Feb. 8, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 48 South Carolina continues its three-game road stretch through the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 3 p.m. match at No. 42 Wake Forest on Thu., Feb. 9. The Gamecocks are riding the momentum of a 5-2 win over then-No. 22 Georgia Tech last week and will look to remain undefeated on the season.
“In last week’s win, I saw hunger in this young team’s eyes,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “They played with something to prove and, more importantly, with a sense of urgency from a lot of our freshmen. It was very encouraging to see them not give up, dig deep and believe in the work they have done. It was great to see.”
The Gamecocks got a big boost in singles from the two players that make up the No. 3 doubles team this season. Sophomore Chip Cox sparked the team’s emotional sea change as he rallied from 1-5 down in the first set to win 12 of the next 13 games and level the team score at 2-2. After freshman Carl Eguez also closed his match winning 12 of 13 games, Andrew Adams sealed the win with a win over the Southeast Region’s No. 13 player. The effort earned Adams SEC Freshman of the Week honors.
Overall this season, Adams leads the team with a 14-4 singles record, including a 6-0 mark in dual matches playing in one of the top three spots in the lineup. Cox and freshman Kyle Koch are close behind with matching 11-7 records that include 5-0 marks in dual matches. In six team victories this season, the Gamecocks have lost just three of the available 42 points.
South Carolina will face its third ranked team of the season on Thursday, and Wake Forest is hungry after dropping its last three matches to fall to 4-3 on the season. The Demon Deacons are getting good results at the top of their singles lineup, but the bottom three spots have produced just two wins in the team’s last four outings. All three doubles teams have faltered of late as well, as Wake tackled No. 5 Florida, No. 42 VCU and No. 30 Notre Dame last week.
“Wake has had some good results, but their recent losses sets up a tough dynamic for our team,” Goffi said. “They are going to be hungry and we’re coming off a good weekend result. For a young team like ours, that could be a recipe for disaster. But, as coaches, we’re going to do everything we can to get these guys mentally prepared as much as physically prepared. If we approach this match in the right way, I feel like we will be successful.”
The Demon Deacons are led by junior Danny Kreyman who is 18-6 on the season, including a 4-1 mark in the No. 2 singles spot, and is ranked No. 115 in the nation. Junior Amogh Prabhakar is 5-1 in dual matches this spring, playing all six matches in the No. 3 spot. He defeated the nation’s No. 74 player in the team’s loss to Notre Dame last week.
After Thursday’s match, the Gamecocks will stay in North Carolina, traveling to No. 51 NC State for a 1 p.m. match on Sat., Feb. 11. South Carolina returns to Columbia with a doubleheader slated for Sat., Feb. 25, which, weather permitting, will be the team’s first matches at the new Carolina Tennis Center.