March 11, 2012
NASHVILLE – No. 33 South Carolina suffered a 4-3 defeat at No. 49 Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon in SEC men’s tennis action at Currey Tennis Center. The Gamecocks (10-5, 0-4 SEC) won the doubles point and mounted a rally in singles play, but the Commodores (6-8, 1-3 SEC) held them off for the win. Senior Ivan Machado completed his perfect singles weekend with a three-set victory in the No. 3 spot, and his doubles partner Thiago Pinheiro added the other singles point for the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks were on the board first as their No. 3 doubles team of Kyle Koch and Carl Eguez delivered the point. Chip Cox and Nick Jones got things going with an 8-3 win in the No. 1 spot, but the Commodores were ahead in both the other matches on court. Alex DiValerio and Joe Dorn closed out Machado and Pinheiro with a late service break to win the No. 2 match 8-6, leaving it all to the No. 3 matchup. Koch and Eguez trailed 3-5 but consolidated a service break to level their match with Charlie Jones and Jeff Offerdahl 5-5 at the point that Vanderbilt had closed out the win at No. 2. The Gamecocks’ two freshmen kept the pressure up at crunch time, closing out their five-game streak with the next three games to score and 8-5 win and put their team up 1-0 heading into singles play.
Vanderbilt sprang into singles play, winning the first sets in five of the six matches. The Commodores picked up efficient victories in the Nos. 1 and 4 spots to claim a 2-1 lead in the match. The Gamecocks were battling on the other four courts, however. Dorn needed a late break to win his first set over Eguez in the No. 6 match, the Nos. 3 and 5 matches went to tiebreakers. The teams split those with Pinheiro claiming the lone first-set win for the Gamecocks with his 7-6 decision over Anton Kovrigin in the No. 5 matchup. Machado fell just short in the first-set tiebreaker of his No. 3 match with Blake Bazarnik.
Undeterred, the Gamecocks fought on. After falling 6-1 in his first set, Andrew Adams jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second set of his No. 2 match with Gonzales Austin. Machado bounded out to a 5-0 lead in his second set, which he went on to win 6-2, and Pinheiro scored an early service break to go up 3-1 in his second set. Vanderbilt held firm, drawing within one point of the match when Dorn broke Eguez for a 4-1 lead that he carried through to a 6-2 second set for a 3-1 team advantage.
The decision sparked Austin in the No. 2 match with Adams, and the Commodore freshman won six straight games to clinch his match with a 7-5 second set and the team victory for Vanderbilt. Pinheiro won his match with Kovrigin moments later with a 6-2 second set, and Machado kept his foot on the gas in the No. 3 spot, opening a 3-1 lead that he turned into a 6-2 third-set victory to finish out the match.
The Gamecocks step out of conference play this week, beginning with a trip to arch rival Clemson on Wed., March 14. South Carolina then hosts College of Charleston and Coastal Carolina in a doubleheader on Sun., March 18. The matches at Carolina Tennis Center begin at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
No. 49 Vanderbilt 4, No. 33 South Carolina 3
Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3)
1. Chip Cox/Nick Jones (SC) def. Blake Bazarnik/Gonzales Austin (VU) 8-3
2. Alex DiValerio/Joe Dorn (VU) def. Ivan Machado/Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 8-6
3. Kyle Koch/Carl Eguez (SC) def. Charlie Jones/Jeff Offerdahl (VU) 8-5
Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 1, 6, 2, 5, 3)
1. (62) Charlie Jones (VU) def. (92) Nick Jones (SC) 6-2, 6-1
2. Gonzales Austin (VU) def. Andrew Adams (SC) 6-1, 7-5
3. Ivan Machado (SC) def. Blake Bazarnik (VU) 6-7, 6-2, 6-2
4. Jeff Offerdahl (VU) def. Chip Cox (SC) 6-4, 6-1
5. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Anton Kovrigin (VU) 7-6, 6-2
6. Joe Dorn (VU) def. Carl Eguez (SC) 7-5, 6-2