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April 17, 2010

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – No. 45 South Carolina men’s tennis forced third sets in four singles matches but could not overcome No. 6 Florida, suffering a 6-1 loss to the Gators Saturday afternoon at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. Senior Diego Cubas scored the lone win for the Gamecocks (9-12, 1-10 SEC) in a three-set comeback in the No. 2 singles slot.

Florida pulled out a last-minute sweep of the doubles matches as the No. 49 duo of Sekou Bangoura Jr. and Joey Burkhardt claimed a tiebreaker over Ivan Cressoni and Ivan Machado after neither team dropped served in the No. 2 match. The Gators’ No. 1 tandem of Antoine Benneteau and Alexandre Lacroix made it a 3-0 Florida lead as they closed out their Nos. 3 and 1 singles matches, respectively, in straight sets. South Carolina senior Pedro Campos fell to fourth-ranked Lacroix 6-3, 6-3, his first loss in SEC matches snapping his 16-match winning streak – the third-longest successful stretch in South Carolina history.

The Gamecocks held off the Gators for another hour, though, as the remaining four matches went to three sets. Cubas further stymied Florida’s efforts as he rallied back from losing a first-set tiebreaker to claim at 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 96 Joey Burkhardt in the No. 2 match. The Gators closed out the remaining matches in quick succession to pick up the victory.

South Carolina will play in the SEC Tournament’s first round in Lexington, Ky., on Thu., April 22.


Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2)
1. (11) Antoine Benneteau/Alexandre Lacroix (UF) def. (29) Diego Cubas/Pedro Campos (SC) 8-5
2. (49) Sekou Bangoura Jr.,/Joey Burkhardt (UF) def. Ivan Cressoni/Ivan Machado (SC) 9-8 (5)
3. Daniel Cash/Bob Van Overbeek (UF) def. Alexander Kostanov/Johannes Pulsfort (SC) 9-7

Singles (Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6)
1. (4) Alexandre Lacroix (UF) def. (31) Pedro Campos (SC) 6-3, 6-3
2. (67) Diego Cubas (SC) def. (96) Joey Burkhardt (UF) 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4
3. Antoine Benneteau (UF) def. Ivan Cressoni (SC) 6-4, 6-4
4. Bob Van Overbeek (UF) def. Alexander Kostanov (SC) 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4
5. Sekou Bangoura Jr. (UF) def. Ivan Machado (SC) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
6. Nassim Slilam (UF) def. Johannes Pulsfort (SC) 3-6, 7-5, 5-2 retired