Oct. 1, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina Men’s Tennis begins play at its second fall tournament this weekend, traveling to Belton, S.C., to compete in the South Carolina Men’s Collegiate Championships, Oct. 2-4. Five Gamecocks will travel to the three-day competition, which features 43 participants from eight in-state schools. The event, presented by AnMed Health and the Belton Tennis Association, will be played at the Belton Tennis Center, Leda Poore Park and Belton-Honea Path High School.
The event consists of a Championship singles draw of 32 participants, a Flight 2 singles draw and a Championship doubles draw. Juniors Andrew Schafer and Sam Swank, sophomore Thomas Mayronne and freshmen Wood Benton and Yancy Dennis are set to compete. Fresh off a weekend at the Georgia Tech Fall Classic in Atlanta, head coach Josh Goffi is excited to get his team right back on the court this weekend.
“It’s a great opportunity for all of these guys,” Goffi said. “Last weekend really allowed us to see what we need to work on with each player and with the team as a whole, and it’s led to a great week of practice. We are excited to throw these guys right back in the fire to keep the momentum going.”
Schafer, coming off a 23-14 record a year ago, dropped his first match in the Georgia Tech Fall Classic last weekend to eventual flight champion, Igor Smelyanski of Tennessee. He would rebound with a win over Georgia Tech’s Andrew Lin before falling in the consolation semifinals of Flight B.
Swank started the fall with a strong performance last weekend, going 2-1 and reaching the Flight C semifinals with wins over opponents from Kennessaw State and Tennessee. In doubles, he teamed up with Benton to reach the semifinals of Flight C.
Benton returns to action for his second event as a Gamecock, following a redshirt year in 2014-15. He reached the semifinals of the consolation bracket in Atlanta with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Kennessaw State’s Corey Smith. Dennis also receives his second taste of competition as a Gamecock after impressing in his debut with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 win over Georgia Tech’s Elijah Melendez in the first round of the Georgia Tech Fall Classic.
Mayronne started last season with wins in each of his first two tournaments and looks to do the same this year. He picked up an opening round win last weekend against Kennessaw State’s Manuel Castellanos before suffering heartbreaking defeats in the next two matches.
The event launches a busy October for the Gamecocks, who will compete at four events throughout the month.