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March 27, 2016

#65 SC – 4 || Tennessee – 2
Pos. Singles (1, 5, 6, 2, 3*, 4) Score
1. #93 Gabriel Friedrich (SC) d. Igor Smelyanski (UT) 6-2, 6-3
2. Andrew Schafer (SC) d. Luis Valero (UT) 6-1, 7-6 (4)
3. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) d. Timo Stodder (UT) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4
4. Srdjan Jakovljevic (UT) d. Thomas Mayronne (SC) 7-6 (5), 6-3
5. Alex Fennell (SC) d. Jack Schipanski (UT) 6-3 6-2
6. Jack Heslin (UT) d. Sam Swank (SC) 6-2, 7-6 (5)
Pos. Doubles (DNP) Score
1. #26 Schipanski/Valero (UT) vs. #73 Fennell/O’Keefe (SC) DNP
2. Heslin/Touliatos (UT) vs. Friedrich/Swank (SC) DNP
3. Jakovljevic/Bhat (UT) vs. Mayronne/Dennis (SC) DNP

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina men’s tennis team earned its second win of SEC play with a 4-2 victory over Tennessee on Sunday at the Carolina Tennis Center. After a 50-minute weather delay due to wet conditions, the teams jumped right into singles play, and the Gamecocks took command early with first-set wins on four singles courts en route to the victory.

Redshirt sophomore Gabriel Friedrich got things started with a decisive 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 1 over Tennessee’s Igor Smelyanski. Junior Alex Fennell continued the momentum, rocking a forehand winner down the line to take his match, 6-3, 6-2, upping the Gamecock lead to 2-0.

Tennessee, however, kept it interesting. They pulled out a first-set tiebreaker at No. 4 and later a second-set tiebreaker at No. 6 that cut the lead to 2-1.

But, the top half of the lineup was particularly strong and came through for the Garnet and Black. Junior Andrew Schafer earned his second win in the SEC at No. 2, topping sophomore Luis Valero, 6-1, 7-6 (4), to push Carolina’s lead to 3-1. Sophomore Harrison O’Keefe then clinched the match for the Gamecocks as he ousted freshman Tido Stodder in three sets, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4. The Volunteers later earned their second point with a hard-fought win at No. 4.

With the win, South Carolina snaps a nine-year drought against the Volunteers and improves to 10-10 this spring and 2-4 in the SEC. The Volunteers, meanwhile, suffered their seventh-straight loss and fall to 6-11, 0-7 in the conference.

Quotables: Head Coach Josh Goffi

On the win: “Today’s win was a great win for us. It was a much-needed win for us at this point in the season. This team is a good team. I’ve been saying it all year. It’s just a matter of time until things begin to click, and they are. They are starting to click here. Things are looking up for the remainder of the season, and today was a great start to that.”

On the conditions: “I’m really proud of the guys today in that sense that we didn’t know if we were going to go indoors or stay outdoors and there was a delay in match time. That’s one of the toughest things for a tennis player or any athlete. We plan our entire day around match time. It got pushed back and then even our players pitched in and were out here getting the courts ready. They did a phenomenal job of dealing with that adversity. I would also like to give a big thank you to our facilities crew. They did an unbelievable job of getting these courts ready for the match to be played outside, which I think had a big factor in us winning the match today. So, again, a big thank you to those guys.”

Match Changer

With a rain delay and the continued threat of inclement weather, the teams jumped right into singles play where Carolina took first-set wins on four of six courts.


  • The win snaps a 10-match skid against the Volunteers, which dates back to 2007.
  • This marks the first match of the season in which doubles was not played after doing so twice last season.
  • Sophomore Harrison O’Keefe takes over the team-lead in wins this season with 13 this spring and 26 overall.
  • Redshirt sophomore Gabriel Friedrich has won six of his last nine singles matches.
  • Junior Alex Fennell has now won two straight SEC matches after moving to No. 5 in the lineup.
  • Junior Andrew Schafer earned his second SEC win at No. 2 singles.

Up Next

The Gamecocks make the trek to Baton Rouge, La., to take on LSU on Fri., April 1, at 6:30 p.m. ET. Carolina will then head over to College Station, Texas, on Sunday for a matchup with No. 7 Texas A&M at 1 p.m. ET.