Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Nov. 5, 2015

ORLANDO, Fla. – South Carolina men’s tennis got off to a strong start at the USTA Clay Court Invitational, going 8-2 on Day One including a pair of wins over seeded opponents in the Gold Draw. Sophomore Harrison O’Keefe claimed the win of the day, taking down No. 108 Mariano Porter of UCF, the No. 3 seed at the event, 6-2, 6-2. Not long afterwards, junior Alex Fennell knocked off sixth-seeded Marco Nunez of host Florida State in three sets, 6-1, 2-6, 7-5.

O’Keefe’s win over Porter gives the Gamecocks four wins over ranked opponents this fall, including three since Oct. 23. He advances to the Round of 16 to face Aws Laaribi of Penn State, while Fennell squares off with Baylor’s William Little. Seventh-seeded Gabriel Friedrich also advanced in the Gold Draw, cruising to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Marc Collado of Penn State. He will meet Louisville’s Jeffrey Brown on Friday.

In the Garnet Draw, Wood Benton advanced past Simon Julin of Stetson, 6-2, 6-1, in the Round of 64, before posting a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lucas Vaz of Florida Gulf Coast. He will take on No. 6 seed Inaki Espindola of UCF in the Round of 16. Junior Sam Swank also advanced to the Round of 16 after recording a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Pierre-Emmanuel Fossier of Stetson. Freshman Yancy Dennis begins play in the consolation round Friday after dropping his opener to Pablo Moreno of Troy, 6-1, 6-4.

In doubles, the fourth-seeded tandem of Friedrich and O’Keefe posted an 8-6 win over South Alabama’s Gerhard Gruindelingh and Tuki Jacobs to reach the quarterfinals of the Gold Draw, where they will meet brothers Terrance and Terrell Whitehurst from Florida State. In the Garnet Draw, Benton and Dennis advanced with an 8-3 win over UCF’s Tyler Pate and Arjun Watane, while Fennell and Swank were edged out by Eduardo Alfonzo and Ricky Ventura of Florida Gulf Coast, 8-7 (5). Benton and Dennis are set to battle the Garnet Draw’s No. 1 seed, Marc Collado and Nika Dolidze of Penn State, in the quarterfinals.

The Gamecocks continue play at 9 a.m. on Friday. For tournament information, visit For team updates, visit or follow the team on Twitter (@GamecockMTennis).

Singles – Gold
R32 (7) Gabriel Friedrich (SC) def. Marc Collado (PSU), 6-2, 6-2
R32 Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. (3) Mariano Porter (UCF), 6-2, 6-2
R32 Alex Fennell (SC) def. (6) Marco Nunez (FSU), 6-1, 2-6, 7-5
Singles – Garnet
R64 Wood Benton (SC) def. Simon Julin (SU), 6-2, 6-1
R32 Wood Benton (SC) def. Lucas Vaz (FGCU), 6-0, 6-0
R32 Sam Swank (SC) def. Pierre-Emmanuel Fossier (SU), 6-4, 6-2
R32 Pablo Moreno (Troy) def. Yancy Dennis (SC), 6-1, 6-4
Doubles – Gold
R16 (4) Friedrich/O’Keefe (SC) def. Gruindelingh/Jacobs (USA), 8-6
Doubles – Garnet
R16 Alfonzo/Ventura (FGCU) def. (2) Fennell/Swank (SC), 8-7 (5)
R16 Benton/Dennis (SC) def. Pate/Watane (UCF), 8-3

Singles – Gold
R16 (7) Gabriel Friedrich (SC) vs. Jeffrey Brown (Louisville)
R16 Harrison O’Keefe (SC) vs. Aws Laaribi (PSU)
R16 Alex Fennell (SC) vs. William Little (BU)
Singles – Garnet
R16 Wood Benton (SC) vs. (6) Inaki Espindola (UCF)
R16 Sam Swank (SC) vs. Gabe Tishman (Michigan)
C16 Yancy Dennis (SC) vs. Nico De Fraia (UCF)
Doubles – Gold
QF (4) Friedrich/O’Keefe (SC) vs. Whitehurst/Whitehurst (FSU)
Doubles – Garnet
QF Benton/Dennis (SC) vs. (1) Collado/Dolidze (PSU)