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Feb. 10, 2007

The South Carolina men’s tennis team earned its toughest victory of the season with a 5-2 win over the Davidson Wildcats Saturday at the USC Indoor Fieldhouse. With the win the Gamecocks improved their overall record to 6-0. Davidson’s three-match win streak was snapped and the Wildcats fell to 3-2.

Carolina got off to a rough start when it lost two out of the three doubles matches and the opening point. At the No. 2 doubles slot Davidson’s John Bolton and Flaviu Simihaian were able to win their match against Carolina senior Pedro Rodrigues and freshman Ivan Cressoni. The match went back and forth and was tied at three games a piece before the Wildcat duo turned on the pressure to take the next five games and the match 8-3.

The Gamecocks evened the score when junior Yevgeny Supeko and freshman Pedro Campos defeated Ethan Jaffee and Sam Burns, 8-4. The win is the seventh straight for the duo and the 11th out of 12 matches played. The match also marked the first time this season that a doubles team for Davidson was defeated.

With the victory, all eyes turned to the final unfinished match which would determine which team would take the opening point. Unfortunately for Carolina, junior Joseph Veeder and freshman Spencer Feldman were trailing big at No. 3 doubles. The duo was quickly defeated 8-1.

South Carolina tied the match when David Wolff beat Scott Meyers in straight at No. 4 singles. After a 6-3 opening set victory, the freshman stepped up his game taking the second set, 6-1.

The Gamecocks continued to roll with easy victories at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. Campos defeated Jaffee in straight sets 6-1, 6-1, while Cressoni finished off Bolton 6-2, 6-2.

With a quick 3-1 lead, the Gamecocks would have to wait for the clinching point, as all three unfinished matches would prove to be competitive. At first singles, Supeko battled in an epic set against Simihaian, eventually losing in a back and forth tie breaker 7-6 (13). Supeko retaliated in the second set winning a set of his own by tiebreaker 7-6 (3).

Meanwhile at fifth singles Feldman found himself in a similar situation against Burns, losing the first set 7-5 but winning the second 6-1.

Stoddard finally secured the Gamecock win after taking a tough straight sets victory over Eric Noble at No. 6 singles. After a vigorous 6-4 win in the first set, the second would prove just as hard as the redshirt sophomore won, 7-5.

With the victory in hand, Feldman and Burns played a super tiebreaker instead of a third set to decide No. 5 singles. Burns was able to fight off Feldman’s momentum to take the breaker, 10-5, and claim Davidson’s second point.

Back at first singles the day’s most grueling match ended positively for the Gamecocks. Supeko won the final set 6-3.

The Gamecocks will put their undefeated season on the line Wednesday, Feb. 14, at the when they host No. 26 Wake Forest 2 p.m.

South Carolina 5, Davidson 2

No. 1 Supeko/Campos (USC) def Jaffee/Burns (DC), 8-4
No. 2 Bolton/Simihaian (DC) def. Rodrigues/Cressoni (USC), 8-3
No. 3 Compeau/Eric Noble (DC) def Veeder/Feldman (USC), 8-1

No. 1 Yevgeny Supeko (USC) def Flaviu Simihaian (DC) 6-7(13), 7-6(3), 6-3
No. 2 Pedro Campos (USC) def. Ethan Jaffee (DC), 6-1, 6-1
No. 3 Ivan Cressoni (USC) def. John Bolton (DC), 6-2, 6-2
No. 4 David Wolff (USC) def. Scott Myers (DC), 6-3, 6-1
No. 5 Sam Burns (DC) def. Spencer Feldman (USC), 7-5, 1-6 1-0(3)
No. 6 Thomas Stoddard (USC) def Eric Noble, 6-4, 7-5

Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3 (Doubles); 4, 2, 3, 6, 5, 1 (Singles)