March 4, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Men’s Tennis team started SEC play on Friday afternoon at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center, upsetting the #69 Arkansas Razorbacks by a score of 4-3
Coming into the match, South Carolina was 4-0 on the year when winning the doubles point and looked to improve on this record by getting ahead early. The Gamecocks’ No.1 tandem of Ivan Machado and Nick Jones took the first doubles match by a score of 8-6. The No. 1 team got out to a quick 3-0 lead through two crucial breaks. After getting on top, Machado and Jones never looked back, breaking the Razorback duo two more times. After dropping the No. 2 match to the national #66 doubles tandem of Mike Ward and Nikolas Zogaj, the balance of the match was held in the No. 3 spot. Seniors Johannes Pulsfort and Chris Sheehan pulled out a stellar victory over Gregoire Lehmann and Chris Nott. After trading breaks to begin the match, both teams held serve until the Gamecocks came up with a crucial break to lead 7-6. Pulsfort served out the match in a final game that saw over seven match points. The win clinched the doubles point for the Gamecocks and brought South Carolina into singles play up 1-0 in the match.
In singles, the Gamecocks found themselves tied after Razorback sophomore defeated Chip Cox 5-7, 2-6 at the No. 4 spot. However, soon after the match was knotted up, Alexander Kostanov took the No. 3 match over Nikolas Zogaj 6-4, 6-2. Kostanov was in control the entire match and held serve all but once. The Gamecocks kept rolling as Pulsfort came through with a big time win over Mike Ward in the No. 5 spot. With fellow senior and doubles partner Sheehan as his vocal catalyst, Pulsfort took care of the Razorback sophomore 6-3, 6-3. On his play, Pulsfort said, “I was able to grind it out and find a way to win today. It felt awesome to have a strong home atmosphere today at the start of the SEC season, so let’s keep people coming out here and rooting us on.” The Gamecocks were not through yet, though. At the No. 6 spot, sophomore Harry Menzies clinched the match for South Carolina with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Matt Walters. Menzies took the first set with the help of 4 breaks on Walters, and held off the Razorback junior in the second set to bring the Gamecocks to their first SEC win on the season.
Coach Josh Goffi said of the day, “I am extremely proud of our team. They showed a lot of grit and determination. Arkansas is well coached and is always going to be a tough out, but our boys wanted it more than them today.”
With the victory South Carolina improves to 5-5 (1-0) on the season and 13-10 all-time record over Arkansas. The Gamecocks continue home SEC play with a match this Sunday, March 6th vs. #53 LSU at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center. Continue to check GamecocksOnline.com for more information on South Carolina Men’s Tennis.
Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3 )
1. Ivan Machado / Nick Jones (SC) def. Matt Hogan / Matt Walters (ARK) 8-6
2. #66 Mike Ward / Nikolas Zogaj (ARK) def. Alexander Kostanov / Chip Cox (SC) 8-6
3. Johannes Pulsfort / Chris Sheehan (SC) def. Gregoire Lehmann / Chris Nott (SC) 8-6
Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 3, 5, 6, 2, 1)
1. Matt Hogan (ARK) def. Ivan Machado (SC) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
2. Chris Nott (ARK) def. Nick Jones (SC) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
3. Alexander Kostanov (SC) def. Nikolas Zogaj (ARK) 6-4, 6-2
4. Gregoire Lehmann (ARK) def. Chip Cox (SC) 7-5, 6-2
5. Johannes Pulsfort (SC) (SC) def. Mike Ward (ARK) 6-3, 6-3
6. Harry Menzies (SC) def. Matt Walters (SC) 6-4, 7-5