No. 16 South Carolina Scores 4-2 Win Over No. 55 Mississippi State
March 27, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina sophomore Johannes Pulsfort sealed another team victory as the Gamecocks battled for a 4-2 win over No. 55 Mississippi State in SEC men's tennis action this afternoon at the USC Indoor Facility. South Carolina (15-3, 3-2 SEC) stormed through doubles early, but saw the Bulldogs (5-9, 1-4 SEC) win two of the first four singles matches. Pulsfort needed a late break in the second half to hold off Chris Doerr in the No. 5 singles match for the Gamecocks to collect their second-straight win.
South Carolina won the doubles point in decisive fashion, beginning with an 8-2 win from Diego Cubas and Ivan Machado in the No. 1 position. The Gamecocks were in line to win the other two matches, which were on pace to finish simultaneously. At No. 3, Jaime Cuellar and Pulsfort opened the match with a break of serve and picked up another to go up 6-3. After holding serve for a 7-3 lead on Court 3, the Gamecocks were also in potentially the final game on Court 2 as the tandem of Pedro Campos and Ivan Cressoni were up 7-5 with Cressoni serving. Cuellar and Pulsfort scored a break of serve to seal their 8-3 win and deliver the doubles point for the Gamecocks.
Cuellar put the Gamecocks up 2-0 with his second-straight victory at No. 2 singles. After dispatching Louis Cant 6-0 in the first set, Cuellar had to battle in the second. The two players traded service breaks early in the set before Cuellar scored the decisive break to go up 6-5 and serve for the match. The Bulldogs cut their deficit in half with a win at No. 1 singles. Ryan Farlow overcame a break of serve in the first game of the match with a break to even the first set at 5-5. After holding his serve, he broke Cubas in the final game to claim the first set 7-5. The Gamecock junior's serving trouble continued in the second set as he quickly found himself in an 0-2 hole, and Farlow went on to score a 6-3 victory.
While Machado split his first two sets against Antonio Lastre in the No. 4 match, Campos got the Gamecocks back on track with a straight-set win at No. 3. Like Cuellar, Campos stormed through the first set 6-1 but had to fight for the second set. The match was on serve until MSU's Artem Ilyushin scored a break to go up 6-5 and serve for the set. Campos responded by breaking Ilyushin and sending the set into a tiebreak, where he took immediate control and rolled to a 7-4 victory.
Perched on the edge of a team victory, the Gamecocks saw Machado's No. 4 match come down to a tiebreaker in the third set. The reigning SEC Freshman of the Week was up a break at 5-3 but gave it right back in the next game. In the tiebreak, Machado went up 2-0 early when Lastre dumped a pair of forehands into the net. The Bulldog sophomore forced a string of errors and scored a 7-4 win in the tiebreak to keep Mississippi State in the match.
Pulsfort and Cressoni each handily won their first sets at the Nos. 5 and 6 matches, respectively, while the No. 4 match was finishing. Both men faced challenges in the second set after cruising in the first. Pulsfort and Doerr were on serve at 5-5 with Doerr serving. Pulsfort pounced quickly, grabbing a pair of break points before closing it out on Doerr's half-volley wide. The Gamecock sophomore, who had already clinched five of South Carolina's victories this season, won his final service game at love to win his match and deliver another win for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina is back in action on Sun., March 29, as the Gamecocks travel to No. 2 Mississippi for a 2 p.m. (ET) match.
No. 16 South Carolina 4, No. 55 Mississippi State 2Doubles: (Order of Finish: 1, 3)
1. (29) Diego Cubas/Ivan Machado (SC) def. Chris Doerr/Tanner Stump (MSU) 8-2
2. Pedro Campos/Ivan Cressoni (SC) led Artem Ilyuhshin/Louis Cant (MSU) 7-5 DNF
3. Jaime Cuellar/Johannes Pulsfort (SC) def. Ryan Farlow/Antonio Lastre (MSU) 8-3
Singles: (Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2, 4, 5)