March 9, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 33 South Carolina scored a pair of individual victories over ranked opponents Friday afternoon, but No. 7 Kentucky held strong to collect the 6-1 team victory over the Gamecocks at Boone Tennis Complex. The doubles tandem of Chip Cox and Nick Jones battled past the nation’s 27th-ranked team, and senior Ivan Machado rallied back to win a super-tiebreaker over the 14th-ranked singles player in the country.
“We played a very good team today that competed well at every spot,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “I am proud of our guys for fighting hard to stay in their individual matches. Unfortunately, we didn’t come out on top. It was great to see [Ivan] Machado bounce back after last weekend and beat a very highly ranked player today.”
The Wildcats had the pressure on early in doubles action and won the point with wins in the Nos. 2 and 3 matches, but Cox and Jones were chipping away at UK’s Eric Quigly and Panav Jha. Playing together for the first time this spring, Cox and Jones collected the 8-6 win for their first win over a ranked opponent. Jones had previously teamed with Kyle Koch to upend the country’s 19th-best duo this spring. It is the first top-30 doubles win of Cox’s career.
Moving into single action, Cox fell behind No. 98 Tom Jomby 6-3 in the first set, but was giving the Wildcats all he could handle in the second. The Gamecock sophomore’s bid for his first win over an opponent ranked inside the top 100 came up just short, though, as Jomby got a late service break to win the second set 7-5 and put Kentucky up 2-0.
The Wildcats clinched the match with wins in the Nos. 1 and 2 spots in the order. No. 6 Eric Quigley brought his team within a point of victory with a 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 92 Jones at the top of the order, and No. 16 Alex Musialek closed the door with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Andrew Adams in the next match.
Meanwhile, Machado was battling, looking to shake off a tough start to the final SEC season of his career. The senior faced down No. 14 Anthony Rossi to win the first set 6-4. Rossi clawed his way back with a 6-2 win in the second set. With the team outcome decided, the match went to a super-tiebreaker to decide the victor. In that showdown, Machado used his good hands at the next and overall crafty game to surge past the Wildcat junior 10-5. It was the highest-ranked win of Machado’s career and the highest opponent any Gamecock has upset since then-No. 54 Diego Cubas defeated then-No. 4 Denes Lukacs of Baylor in the 2009 NCAA Singles National Championships.
South Carolina will look to build on the two wins on Sunday when the Gamecocks take on No. 49 Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. (ET).
No. 7 Kentucky 6, No. 33 South Carolina 1
Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1)
1. Chip Cox/Nick Jones (SC) def. (27) Eric Quigley/Panav Jha (UK) 8-6
2. Anthony Rossi/Alex Musialek (UK) def. Ivan Machado/Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 8-4
3. Tom Jomby/Alejandro Gomez (UK) def. Kyle Koch/Andrew Adams (SC) 8-1
Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 1, 2, 3, 6, 5)
1. (6) Eric Quigley (UK) def. (92) Nick Jones 6-1, 6-4
2. (16) Alex Musialek (UK) def. Andrew Adams (SC) 6-2, 6-2
3. Ivan Machado (SC) def. (14) Anthony Rossi (UK) 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (5)
4. (98) Tom Jomby (UK) def. Chip Cox (SC) 6-3, 7-5
5. (107) Alejandro Gomez (UK) def. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 6-4, 7-5
6. Grant Roberts (UK) def. Kyle Koch (SC) 6-3, 6-3