Gamecocks Head to Auburn and Alabama This Weekend
April 9, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - No. 24 South Carolina men's tennis faces its final regular-season road trip this weekend, traveling to No. 27 Auburn and No. 15 Alabama. The Gamecocks face the Tigers on Fri., April 10, at 3 p.m. (ET) then head to Alabama for a 2 p.m. (ET) match on Sun., April 12. South Carolina will wrap up the regular season at home on Sat., April 18, against No. 10 Florida.
The Gamecocks are 15-6 overall and 3-5 in SEC play entering this weekend's action. Sophomore Johannes Pulsfort has been the steadiest Gamecock during the recent three-match slide, posting the team's only singles victories in the last two SEC contests. He is tied with juniors Pedro Campos and Diego Cubas for the team lead with 20 singles wins this season, and he has a team-best 15 of those in dual match play this spring, playing mostly in the No. 5 spot for the Gamecocks.
Auburn has matched the Gamecocks' 3-5 record in league play and is 10-8 on the season. Senior Alexey Tsyrenov heads the singles lineup and is ranked No. 59 in the country behind a 13-13 overall record and a 6-5 mark in SEC matches. He has defeated seven of the 16 nationally ranked players he has faced but is currently on a 2-8 slide. The Tigers' No. 2 player, sophomore Tim Puetz, also boasts a national ranking, sitting at No. 106 with an 18-7 record and a 6-5 slate in SEC play.
Alabama is second in the SEC Western Division with a 5-3 league record to go with its 17-5 overall mark. The Crimson Tide has a pair of players ranked among the nation's top 100, beginning with junior Seth Myneni at No. 34. He is 11-6 in dual matches this season with a 5-3 record as the Tide's No. 1 player in SEC matches. Senior Mathieu Thibaudeau is ranked No. 87 this week with a 12-7 dual match slate, including a 6-2 mark as the No. 2 singles player in SEC matches. Thibaudeau teams with Daniel Buikema to form Alabama's No. 1 doubles team and the nation's No. 41 tandem. The duo is 12-7 in dual matches, including 5-3 in SEC action. Myneni also totes a doubles national ranking, teaming with Billy Mertz as the No. 60 team in the nation. The pair is 14-6 this spring with a 4-4 mark as the Tide's No. 2 team in SEC contests.
The Gamecocks are 10-14 against the Auburn Tigers in the 30-year history of the series. Auburn has won the last two outings with the Gamecocks' last win coming in a 4-3 decision on March 31, 2006, in Columbia. Alabama holds an 18-13 edge over the Gamecocks, although South Carolina won the most recent contest, a 4-3 victory in last year's SEC Tournament.