Men's Tennis Takes to the Road Friday|
Jan. 30, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. -
No. 17 South Carolina (3-1) makes its second road trip of the season, heading to Byers Tennis Complex in Atlanta, Ga., as they take on Georgia Tech (3-3) on Fri., Jan. 31, at 5 p.m. (ET).
The Gamecocks are coming off a 1-1 trip to Starkville, Miss., at ITA Kickoff Weekend with Sunday's win over No. 26 Harvard their first over a ranked opponent this season. A pair of Gamecocks are a perfect 4-0 in dual-match singles action this season. Senior Chip Cox, playing largely in the No. 5 position, clinched Sunday's victory over Harvard with his comeback, three-set win. Freshman Andrew Schafer, ranked No. 91 in the nation, is the other 4-0 Gamecock, dropping just one set in his four victories. In last weekend's action, the Hilton Head Island, S.C., native won three of his four sets 6-1. On the doubles side, the Gamecocks' No. 2 team of senior Tsvetan Mihov and junior Thiago Pinheiro have not lost in their four dual matches this spring. Their 4-0 record includes last weekend's win over the nation's 48th-ranked team from Harvard.
With just three letterwinners returning, head coach Kenny Thorne, who begins his 16th season at the helm, looks to improve upon last year's overall record of 8-16. Sophomore Nathan Rakitt leads the group of returners with 22 singles victories as a freshman and posted a 9-6 record in the fall. Freshman Carlos Benito's impressive fall campaign transitioned into the spring as he added spark to the Yellow Jackets' squad with an impressive win over No. 54 William Kallberg. Georgia Tech is 3-3 with wins over North Florida, Georgia Southern and Stetson. Their three losses come from No. 3 Georgia, No. 10 Ole Miss, and No. 21 Memphis, who South Carolina fell to this past weekend. The Gamecocks lead the series over the Yellow Jackets, 30-11-1.
The Gamecocks return home for a doubleheader match up at the USC Field House on Sun., Feb. 2, as they take on No. 52 Middle Tennessee at 10 a.m. and Wofford at 4 p.m.