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Men's Tennis

NAME HOMETOWN HIGH SCHOOL RANK
Wood Benton Spartanburg, S.C. Dorman HS 5-Star; #50 in nation; #3 in state
Gabriel Friedrich Brazil No. 33 ITF Junior; No. 1,174 ITF
Thomas Mayronne Monroe, La. National Connections Academy Blue Chip; 5-Star; #15 in nation; #1 in region; #1 in state
Harrison O'Keefe Salem, Va. Laurel Springs School Blue Chip; 5-Star; #22 in nation; #3 in region; #1 in state

Head Coach Josh Goffi on the 2014 Class:

"These guys are very accomplished players. Every single one of them has done amazing on the national and international level, but they all need to work and to develop still. They're coming into a great situation to do that, because we're at the point in our program's growth where we have a solid core group of leaders on our current team who will be amazing examples to the new guys of what it means to be a Gamecock. The environment and the culture around our program is exactly where we need it to be. Every guy is going to be at a high level, so these new guys are going to get the most out of practice, and they're going to develop faster here than at most places. They're going to be young, bright-eyed freshmen, but they're going to have an immediate impact on the team. They're going to end up being the group that will solidify the culture at South Carolina."

Wood Benton • Spartanburg, S.C. • Dorman HS

Rated a five-star recruit by Tennis Recruiting Network ... Ranked third in South Carolina and top 50 nationally ... Has a 46-19 record in junior events, going 6-5 against blue chip recruits ... As a junior at Dorman, was a perfect 21-0 in singles and 8-0 in doubles and won the 4A singles title ... Helped his team to the 2013 state championship ... Named all-region and all-state and was named Boys' Tennis Player of the Year by the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.

Coach Goffi says:
"Wood has always been on top in the South but never played a ton of national tournaments due to his focus on school, so he went under the radar and is a very good pick-up for us. He's grown quite a bit in the last year or two and has become a very good all-around player. At this point, he's a great counter-puncher and we intend to build on that solid foundation. He's a great competitor, too, and that's what really drew me in - his competitiveness and his ability to play well in the big moments"

Gabriel Friedrich • Brazil

International experience includes full ITF juniors schedule and various Futures events in 2013 ... Ranked No. 33 in ITF Juniors and built his ITF world ranking as high as No. 1,029 ... Solid results in singles and doubles ... Individual victories include a pair of wins at Roland Garros at the 2012 Junior French Championships, a trip to the semifinals of an international tournament in Santa Croce, Italy, and finals appearances in ITF junior events in Bolivia, Uruguay, Ecuador and Brazil ... In Futures events on the ITF circuit, reached quarterfinals of the Brazil F3 event in Porto Velho, Brazil.

Coach Goffi says:
"Gabriel is probably the most experienced player that we've had as he's played a full ITF Junior schedule around the world. Playing in every Grand Slam, his maturity and experience are going to be invaluable to us. If you look at the guys at the top of our lineup right now - Tsvetan Mihov, Andrew Adams, Thiago Pinheiro - they all have that volume of experience, and that's what we're looking for from Gabriel. He's a very good tennis player all-around and, from what I understand, is a very detail-oriented and professional player. We're looking forward to him joining us."

Thomas Mayronne • Monroe, La. • National Connections Academy

Rated a blue chip, five-star recruit ... Ranks No. 15 nationally, according to Tennis Recruiting Network ... Is No. 1 player in Louisiana and the Gulf States region ... Has a 36-14 record in junior events, including an 11-9 mark against other blue chip rated players ... Is 10-2 against his fellow five-star players ... Reached final of the USTA National Open in May 2013, falling to current Gamecock Andrew Schafer ... Advanced to the semifinals of three other events in the last 12 months, including the 2012 USTA National Winter Championships.

Coach Goffi says:
"Thomas is one of the most mature competitors I've seen in a 17-18 year old. His class and composure stand out against almost any kid in the country, and I like the way he navigates himself through matches. His physicality and backhand are his strengths, and I'm confident we can further develop his forehand and serve. He's a natural born winner, and he's used to winning a lot, which gets him through a lot of tough matches right now. I look forward to helping him develop his game around that amazing infrastructure."

Harrison O'Keefe • Salem, Va. • Laurel Springs School

Rated a blue chip, five-star recruit by Tennis Recruiting Network ... Ranked No. 22 in the nation and third in the Middle Atlantic Region ... Is 12-5 against other five-star rated recruits and has been ranked as high as No. 17 in the nation behind a 41-16 overall record ... Has played the last two seasons at the Smith Stearns Tennis Academy in Hilton Head, S.C., after helping his high school team to the 2011 VHSL Group AA championship by yielding just one game in singles throughout the run to the title ... Boasts two USTA titles on his resume in 2013, including the USTA Regional in Mobile, Ala., and reached at least the quarterfinals of four other events this year.

Coach Goffi says:
"Harrison is a big, tall kid, and his game plays like that - huge serve, huge forehand. His backhand is phenomenal, and he's developing his forehand into a weapon. If we can continue the success that he's had building his game around that big forehand, big serve mentality, then his upside is huge. He'll be a top contender in college."

 

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