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April 14, 2007

COLUMBIA, S.C. —Freshman Pedro Campos defeated the No. 10 player in the country Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t enough as the No. 59 University of South Carolina men’s tennis team ended its regular season schedule with a 6-1 loss to the No. 17 University of Florida Gators. The defeat drops the Gamecocks to 11-13 overall and a 2-9 SEC record. The Gators improved to 12-5 on the season with a 7-3 showing in the conference.

The Gators got off to a quick start claiming all three of the doubles matches and the opening doubles point.

At first doubles the sixth-ranked Gator combination of Jesse Levine and Greg Ouellette defeated Carolina’s freshman tandem Pedro Campos and Ivan Cressoni. The Carolina duo got on the board first in the match but eventually fell 8-2. At second doubles, Daniel Cash and Billy Mulligan quickly took the lead on Yevgeny Supeko and David Wolff. After falling behind 6-0, the Carolina pair fought back to win four games before finally dropping the match, 8-4.

The most exciting doubles match of the day came on court three where Carolina’s Thomas Stoddard and Joseph Veeder battled tough against Geoffrey Barton and Nestor Briceno. The Gamecocks took an early 3-0 lead before allowing the Gator pair to tie the score at four all. After trading games, the Gamecock tandem looked finish the victory after taking a 7-5 lead. Barton and Briceno battled back to force a tiebreaker which eventually saw the Gators win 9-8(6).

With the start of singles, it seemed as if Florida would walk away with an easy victory. Freshman Spencer Feldman dropped the first set against Jordan Dolberg 6-0 before falling in the second set 6-1 at No. 5 singles. Supeko also found himself down fast to third-ranked Levine at No. 1 singles. After only claiming one game in the first set, the junior eventually lost 6-1, 6-0, and Florida took a 3-0 lead in the match.

South Carolina looked to stop the bleeding with the help of Campos, who jumped all over the 10th-ranked Ouellette in the No. 2 singles position. Campos dominated the junior in the first set winning 6-2, before closing out the match with an impressive 6-1 win in the second set to get Carolina on the board. Ouellette came in to today’s match with a 24-7 record and riding a seven-match win streak.

The victory is the second straight match in which Campos has defeated a nationally-ranked opponent after he bested Clemson’s Clement Reix (No. 122) on Wednesday.

At third and fourth singles freshmen, Cressoni and Wolff both found themselves in difficult three-set matches. At fourth singles, Wolff dropped the first set 6-2 to Mulligan but fought back to win the second 6-3. Wolff could not keep the momentum going, however, and eventually lost the third set 6-3. The victory gave Florida four points and clinched the match. On court three, after claiming the first set 6-4 Cressoni dropped the second and third by 6-1 margins to Briceno.

With the match out of reach, Stoddard battled tough against Barton at No. 6 singles. After falling behind 7-6(4) in the first set, he clawed back to win the second 7-5. With Barton leading 6-3 in the super tiebreaker, Florida claimed its sixth point of the day when an injury forced Stoddard to retire.

The Gamecocks will next return to action, when they head to the SEC tournament in Baton Rouge, La., April 19-22.

Florida 6, South Carolina 1

No. 1 (No. 6) Levine/Ouellette (UF) def Campos/Cressoni (USC), 8-2
No. 2 Cash/Mulligan (UF) def Supeko/Wolff (USC), 8-4
No. 3 Barton/Briceno (UF) def Stoddard/Veeder (USC), 9-8(6)
Doubles Order of Finish 1, 2, 3

No. 1 (No. 3) Jesse Levine (UF) def Yevgeny Supeko(USC) 6-1 , 6-0
No. 2 Pedro Campos (USC) def (No. 10) Greg Ouellette (UF) def 6-2, 6-1
No. 3 Nestor Briceno (UF) def Ivan Cressoni (USC), 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
No. 4 Billy Mulligan (UF) def David Wolff (USC), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
No. 5 Jordan Dolberg (UF) def Spencer Feldman (USC), 6-0, 6-1
No. 6 Geoffrey Barton (UF) def Thomas Stoddard (USC) 7-6 (4), 5-7, (Injury retirement)
Singles Order of Finish 5, 1, 2, 4, 3, 6