No. 31 South Carolina Opens SEC Play at Home This Weekend|
March 5, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - After seeing a big jump in the polls, No. 31 South Carolina kicks off its SEC schedule at Sam Daniel Tennis Facility this weekend. The Gamecocks welcome No. 34 Vanderbilt for a 2 p.m. match on Fri., March 6, before No. 11 Kentucky comes to town for a noon match on Sun., March 8.
South Carolina is 10-1 on the season and riding a seven-match win streak after sweeping a doubleheader last weekend. The Gamecocks have lost just seven singles and four doubles matches during the winning streak. Junior Ivan Cressoni is 9-0 on the season and made his debut in the national rankings this week at No. 110. Junior Diego Cubas moved up to No. 64 on the national scene with his 17-5 overall record, including a 6-4 mark in the No. 1 singles position. Cubas and freshman Ivan Machado are slotted into 64th place in the doubles rankings as well. Playing in the No. 1 position, the duo is 6-2 this spring.
Vanderbilt is ranked 37th in the nation despite a four-match losing streak entering Friday's contest. Granted, those losses were at the hands of then-No. 38 Louisville, then-No. 17 Oklahoma State, then-No. 20 Tulsa and then-No. 6 Texas. The Commodores lost both of the first two contests on the list by the narrowest of margins, 3-4. Nick Cromydas and Bryant Salcedo have split time in the top two singles positions for Vanderbilt. Cromydas is 7-11 on the season with a 1-4 mark in the No. 1 singles spot. Salcedo's 12-12 mark also includes a 1-4 record in the top singles position. Two of Salcedo's losses have come against players ranked in the nation's top two at the time. In doubles action, Adam Baker and Alex Zotov are ranked 30th in the nation. The duo is 13-8 on the season and 5-4 in dual match play, including a 1-1 record against teams ranked in the top 10.
Kentucky is just outside the top 10 with an 8-2 dual-match record, including a 4-2 mark against ranked opponents. At No. 11, the Wildcats are enjoying their highest nationally ranking since May 2, 2005, when they were also No. 11. Senior Bruno Agostinelli boasts a No. 2 nationally ranking behind a 6-1 dual-match record that includes three wins over top-30 opponents. The Wildcats' ace teams with sophomore Brad Cox to form the nation's 20th-best doubles team. The pair has a 3-2 record at No. 1 doubles this season, including a win last week over the nation's 13th-ranked team out of Notre Dame. Wildcat freshman Eric Quigley is ranked just inside the top 100 at No. 99 with a 7-2 record in his first collegiate season.
South Carolina is 12-7 all-time against Vanderbilt, although the Commodores have won the last two meetings, including a 4-3 decision last season. The Gamecocks are just 9-21 all-time against Kentucky after the Wildcats have won six of the last seven matchups.