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Jan. 30, 2009

ATHENS, Ga. – No. 51 South Carolina men’s tennis suffered a 5-0 loss to No. 3 Georgia on the opening day of the ITA Kickoff Weekend event at Hopkins Indoors Courts at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Only senior Jaime Cuellar and junior Pedro Campos managed to win a set in singles action for the Gamecocks (3-1) after the Bulldogs (2-0) narrowly escaped with the doubles point to open play.

The first match in the books was the No. 2 doubles matchup between Campos and senior Joe Veeder and Georgia’s team of Josh Varela and Christian Vitulli, which the home team won 9-7. The other two doubles matches were just as tight with Nate Schnugg and Borja Malo pulling out the 8-6 win for the home team over Carolina’s combo of Diego Cubas and Ivan Machado at the No. 1 position.

With the doubles point decided, the teams turned to singles action, led off by a matchup of top-50 players in the No. 1 spot. Georgia’s Nate Schnugg, ranked 18th in the country, wasted little time dispatching No. 42 Diego Cubas 6-1, 6-3 to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead in the match. Campos opened No. 2 singles with a 6-2 first-set win over Javier Garrapiz but saw the sophomore Spaniard strike back with a 6-2 win in the second set. Cuellar was also in a battle at No. 3 singles, winning the first set 6-3 but was in the midst of dropping the second 7-6.

Meanwhile, Josh Varela of Georgia fought off a late charge from Carolina’s Ivan Machado for a 6-3, 7-6 win in the No. 4 position. Garrapiz finished off Campos 6-2 in the final set just as Drake Bernstein dispatched Johannes Pulsfort 6-1, 6-1 for the final margin of victory.

With the loss, South Carolina will face No. 55 Indiana, which lost to No. 36 Washington in the day’s first match, at 9 a.m. on Sat., Jan. 31.

No. 3 Georgia 5, No. 51 South Carolina 0

Doubles: (Order of Finish: 2, 1)
1. Borja Malo/Nate Schnugg (GA) def. Diego Cubas/Ivan Machado (SC) 8-6
2. Josh Varela/Christian Vitulli (GA) def. Joe Veeder/Pedro Campos (SC) 9-7
3. Drake Bernstein/Javier Garrapiz (GA) led Jamie Cuellar/Johannes Pulsfort (SC) 7-6, DNF

Singles: (Order of Finish: 1, 4, 2, 5)
1. (18) Nate Schnugg (GA) def. (42) Diego Cubas (SC) 6-1, 6-3
2. Javier Garrapiz (GA) def. Pedro Campos (SC) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
3. Jaime Cuellar (SC) led Borja Malo (GA) 6-3, 6-7, 2-1 DNF
4. Josh Varela (GA) def. Ivan Machado (SC) 6-3, 7-6 (3)
5. Drake Bernstein (GA) def. Johannes Pulsfort (SC) 6-1, 6-1
6. Christian Vitulli (GA) led Ivan Cressoni (SC) 6-2 DNF