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March 23, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 40 South Carolina (13-6, 0-5) posted a doubles victory over a top-15 doubles opponent on Friday afternoon, but No. 14 Ole Miss (8-4, 4-1) was victorious in the end, taking the match by a score of 6-1. The 64th-ranked doubles tandem of sophomores Chip Cox and Nick Jones knocked off Mississippi’s 12th-ranked duo of Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann to mark their second victory over a top-30 ranked side.

The pairing of freshmen Kyle Koch and Carl Eguez rallied in the No. 3 doubles spot as well to win their sixth-straight match and take the doubles point from the Rebels.

“I think this was one of our better doubles points all year,” said head coach Josh Goffi. “That is probably the one positive thing that we can take away from this match. I think on all three courts we competed very well.”

Ole Miss was able to gain the momentum to start off doubles play with a win in the No. 2 spot from (33) Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz. The Garnet and Black would fight back though, getting an 8-4 victory in the No. 3 spot from Koch and Eguez. The freshmen broke the Rebel tandem of William Kallberg and Johan Backstrom in the second game in route to going up 3-0 to start the match. The Gamecock newcomers showed poise in holding serve for the rest of the match and broke the Ole Miss side again to close out the match.

The attention turned to Court 2, where Jones and Cox were on fire in the No. 1 spot. The Gamecock sophomores used a break in the third and seventh games to open up a convincing 6-2 lead on the No. 12 ranked team in the nation. Both sides would trade a break before the match was done and the Gamecock pair served out the match to clinch the doubles point for Carolina.

Singles play brought tough competition for the Gamecocks, having to face ranked foes in the top four spots. (38) Marcel Thiemann was given all he could handle by Jones in the No. 2 spot. The sophomore battled to a 4-4 score in the first set before Thiemann finally broke him to take the first set 6-4. Jones continued to battle the Rebel senior but came up short in the second set to drop the match 6-4, 6-2. (13) Scholtz picked up his 10th win of the year in his match against (104) Ivan Machado. Backstrom would clinch the match for Ole Miss with a 6-4, 6-2 win over the Carolina freshman Koch.

“We played an extremely talented team” explained Goffi. “One through six, they are extremely talented. They are as talented as any team in the country in my opinion. You have to hand it to Mississippi. They obviously realized that they came out on their heels in doubles, and in singles they came out on fire. Our guys got a little bit scared when they came out and started jumping on them instead of stepping up to the plate. That is a little disappointing, but that is part of the learning experience. We need matches as a young team to gain experience and toughen up our skin. We can’t get that unless we go through some tough SEC play. Today was a learning experience for this young team, and we will move forward.”

The Gamecocks are back in action at No. 12 Mississippi State on Sunday, Mar. 25 at 2 p.m. to finish off their third weekend in SEC play.

No. 14 Mississippi 6, No. 40 South Carolina 1

Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1)
1. (64) Nick Jones / Chip Cox (SC) def. (12) Marcel Thiemann / Chris Thiemann (UM) 8-4
2. (33) Jonas Lutjen / Nik Scholtz (UM) def. Ivan Machado / Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 8-5
3. Kyle Koch / Carl Eguez (SC) def. Johan Backstrom / William Kallberg (UM) 8-4

Singles (Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2, 6, 5, 4)
1. (13) Nik Scholtz (UM) def. (104) Ivan Machado (SC) 6-0, 6-2
2. (38) Marcel Thiemann (UM) def. Nick Jones (SC) 6-4, 6-2
3. (35) Jonas Lutjen (UM) def. Andrew Adams (SC) 6-1, 6-2
4. (63) William Kallberg (UM) def. (117) Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 6-4, 6-3
5. Chris Thiemann (UM) def. Chip Cox (SC) 6-0, 6-3
6. Johan Backstrom (UM) def. Kyle Koch (SC) 6-4, 6-2