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Feb. 11, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. – No. 48 South Carolina dropped its first match of the season, falling 5-2 to No. 51 NC State in men’s tennis action at Isenhour Tennis Complex Saturday afternoon. The two teams entered the match with similar strengths, and it was the Wolfpack (8-1) that came out just ahead. Two freshmen got wins for the Gamecocks (7-1) as Andrew Adams and Kyle Koch combined to yield just seven games in their two matches.

NC State won two of the three doubles matches, claiming the first available point of the match – the first time the Gamecocks yielded it this season. The Wolfpack surged ahead by winning the first sets in three of the four singles matches on court. They went on to take a 3-0 lead with straight-set wins in the Nos. 1 and 3 matches.

Adams snapped the string with a decisive 6-3, 6-0 victory over senior Dominic Hodgson in the No. 2 position. It was the Gamecock freshman’s fourth win that high in the order and lifted his dual-match record to 7-1 overall. In the No. 4 match, Chip Cox was rallying after dropping the first set 6-4 to Julian Sullivan. The Myrtle Beach, S.C., native charged through the second set 6-1 to level his match. The Wolfpack’s veteran bounced back 6-2 in the third to clinch the win for NC State.

The Nos. 5 and 6 matches were the last on court at the indoor facility, but Koch needed little time to dispatch Beck Bond 6-2, 6-2 as the Gamecock freshman’s booming serve and ground strokes were little match for the Wolfpack’s No. 6 player. In the No. 5 match, Carl Eguez was facing his third top-100 opponent of the season in Austin Powell. Eguez gave the nation’s No. 100 player everything he wanted in the first set before Powell escaped in a tiebreaker 7-6 (4). Eguez pounced early in the second set and leveled the match with a 6-2 victory. Like Cox, Eguez came up just short of the full comeback as Powell won the final set 6-4.

South Carolina faces one more road match before returning to Columbia, S.C., for its debut at the Carolina Tennis Center on Sat., Feb. 25. The Gamecocks play at No. 46 UNC Wilmington on Sat., Feb. 18.

No. 51 NC State 5, No. 48 South Carolina 2

Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1)
1. Nick Jones / Kyle Koch (SC) def. Julian Sullivan/Sean Weber (NCST) 8-6
2. Dominic Hodgson/Matt Thomson (NCST) def. Ivan Machado / Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 8-4
3. Robbie Mudge/Jaime Pulgar (NCST) def. Chip Cox / Andrew Adams (SC) 8-3

Singles (Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2, 4, 6, 5)
1. Jaime Pulgar (NCST) def. Nick Jones (SC) 6-0, 6-4
2. Andrew Adams (SC) def. Dominic Hodgson (NCST) 6-3, 6-0
3. Robbie Mudge (NCST) def. Ivan Machado (SC) 6-2, 6-2
4. Julian Sullivan (NCST) def. Chip Cox (SC) 6-4, 1-6, 6-2
5. (100) Austin Powell (NCST) def. Carl Eguez (SC) 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-4
6. Kyle Koch (SC) def. Beck Bond (NCST) 6-2, 6-2