Gamecocks Fall to No. 35 Alabama 7-0
March 13, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - South Carolina dropped a 7-0 decision at No. 35 Alabama in SEC men's tennis action at Alabama Tennis Stadium Sunday afternoon. A pair of singles matches went to three sets, and the Gamecocks' No. 2 doubles team scored a win over its nationally-ranked Crimson Tide opponent, but Alabama held on for the victory.
The Crimson Tide opened the match with victories in the Nos. 1 and 3 doubles matches for the initial 1-0 lead. The Gamecocks were showing their fight in the No. 2 match, however, as Alexander Kostanov and Chip Cox were matching the nation's 62nd-ranked duo of Vikram Reddy and Michael Thompson stroke for stroke. With the doubles point decided and the No. 2 match knotted at 7-7, the match went to a tiebreaker. At crunch time, it was the South Carolina tandem that took charge, winning the tiebreaker 7-4.
The Gamecocks looked to carry the momentum to singles action, where Johannes Pulsfort won the first set from Thompson in the No. 5 match 6-3. The Crimson Tide kept up the pressure, however, claiming the first three singles matches to finish to secure the team victory. Extending its lead to 5-0 with a win in the No. 6 singles slot, Alabama was still discovering that the Gamecocks would not go quietly.
In the No. 1 singles position, junior Ivan Machado fought back from a 3-6 first set to win the second 6-3, forcing a super-tiebreaker to decide the match. The Crimson Tide's top player, Ricky Doverspike, closed out the victory with a 10-5 decision just ahead of Thompson wrapping up his three-set win over Pulsfort.
South Carolina (6-8, 1-3 SEC) returns to Columbia to host its next three matches, beginning with a non-conference matchup with VCU on Thu., March 17, at 2 p.m. at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center. The Gamecocks will host Mississippi State on Sat., March 19, before archrival Clemson visits on Wed., March 23.
No. 35 Alabama 7, South Carolina 0Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2)
1. Ricky Doverspike/Jarryd Botha (ALA) def. Ivan Machado / Nick Jones (SC) 8-2
2. Alexander Kostanov / Chip Cox (SC) def. (62) Vikram Reddy/ Michael Thompson (ALA) 7-6 (4)
3. Daniil Proskura/Trey Walston (ALA) def. Johannes Pulsfort / Chris Sheehan (SC) 8-4
Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 2, 3, 6, 1, 5)