Sept. 23, 2005
Athens, Ga. – The South Carolina men’s tennis team kicked off its 2005 fall schedule on Friday at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in Athens, Ga. A quartet of Gamecocks made the trip to the South’s oldest collegiate tournament, seniors Adam Adler, Kazuya Otani, and Geraldo Knorr, along with sophomore transfer Yevgeny Supeko. Carolina got off to a slow start in Athens, dropping all three of its singles matches on Friday morning, but recovered and split a pair of doubles matches in the afternoon.
For Carolina it was a day to preview 2006 competition, with all five of the team’s matches coming against teams who appear on the spring schedule and are also Gamecock rivals.
In morning singles action, Otani fell 6-1, 6-2 to Hunter Mills of Auburn, one of eight SEC schools participating in the SIC (Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee, USC, Vanderbilt). Shortly afterwards, Adler, who transferred to USC from Coastal Carolina in 2004, went down 6-1, 6-1 to Scott Blackmon of Georgia Tech. Gamecock senior Geraldo Knorr, who was the team’s singles wins leader in 2004 and was half of the nation’s No. 29 doubles squad that made the 2005 NCAA Doubles Championships, was in the final group of singles matches for the day, but fared no better, losing to Bran ten Berge of Ole Miss in two thrilling tiebreak sets, 7-6(4) and 7-6(5). Supeko, who is a 9-16 seed in the tournament, had a first round bye on Friday and will open singles play against David North of Georgia Tech.
As the play turned to doubles action, Carolina head coach Kent DeMars sent Supeko and Knorr out together in the top flight draw, while paring Adler and Otani in the second flight. Knorr and Supeko drew one of the toughest assignments for a pair that had never played a competitive match together, and put up a respectable effort in an 8-3 loss to 3rd-seeded and 20th ranked Eric Claesson and Erling Tviet of Ole Miss. The combination of Otani and Adler, who went 1-1 together in fall action last year, proved more successful as they picked up USC’s first win of the tournament with an 8-6 victory over Eric Lin and Josh Irey of Mississippi State. The pair of seniors will advance to take on Drew Bailey and Maciek Sykut of Florida State, who had a first round bye, on Sunday afternoon.
Just two of the Gamecocks will be in action on Saturday, as both Otani and Knorr drew byes in the first round of the consolation bracket and will take on Mario Gil of Winthrop and James Eason of the Citadel respectively on Sunday afternoon. Adler will face Jordan Magarik of Vanderbilt in the first round of the consolation on Saturday afternoon, while Supeko will begin his career at USC with the match against North, scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Maciek Sykut (FSU) def. Geraldo Knorr (SC) 7-6(4), 7-6(5)
Hunter Mills (AU) def. Kazuya Otani (SC) 6-1, 6-2
Scott Blackmon (GT) def. Adam Adler (SC) 6-1, 6-1
(2) Claesson/Tviet (M) def. Knorr/Supeko (SC) 8-3
Adler/Otani (SC) def. Lim/Irey (MS) 8-6