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Men's Tennis

Gamecocks Put Away Alabama Following Monday's Restart
April 16, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. -

No. 27 South Carolina 4, No. 45 Alabama 3

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- After play was halted overnight due to severe weather, No. 27 South Carolina men's tennis (17-7, 7-5 SEC) prevailed 4-3 over Alabama (16-11, 2-10 SEC) on Monday morning at Carolina Tennis Center. Play was suspended on Sunday afternoon with both teams deadlocked 3-3, and Harrison O'Keefe leading the No. 5 singles match 4-2. O'Keefe won back-to-back games following Monday's restart in just 11 minutes to give Carolina the 4-3 win.

Following their annual Senior Day ceremonies, the Gamecocks picked up a fourth-straight doubles point to begin the match on Sunday, clinching the point with a win from their No. 2 pair of seniors Thomas Mayronne and Gabriel Friedrich.

Paul Jubb put a dominant 6-0, 6-2 showing to win his ninth SEC singles match of the season, while Yancy Dennis closed out a 6-3, 6-4 win at the No. 4 spot to get South Carolina within a point of deciding the match. O'Keefe earned back-to-back breaks to go ahead 4-1 in the third set of his match before play was halted, and he made quick work to close out a 6-2 third set win Monday morning.
 

 

DOUBLES

After dropping the No. 1 doubles pair, South Carolina picked up a 6-3 win from Paul Jubb and Wood Benton, their third straight doubles victory.

The Gamecocks then clinched the doubles point as seniors Thomas Mayronne and Gabriel Friedrich broke serve to go ahead, 3-1 and eventually finished off Thibault Cancel and Alexey Nesterov of Alabama 6-3.

DOUBLES (1, 3, 2*)

1. (51) Edson Ortiz/Mazen Osama (BAMA) def. (49) Yancy Dennis/Harrison O'Keefe (SC) 6-2

2. (74) Gabriel Friedrich/Thomas Mayronne (SC) def. Thibault Cancel/Alexey Nesterov (BAMA) 6-3*

3. Paul Jubb/Wood Benton (SC) def. Patrick Kaukovalta/Zhe Zhou (BAMA) 6-3

SINGLES

Jubb continued his dominant play against SEC competition with a 6-0, 6-2 win to pick up his fifth singles victory in his last six matches to give South Carolina a 2-0 lead.

Yancy Dennis later secured his 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 4 to give the Gamecocks a 3-1 lead before Alabama evened the match with wins at Nos. 1 and 3.

In the No. 5 singles match, Harrison O'Keefe rebounded from a 7-6 (4) loss in the first set to even his match with a 6-3 win in set two. O'Keefe then earned back-to-back breaks to go ahead 2-1 and 4-1 before a double-fault brought the third set to 4-2 where play was suspended. Following an extended weather delay, the decision was made to push play until Monday morning with both teams deadlocked at 3-3. "If there's anybody on our team we want in that position, it's going to be Harrison," said Head Coach Josh Goffi.

O'Keefe came out for Monday's restart and broke serve to go up 5-2 before dropping just a single point in the final game of the match to win 6-2. "The recall button that guy has and the experience that he has those moments is huge. He knows exactly what to do; he's coachable in those moments; and he can be about as relaxed as you can be," explained Goffi.

SINGLES (2,6,4,1,3,5*)

1. (26) Mazen Osama (BAMA) def. (32) Gabriel Friedrich (SC) 7-5, 6-4

2. (61) Paul Jubb (SC) def. Patrick Kaukovalta (BAMA) 6-0, 6-2

3. Edson Ortiz (BAMA) def. Thomas Mayronne (SC) 0-6, 6-4, 6-2

4. Yancy Dennis (SC) def. Alexey Nesterov (BAMA) 6-3, 6-4

5. Harrison O'Keefe (SC) def. Riccardo Roberto (BAMA), 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-2*

6. Zhe Zhou (BAMA) def. Wood Benton (SC) 6-2, 6-4

QUOTABLE

On Harrison O'Keefe finishing off his singles victory after the restart
"He clinched three or four big time wins last year-- huge wins and in big moments. Most importantly. he has the perspective that the other guy is also choking in those moments. It was evident on both sides that guys weren't breathing coming out because there's a lot riding on the match today. There's a lot of time they spent sleeping on it and the whole deal, so it's big. [Harrison] went out there and did exactly what we asked him to do. He deserved that win, played really smart and got it done."

On how he assesses the team following this year's SEC regular-season schedule
"I think our guys feel okay. The talk in the locker room just now was [that] we've got to do some work. We're going to get after it in the practices this week and really get ready for Clemson and the SEC Tournament. We've got our [SEC Tournament] draw now, and we've got a path to where we want to go. This team has some higher goals than where we've reached so far. We're going to be on the war path here."

On what to look forward to Friday against Clemson
"When you're playing Clemson, you throw all records and rankings out the door. It's just like the SEC-- they bring it and it's going to be a bloodbath. I know that's what we're going to bring, and we'll wait and see what they're going to bring, but we're expecting it. That's what happens when you play rivals."

- Head Coach Josh Goffi

GAMECOCK NOTABLES

  • No. 27 South Carolina (17-7, 7-5 SEC) finished the regular season with five straight home wins.
  • The Gamecocks have won four straight doubles points.
  • Gabriel Friedrich and Thomas Mayronne are now 6-2 on the year in doubles with a 4-1 record in SEC play.
  • Paul Jubb and Wood Benton improved to 4-1 on the year after posting a third-consecutive doubles win to help deliver the team point for the Gamecocks.
  • No. 61 Paul Jubb impoved to 21-8 overall in singles play, winning five of his last six and posting a 9-2 record over his last 12 matches.
  • Yancy Dennis now has a team-leading 24 singles wins after his win on Sunday.

UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS

South Carolina will conclude its 2018 regular season next week as the Gamecocks travel to face Clemson on Friday night beginning at 5 p.m.

For updates, continue to check back with GamecocksOnline.com or follow the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).

 

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