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April 8, 2007

Columbia, S.C. — South Carolina junior Yevgeny Supeko knocked off a top-50 opponent at No. 1 singles, but it was not enough as the No. 53 Gamecock men’s tennis squad fell to No. 41 Vanderbilt, 5-2, on Easter Sunday at the Sam Daniel Tennis Center in Columbia.

Vandy improved its record to 9-11 and won its third SEC match to move to 3-7 in Southeastern Conference play. Carolina lost its fourth straight match and slipped to .500 at 11-11. The Gamecocks are 2-8 in league play.

Supeko defeated 46th-ranked Ryan Preston, at the top of the singles lineup. Supeko won the initial set 6-3, but Preston responded, keeping things close throughout until breaking through for a 7-5 win in the second set. Since the Commodores had already clinched the team victory, Supeko and Preston engaged in a super tiebreaker to decide a winner. Supeko jumped ahead and cruised on to a 10-4 win. He improved his record to 22-8 and beat a ranked opponent for the second time this year.

Vanderbilt got off to a good start, sweeping the doubles to open up a 1-0 lead on the Gamecocks.

The Commodores won the first set on five of six singles courts to take control of the match. At No. 2 singles. Vandy’s Nik Cromydas made quick work of senior Pedro Rodrigues, winning 6-1, 6-0, to put the Commodores ahead, 2-0.

Vanderbilt extended the lead when Andy Mack pulled off a 6-1, 6-4, victory over Gamecock freshman David Wolff at No. 5 singles, and went on to secure the team win when Vijay Paul topped freshman Ivan Cressoni, 6-2, 6-2.

South Carolina surrendered the fifth point of the match when freshman Spencer Feldman dropped a 6-4, 6-3, contest to Jordan Magarik on Court Six.

The Gamecocks ended the day on a high note. Supeko’s victory made the score 5-1, Carolina freshman Pedro Campos gutted out a three-set win over Evan Dufaux at the No. 3 spot. Campos came out flat in the first set and lost, 6-1, but rallied to take the second, 6-3. In the deciding set, Campos staked a 5-2 lead, but Dufaux fought back and the set went to a tiebreaker. Campos overcame Dufaux in the tiebreaker, 9-7, to take the match. He kept pace with Supeko in winning his 22nd match of the year (22-13).

South Carolina will play at home twice in the coming week. The Gamecocks host Clemson on Wednesday, April 11, at 2p.m. and entertain Florida on Saturday, April 14, at 1 p.m.

No. 1 Preston/Paul (VU) def. Stoddard/Veeder (USC), 8-4
No. 2 Cromydas/Dufaux (VU) def. Wolff/Supeko (USC), 8-6
No. 3 Mack/Magarick (VU) def Cressoni/Campos (USC), 8-2
Doubles order of finish 3, 1, 2

No. 1 Yevgeny Supeko (USC) def. #46 Ryan Preston (VU), 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (4)
No. 2 Nik Cromydas (VU) def. Pedro Rodrigues (USC), 6-0, 6-1
No. 3 Pedro Campos (USC) def. Evan Dufaux (VU), 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7)
No. 4 Vijay Paul (VU) def. Ivan Cressoni (USC), 6-2, 6-2
No. 5 Andy Mack (VU) def. David Wolff (USC), 6-1, 6-4
No. 6 Jordan Magarik (VU) def. Spencer Feldman (USC), 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 5, 4, 6, 1, 3