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Sept. 24, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina men’s tennis opens its 2015-16 season this weekend at the Georgia Tech Fall Invitational in Atlanta, Ga. All eight Gamecocks will travel and compete against participants representing 11 other schools in a three-day event that features a 64-entry singles draw and 32-team doubles bracket. The field includes Arkansas, Auburn, Florida Gulf Coast, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi, Tennessee, The Citadel and UNC Wilmington.

A wave of 32 singles matches will begin Friday at 9 a.m., followed by 16 doubles matches that begin at 1:30 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, doubles matches will begin at 9 a.m., followed by singles matches at 10 a.m. Championship matches and back draw finals will be played Sunday.

From the Coach
“We are excited to go in and see how guys compete,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “It’s the first time we are competing as a team with four new guys, so this is a tournament where we are focused on approaching our matches at a higher standard while we keep our expectations of results open. In the first competition of the season, we’re going to look for things we need to work on the following week to prepare for the next tournament and beyond that as we develop throughout the fall.”

Singles Quick Hits
– Junior Andrew Schafer returns to the court after leading the team with six SEC wins last season.

– Junior Sam Swank is another key veteran expected to step up. He posted an 8-5 record from the lower half of the dual-match lineup last season.

– Junior Alex Fennell, a transfer from Penn State, will make his Gamecock debut. He earned nine wins in singles last spring for the Nittany Lions.

– Sophomore Thomas Mayronne looks to build on a solid freshman season in which he played in the lower third of the singles lineup and anchored the No. 2 doubles spot in the spring.

– Sophomore Harrison O’Keefe makes his return after being sidelined with an injury last March. He was on pace for one of the best freshman seasons in program history, posting a 20-8 singles record that included a 13-4 mark in dual matches and a 3-1 SEC slate.

– Redshirt sophomore Gabriel Friedrich, a native of Brazil, receives his first action as a Gamecock this weekend.

– Redshirt freshman Wood Benton, a former five-star recruit, makes his playing debut after redshirting last season.

– True freshman Yancy Dennis, a blue chip recruit out of Reisterstown, Md., hopes to make an early impact in his career for the Gamecocks.

Doubles Quick Hits
– Mayronne and O’Keefe form the Gamecocks’ top tandem heading into the fall after posting a 12-7 dual-match record and climbing as high as No. 44 last spring. They enter the season ranked No. 29.

– Schafer posted the team’s best individual doubles record in SEC competition last year, finishing 5-3.

– Fennell shined in doubles last season combining with a fellow Nittany Lion to earn a No. 43 preseason ranking.