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March 26, 2011

OXFORD, Miss. – South Carolina suffered a 6-0 loss at No. 23 Ole Miss Saturday afternoon in men’s tennis action at Gillom Sports Center. Rain in the area forced the match indoors, delaying the start time and prompting the teams to play the singles matches first. Playing just three matches at a time, the Gamecocks fell behind in two of the first three contests and could not recover against the highly-ranked Rebels.

While Ivan Machado and Chip Cox dropped early service games early in their matches, Alexander Kostanov jumped ahead in his No. 2 match against No. 102 Tucker Vorster. The Gamecock sophomore held the break to win the first set 6-4 and carried that momentum into the second, breaking Vorster in the first game of the set. The Rebels’ No. 2 player broke back in the sixth game to knot the set at 3-3 and went on to win the next three games to even the match. The pendulum clearly swung toward the Rebels, and Vorster completed the comeback with a 6-3 win in the second set.

As the first two matches finished in the Rebels’ favor, Nick Jones and Johannes Pulsfort took over in the Nos. 4 and 5 matches, respectively. Pulsfort dropped his service game to fall behind 3-4 in the first set, and Johan Backstrom picked up the next two games as well to win the set 6-3. Backstrom kept up the pressure in the second set, going up 3-1 on break of Pulsfort’s serve and won the remaining games of the set to clinch the team victory for the Rebels.

Jones and Chris Thiemann stayed on serve until the late stages of the match when they traded breaks that left Thiemann up 5-4. Both players held in their next service games, leaving the fate of the set on Jones’ serve. Thiemann got an early lead in the game and held on for the break to take the 7-5 victory. An early break in the second set put Jones on the defensive, and he dropped the set 6-3.

After the Rebels closed out the singles with a win in the No. 6 match as well, the teams did not play the doubles matches.

South Carolina returns home to Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center for its next two matches, beginning on Fri., April 1, against No. 28 Vanderbilt. The match is set to begin at 2 p.m.

No. 23 Ole Miss 6, South Carolina 0

Singles (Order of Finish: (3, 1, 2, 5, 4, 6)
1. (55) Marcel Thiemann (OM) def. Ivan Machado (SC) 6-1, 6-4
2. (102) Tucker Vorster (OM) def. Alexander Kostanov (SC) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
3. Jonas Lutjen (OM def. Chip Cox (SC) 6-2, 6-2
4. Chris Thiemann (OM) def. Nick Jones (SC) 7-5, 6-3
5. Johan Backstrom (OM) def. Johannes Pulsfort (SC) 6-3, 6-1
6. Adrian Forberg (OM) def. Harry Menzies (SC) 7-5, 6-0