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May 24, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina sophomores Chip Cox and Nick Jones dropped their first-round match at the NCAA Men’s Tennis Doubles Championship this afternoon at Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. Ranked No. 23 in the nation, Cox and Jones could not overcome the nation’s 16th-ranked duo of Henrique Cunha and Chris Mengel of Duke.

Making their individual championship debut, Cox and Jones battled a veteran in Cunha, who had advanced to the doubles quarterfinals each of the last two seasons. After the Blue Devil team won the first set 6-4, the Gamecocks were on serve late into the second set. Duke held for a 5-4 advantage, leaving the balance of the match on Jones’ service game. The teams traded points early before a double fault set up match point, which the Blue Devils won with a crisp cross-court backhand passing shot.

The loss closes out a successful 2011-12 season for South Carolina men’s tennis under second-year head coach Josh Goffi as the Gamecocks finished the season ranked No. 41 in the nation behind a 15-12 record. South Carolina earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009, and two Gamecocks wrapped up their seasons nationally ranked in singles – Ivan Machado (115) and Andrew Adams (122) – in addition to Cox and Jones earning a No. 23 ranking in doubles.