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Jan. 15, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. – South Carolina men’s tennis closed out play in the SEC Indoor Championships with a win in the consolation doubles final from sophomore Nick Jones and freshman Kyle Koch. Koch also reached the final of the singles consolation bracket as well to wrap up tournament play for the Gamecocks.

“Our guys did well this weekend,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “This tournament was exactly what we needed before getting into our dual match season. Our guys saw the level of the best teams in the SEC and didn’t shy away from it. We are really looking forward to getting back for a good week of practice before our doubleheader this Saturday.”

After Ivan Machado and Thiago Pinheiro fell in the quarterfinals of the doubles main draw, Jones and Koch took over in the consolation bracket. The Gamecock duo avenged a loss by the team of Ben Barnette and Carl Eguez in the other semifinal by winning the final over Ole Miss’ Johan Backstron and William Kallberg. The Jones/Koch tandem needed an extra game to close out the Rebels’ team, picking up a late service break to win 9-7.

On the singles side, Koch continued his late-match heroics in the consolation semifinals. He took the first set from Georgia’s Nathan Pasha 6-2 but dropped the second 6-4 to set up the third-set super-tiebreak. The two players fought tooth and nail throughout the tiebreaker with Koch pulling out an 11-9 win late. The Gamecocks’ freshman nearly pulled off a similar rally in the final against Florida’s Michael Alford. After dropping the first set 6-3, Koch pushed the second set to a tiebreaker, his fourth of the tournament. Alford narrowly edged him out 6-4 to win the bracket.

In the consolation b bracket, Machado gave No. 84 Spencer Newman of Florida everything he could handle for two sets, sending both to tiebreakers. Newman scraped out the wins, however, taking the match 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3).

South Carolina begins its dual-match schedule with a doubleheader at the USC Fieldhouse on Sat., Jan. 21. The Gamecocks take on Appalachian State at 10 a.m. before hosting Wofford at 4 p.m.

South Carolina Results

Doubles Quarterfinals
Bob van Overbeek/Andrew Butz (FL) def. Ivan Machado/Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 8-4

Doubles Consolation Semifinals
Nick Jones/Kyle Koch (SC) def. Alex Divallerio/Joe Dorn (VU) – Default
Johan Backstron/William Kallberg (OM) def. Ben Barnette/Carl Eguez (SC) 8-6

Doubles Consolation Final
Nick Jones/Kyle Koch (SC) def. Backstron/Kallberg (OM) 9-7

Singles Consolation Semifinals
Kyle Koch (SC) def. Nathan Pasha (GA) 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (9)

Singles Consolation Final
Michael Alford (UF) def. Kyle Koch (SC) 6-3, 7-6 (4)

Singles Consolation B Semifinals
(84) Spencer Newman (FL) def. Ivan Machado (SC) 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3)