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Jan. 5, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A pair of South Carolina men’s tennis players earned spots in the initial 2016 singles rankings, the ITA announced Tuesday. Redshirt sophomore Harrison O’Keefe will begin the season ranked No. 65, while junior Alex Fennell will get the season started ranked No. 116.

As a team, the Gamecocks kick off the 2016 season ranked No. 50, marking their fourth-straight time to open the season in the top 50. Head coach Josh Goffi replaces three seniors from a squad that compiled a 15-15 overall record in 2015 and finished ranked No. 48.

O’Keefe was on pace to post one of the best freshman seasons in program history in 2015 before his season was cut short in mid-March due to injury. He posted a 20-8 singles record that included a 13-4 mark in dual matches and a 3-1 SEC slate. He tallied a 13-4 record this fall, including runner-up performances at the Georgia Tech Fall Classic and USTA Clay Court Invitational. This is his first singles ranking after climbing as high as No. 44 in the nation in doubles last season paired with teammate Thomas Mayronne.

Fennell also makes his first appearance in the singles rankings. After two seasons at Penn State, the Bala Cynwyd, Pa., native showed grit and determination on his way to an 11-3 fall record in the Garnet and Black capped off with a title at the Bulldog Scramble.

South Carolina kicks off the 2016 season on Sat., Jan. 16, with a doubleheader at home against Presbyterian and Winthrop. Follow the team on Twitter and Instagram @GamecockMTennis, or visit for updates.