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Jan. 29, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 69 South Carolina dropped a 6-1 decision to No. 56 UC Irvine in the ITA Kickoff Weekend event at Ohio State’s Varsity Tennis Center Saturday afternoon. A pair of Gamecocks forced their matches to three sets, but only Alexander Kostanov scraped out a point for South Carolina. The Gamecocks will take on No. 75 William & Mary on Sunday at 10 a.m. in the consolation match of the event.

UC Irvine struck first, sweeping the three doubles matches, despite a late push from the Gamecocks’ No. 3 duo of Kostanov and Harry Menzies. The Anteaters went right to work in singles action as well. Fabian Matthews topped Chris Sheehan in the No. 5 match 6-2, 6-2 and No. 33 Chris Kearney held off Ivan Machado 6-3, 6-3 in the No. 1 match. UC Irvine sealed the win with a 6-3, 6-3 win from Shan Sondhu over Henry Walker in the No. 6 match.

For the Gamecocks, Johannes Pulsfort was efficient early in his No. 4 match, storming past Stephen Stege 6-1 in the first set. But South Carolina’s senior captain found himself in an early 1-4 hole in the second set and could not recover, falling in three sets (6-1, 2-6, 3-6). Freshman Chip Cox suffered his first singles loss at the college level, when a four-game skid left him trailing Sam Gould in the No. 3 match. The first set was knotted at 4-4 when Cox stumbled, dropping the first set 4-6 and falling behind in the second 0-2. Gould went on to win the second set 6-2.

Kostanov played the opposite match of Pulsfort, falling behind his No. 2 singles opponents Steven Henderson 3-6 in the first set. The Gamecock sophomore pushed back to score a 6-3 win in the second set. With the overall match decided, the two played a super tie-breaker, which Kostanov eked out 10-8 to record South Carolina’s lone point of the match.

No. 56 UC Irvine 6, No. 69 South Carolina 1

Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3)
1. Chip Kearney/Stephen Stege (UCI) def. Chip Cox/Ivan Machado (SC) 8-5
2. Sam Gould/Steven Henderson (UCI) def. Johannes Pulsfort/Chris Sheehan (SC) 8-4
3. Ryan Cheung/Shan Sondhu (UCI) def. Alexander Kostanov/Harry Menzies (SC) 8-6

Singles (Order of Finish: 5, 1, 6, 3, 2, 4)
1. (33) Chris Kearney (UCI) def. Ivan Machado (SC) 6-3, 6-3
2. Alexander Kostanov (SC) def. Steven Henderson (UCI) 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (8)
3. Sam Gould (UCI) def. Chip Cox (SC) 6-4, 6-2
4. Stephen Stege (UCI) def. Johannes Pulsfort (SC) 1-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. Fabian Matthews (UCI) def. Chris Sheehan (SC) 6-2, 6-2
6. Shan Sondhu (UCI) def. Henry Walker (SC) 6-3, 6-3

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