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March 13, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – South Carolina dropped a 7-0 decision at No. 35 Alabama in SEC men’s tennis action at Alabama Tennis Stadium Sunday afternoon. A pair of singles matches went to three sets, and the Gamecocks’ No. 2 doubles team scored a win over its nationally-ranked Crimson Tide opponent, but Alabama held on for the victory.

The Crimson Tide opened the match with victories in the Nos. 1 and 3 doubles matches for the initial 1-0 lead. The Gamecocks were showing their fight in the No. 2 match, however, as Alexander Kostanov and Chip Cox were matching the nation’s 62nd-ranked duo of Vikram Reddy and Michael Thompson stroke for stroke. With the doubles point decided and the No. 2 match knotted at 7-7, the match went to a tiebreaker. At crunch time, it was the South Carolina tandem that took charge, winning the tiebreaker 7-4.

The Gamecocks looked to carry the momentum to singles action, where Johannes Pulsfort won the first set from Thompson in the No. 5 match 6-3. The Crimson Tide kept up the pressure, however, claiming the first three singles matches to finish to secure the team victory. Extending its lead to 5-0 with a win in the No. 6 singles slot, Alabama was still discovering that the Gamecocks would not go quietly.

In the No. 1 singles position, junior Ivan Machado fought back from a 3-6 first set to win the second 6-3, forcing a super-tiebreaker to decide the match. The Crimson Tide’s top player, Ricky Doverspike, closed out the victory with a 10-5 decision just ahead of Thompson wrapping up his three-set win over Pulsfort.

South Carolina (6-8, 1-3 SEC) returns to Columbia to host its next three matches, beginning with a non-conference matchup with VCU on Thu., March 17, at 2 p.m. at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center. The Gamecocks will host Mississippi State on Sat., March 19, before archrival Clemson visits on Wed., March 23.

No. 35 Alabama 7, South Carolina 0

Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2)
1. Ricky Doverspike/Jarryd Botha (ALA) def. Ivan Machado / Nick Jones (SC) 8-2
2. Alexander Kostanov / Chip Cox (SC) def. (62) Vikram Reddy/ Michael Thompson (ALA) 7-6 (4)
3. Daniil Proskura/Trey Walston (ALA) def. Johannes Pulsfort / Chris Sheehan (SC) 8-4

Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 2, 3, 6, 1, 5)
1. Ricky Doverspike (ALA) def. Ivan Machado (SC) 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (5)
2. Jarryd Botha (ALA) def. Alexander Kostanov (SC) 6-2, 6-2
3. Vikram Reddy (ALA) def. Nick Jones (SC) 6-3, 6-2
4. Daniil Proskura (ALA) def. Chip Cox (SC) 6-3, 6-2
5. Michael Thompson (ALA) def. Johannes Pulsfort (SC) 3-6, 6-0, 6-2
6. Ian Chadwell (ALA) def. Harry Menzies (SC) 6-3, 6-3