Oct. 25, 2015
AUBURN, Ala. – Junior Andrew Schafer capped off a successful weekend for South Carolina men’s tennis, winning the Flight B Singles title at the SEC Fall Classic on Sunday at the Yarbrough Tennis Center in Auburn, Ala.
The title marks the second of the month for the Gamecocks as sophomore Thomas Mayronne captured the championship at the South Carolina Collegiate in Belton, S.C., on October 4. After a bye in the first round, Schafer won 6-3, 6-3 over Alabama’s Hayes Brewer in the second round before earning a 6-2, 6-4 win over Jack Heslin of Tennessee. He then went on to beat fourth-seeded Fabian Fallert of Ole Miss in the semifinals, before cruising to a 6-3, 6-4 win over Vanderbilt’s Kris Yee in the finals.
“It was another great tournament for everyone,” head coach Josh Goffi said. “We saw a lot of the hard work from this semester manifest into quality play this weekend. Schafer got better with every match, and I was impressed with his ability to sustain his level of play throughout the final. (Harrison) O’Keefe came up with a few high level wins, and Mayronne went deep in the draw. These results were huge for our team to start believing we belong at the top.”
Mayronne continued his strong fall campaign, recording three wins on his way to the semifinals in Flight A before falling to the eventual champion of the flight, No. 86 Elliot Orkin of Florida. He continues to hold the team lead in wins with 13 with Schafer right on his heels with 12.
The Gamecocks scored a pair of wins over ranked foes at the event. Sophomore Harrison O’Keefe posted an impressive win on Friday, taking down No. 49 Danny Valent of Vanderbilt, the No. 1 seed in Flight A. Sophomore Gabriel Friedrich got the better of No. 116 Rhys Johnson, also of Vanderbilt, in the consolation bracket of Flight A, leading 6-3, 3-0 before the match was stopped due to injury.
Carolina also entered the day with a doubles team in contention for a title, but the team of Schafer and Friedrich fell short in the semifinals to third-seeded Joshua Wardell and McClain Kessler, 8-6. After reaching the semifinals in Flight A doubles, the pair of Mayronne and O’Keefe competed in the semifinals of the Flight A Consolation bracket, falling to Auburn’s Edward Nguyen and Marko Krickovic.
The Gamecocks return to action Nov. 5-8 at the USTA Clay Court Invitational at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Follow the team on Twitter (@GamecockMTennis) for team news and updates.
F (2) Andrew Schafer (SC) d. Kris Yee (VAND), 6-3, 6-4
CSF Nguyen/Krickovic (AUB) def. (2) Mayronne/O’Keefe (SC), 8-2
SF (3) Wardell/Kessler (FLA) def. (2) Friedrich/Schafer (SC), 8-6