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April 1, 2007

Tuscaloosa, Ala. – The No. 58 University of South Carolina men’s tennis team fell 6-1 Sunday afternoon to the No. 16 Alabama Crimson Tide. With the loss, Carolina falls to 11-9 and 2-6 in the SEC, while Alabama improves to 15-5 overall and 5-3 in conference play.

The Gamecocks got down early after losing all three doubles matches and the opening doubles point. In first doubles, Pedro Campos and Yevgeny Supeko found themselves behind early to the No. 28 pair of Dan Buikema and Matthieu Thibaudeau. After taking a 4-1 lead, the Alabama duo won the next four games to take the match, 8-1.

On courts two and three the competition proved to be much closer despite ending with the same result for Carolina. Thomas Stoddard and Joseph Veeder got out to a 3-2 lead in the No. 2 doubles match before eventually falling 8-6 to Joseph Jung and Saketh Myneni. At third doubles, Pedro Rodrigues and Ivan Cressoni also fell to the Alabama tandem of Javier Bes and Sammy Struyf. After falling behind 4-2, Cressoni and Rodrigues took three of the next four games to take a 6-5 lead. The pair could not hold on however, eventually dropping the match, 8-6.

With the start of singles play, the Gamecocks continued to struggle despite playing tough on all courts. On court three Campos, Campos dropped the first set to Billy Mertz, 6-3. In the second set, the freshman battled back and forth with Mertz, claiming five games before losing the match 7-5.

In the first singles position No. 117 Supeko battled tough against the higher ranked # 89 Jung. The junior managed to claim three games in the first set and took a 1-0 lead in the second set, before dropping the match, 6-3, 6-2.

At fourth singles Cressoni held a slight lead over Bes, taking a 6-5 lead in the first set. Bes fought back however takeing the next game and the tiebreaker to win the opening set 7-5. In the second set, Cressoni managed to win three games before falling 6-3. With the decision Alabama held a 4-0 lead and clinched the match,

In the No. 2 singles position, Pedro Rodrigues fell in a tiebreaker 7-6 in his first set against Struyf, but proved he would not give up, dominating the second set 6-2 to force a third set. In the third, the Carolina senior kept up the pressure, winning 6-4 to secure the match and a point for the Gamecocks.

On courts five and six, David Wolff and Spencer Feldman lost to #121 Thibaudeau and Myneni respectively. Wolff, fell 7-6, 6-2 in the fifth singles position, while Feldman dropped a pro set 8-5 to determine the winner in the No. 6 match.

Carolina will return to action next Friday, when the team travels to Lexington, Ky. for a 2 p.m. showdown with the Wildcats. The Gamecocks will conclude the weekend with a 1 p.m. home match against Vanderbilt, Sunday April 8.

No. 1 #28 Buikema/ Thibaudeau (UA) def Supeko/ Campos (USC), 8-1
No. 2 Jung/Myneni (UA) def Stoddard/Veeder (USC), 8-6
No. 3 Bes/Struyf (UA) def Cressoni/Rodrigues (USC), 8-6

Doubles Order of Finish 1,3, 2

No. 1 #89 Joseph Jung (UA) def #117 Yevgeny Supeko (USC), 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 Pedro Rodrigues (USC) def Sammy Struyf (UA), 6-7, 6-2, 6-4
No. 3 Billy Mertz (UA) def Pedro Campos (USC), 6-3, 7-5
No. 4Javier Bes (UA) def Ivan Cressoni (USC), 7-6, 6-3
No. 5#121 Matthieu Thibaudeau (UA) def David Wolff (USC), 7-6, 6-2
No. 6Saketh Myneni (UA) def Spencer Feldman (USC), 8-5

Singles Order of Finish 3, 1, 4, 2, 6, 5