Jan. 26, 2014
STARKVILLE, Miss. - No. 18 South Carolina fought off a late surge by No. 26 Harvard to post a 4-0 win in the Gamecocks' second match at the ITA Kickoff Weekend event at A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. South Carolina scored the doubles point to kick off the match and got a comeback win from senior Chip Cox to clinch the victory.
"I'm extremely proud of this team," South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. "They fought their hearts out yesterday and came up just short to a very good Memphis team. To bounce back and put up a decisive 4-0 victory today only confirms our belief in what we bring to the table every day. We are Gamecocks, and we will fight until the end."
For the second time in as many matches for the Gamecocks, the doubles point came down to a tiebreak in the last match on court. Harvard opened play with its 17th-ranked doubles team of Denis Nguyen and Casey MacMaster using early service breaks to top No. 24 Chip Cox and Kyle Koch, 6-2, at the top of the order. In the No. 2 spot, Thiago Pinheiro and Tsvetan Mihov got a break midway through the match en route to a 6-3 win over No. 48 Nicky Hu and Brian Young. The No. 3 duos for both teams were trading punches to a tiebreak to decide the early team lead. Andrew Adams and Andrew Schafer served first and got out to a 2-1 lead early. Leading 4-3, the Gamecocks' newest duo won the next three points to secure the 1-0 lead for South Carolina heading into singles action.
South Carolina stormed out to early leads in five of the six singles matches, but the Crimson was up for the battle, forcing tie breaks in three of those sets. No. 103 Koch and Adams finished off their first sets in the Nos. 2 and 3 matches, respectively, in relatively quick order, but Cox dropped his first set 6-4. The Crimson turned early Gamecock leads in the other three matches into tiebreaks, and would come out on top in two of them.
No. 91 Schafer surged late in his tiebreak to win his first set over Andrew Ball 6-5 (2), but No. 41 Mihov and Pinheiro both lost their opening sets. At the same time, Cox turned the tables on Alex Steinroeder on Court 5 to win the second set 6-2 and was pushing the momentum early in the third. Schafer was in complete control on Court 6, wrapping up Ball 6-1 in the second set to make it a 2-0 Gamecocks' lead.
Koch fell behind late in his second set as Shaun Chaudhuri forced a third with a 6-3 win. Adams and No. 81 Sebastian Bletrame went to a tiebreak in their second set with the Gamecock junior sprinting out to a 5-0 lead. The Crimson's freshman fought back, winning four of the next five points to get to 6-4. Adams served out the in, though, as his 6-5 (4) victory made it a 3-0 South Carolina lead. Cox was moments behind with the clinching point as he finished off Steinroder 6-1 in the third.
The Gamecocks are back in action on Fri., Jan. 31, at Georgia Tech, before returning to Columbia for a doubleheader on Sun., Feb. 2.
#18 South Carolina 4, #26 Harvard 0Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3*)
1. (17) Denis Nguyen/Casey MacMaster (HU) def. (24) Chip Cox/Kyle Koch (SC) 6-2
2. Thiago Pinheiro/Tsvetan Mihov (SC) def. (48) Nicky Hu/Brian Young (HU 6-3
3. Andrew Adams/Andrew Schafer (SC) def. Sebastian Beltrame/Kelvin Lam (HU) 6-5 (3)
Singles (Order of Finish: 6, 3, 5*)
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