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March 17, 2016

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — After a successful road trip last week, South Carolina men’s tennis returns home to take on No. 19 Georgia at 5 p.m., Friday at the Carolina Tennis Center. Parking and attendance at all home matches are free.

The Gamecocks (9-8, 1-2) earned their first SEC win of the season last Thursday, sweeping a doubleheader against No. 56 Vanderbilt and Murray State in Nashville, Tenn. Carolina is 4-2 at home this season, including a win over then-No. 39 Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs are out to a 3-0 start in SEC play and have won four in a row overall.

Last Time Out

South Carolina put together an all-around team performance last Thursday with a 6-1 victory over Murray State in the morning session, and a 5-2 triumph of No. 56 Vanderbilt in the afternoon. The Gamecocks swept both doubles and singles against the Racers, who earned a point due to a walkover at No. 6 singles. After dropping the doubles point against the Commodores for just the second time in the last six matches, Carolina responded with its best singles performance of the spring. The Gamecocks took straight-set wins at No. 1 and No. 4 before junior Andrew Schafer and sophomore Harrison O’Keefe clinched the match with a pair of three-set victories. The win marked the second time this season the Gamecocks have defeated a ranked team after dropping the doubles point.

Coming Into Form

Redshirt sophomore Gabriel Friedrich put together an impressive performance at No. 1 singles on Thursday, defeating No. 54 Daniel Valent of Vanderbilt, 6-4, 6-3, after topping his opponent from Murray State in straight sets. The Brazilian, who had surgery in November, looks to have found his form as he has won five of his last six matches, including two straight-set victories against ranked opponents.

O’Keefe Earns Honor

Sophomore Harrison O’Keefe was named SEC Player of the Week on Feb. 3 after a 2-0 showing in a doubleheader sweep of No. 39 Georgia Tech and The Citadel on Jan. 30. The Salem, Va., native helped South Carolina erase a 2-0 deficit against Georgia Tech with his 7-5, 6-3 victory at No. 3, before posting a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 2 against The Citadel. O’Keefe is currently tied for the team lead in wins this spring with 13 and possesses a 2-1 mark in the SEC.

Scouting No. 19 Georgia

  • The Bulldogs, winners of four in a row, come in boasting an 8-3 record and 3-0 mark in conference play.
  • Each of Georgia’s three losses came against top-15 teams.
  • Ranked singles players: Wayne Montgomery (25), Austin Smith (27), Walker Duncan (120)
  • Ranked doubles tandems: Ben Wagland and Smith (5), Montgomery and Emil Reinberg (62)

Up Next

The Gamecocks travel to Lexington, Ky., for a road matchup with Kentucky on Fri., March 25, before returning home to square off with Tennessee on Sun., March 27. South Carolina will take on the Wildcats at 3 p.m., and host the Volunteers at Noon at the Carolina Tennis Center. Parking and attendance at all home matches are free.

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