koch/Pinheiro, now 10-4 overall and 7-4 (2-2 SEC) in dual matches, had won three matches in a row before a loss last weekend against Tennessee. Last week, Koch tied Olof Akesson’s (1997-2000) South Carolina record for doubles matches won in a career. A win in doubles this weekend would give Koch 88 for his career and sole possession of the record.

No. 113 Andrew Schafer, South Carolina’s lone representative in the singles rankings, is looking to rebound from a loss last weekend, his first in singles play since Feb. 22 at San Diego State. The sophomore is 18-11 overall this season and 7-2 (3-1 SEC) when playing out of the No. 4 position in dual matches. O’Keefe also shines in singles, tying Koch for team-high honors with 20 wins. His 13 dual-match victories leads the team as well.

For the Bulldogs, No. 15 Nathan Pasha has played all but four matches out of the No. 3 position and has not dropped a decision since Feb. 1 against No. 20 Roberto Quiroz of Southern California, lifting his season record to 21-8. No. 17 Wayne Montgomery (25-6) and No. 30 Austin Smith (19-7), the reigning SEC Player of the Week, round out the remainder of the Bulldogs’ ranked singles players. No. 7 Ben Wagland/Austin Smith, 7-1 overall this season, and No. 70 Nathan Pasha/Eric Diaz, 4-6 overall, carry the load for Georgia in doubles, playing each of the 10 matches out of the Nos. 1 and 2 positions, respectively.

After taking on Georgia, South Carolina returns home for a March 29 doubleheader against No. 17 Vanderbilt and The Citadel starting at 1 p.m. at the Carolina Tennis Center.