Gamecocks Suffer Near Miss at NC State
Feb. 9, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. - No. 26 South Carolina dropped a tough 4-3 decision at No. 32 NC State Sunday afternoon at J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center. The Wolfpack won the doubles point and staved off a rally from the Gamecocks with a third-set tiebreak win in the No. 2 match. South Carolina's Thiago Pinheiro and Andrew Adams scored singles wins over nationally ranked opponents to highlight the Gamecocks' effort.
South Carolina struggled in doubles, falling behind quickly at the top of the lineup, and could not recover to trail NC State 1-0 heading into singles play. With the top four spots in the order taking the court, the Gamecocks went up a set in three as Kyle Koch, Pinheiro and Adams put their Wolfpack opponents on their heels early.
Pinheiro was the first to finish off his opponent, No. 82 Thomas Weigel, using early breaks in the second set to post a 6-4, 6-2 win in the No. 3 match and even the team scoring at 1-1. The Wolfpack reclaimed the lead as No. 50 Austin Powell topped No. 41 Tsvetan Mihov 7-5, 6-2 after the Gamecocks' All-American fought back from early breaks in the first set.
Adams, like Pinheiro, was efficient in his second set, closing out No. 83 Nick Horton 6-3, 6-3 to again level the match, 2-2. The Nos. 5 and 6 matches took the court, and the Wolfpack got a boost from Sean Weber, who jumped out to an early lead on Chip Cox in the No. 5 match.
Back in the No. 2 match, Koch was battling against No. 76 Robbie Mudge, though. The Gamecock junior gave up a late service break to drop the second set 7-5 after winning the first 6-3. Andrew Schafer, ranked No. 91 in the nation, posted a 6-4 first-set win over Simon Norenius in the No. 6 match, and things looked to be going the Gamecocks' way.
Weber kept his foot on the gas against Cox, bringing the Wolfpack within a point of the team win with his 6-1, 6-2 decision over Cox. On Court 2, Koch and Mudge battled to a tiebreak with the outcome of the team match in the balance. Mudge sprinted out to an early lead and delivered the win for the Wolfpack with his 7-6 (1) victory.
In the final match on court, Schafer suffered a tiebreak loss in his second set with Norenius, 7-6 (4), but fought through the super-tiebreak third set 11-9 to close out the scoring for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina takes a short break from match competition, returning to the courts on Fri., Feb. 21, when the Gamecocks host South Florida at 4 p.m. at Carolina Tennis Center.
#32 NC State 4, #26 South Carolina 3Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 1*)
1. Robbie Mudge/Ian Dempster (NCSU) def. Thiago Pinheiro/Tsvetan Mihov (SC) 8-2
2. (19) Sean Weber/Nick Horton (NCSU) def. (24) Chip Cox/Kyle Koch (SC) 8-5
3. Austin Powell/Beck Bond (NCSU) led Andrew Adams/Andrew Schafer (SC) 7-3 suspended
Singles (Order of Finish: 3, 1, 4, 5, 2*, 6)