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Jan. 19, 2013

COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 39 South Carolina swept Appalachian State 5-0 in the second half of Saturday’s doubleheader at the USC Field House. The Gamecocks (4-0) powered past the Mountaineers in doubles action with two dominating 8-2 victories. In singles, Harry Menzies and Chip Cox got the Gamecocks off to a strong start each winning two quick sets, and Kyle Koch and Tsvetan Mihov simultaneously clinched the win.

“Doubleheaders are tough,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “It’s a mental grind and a long day for everybody involved. But, that’s the whole point of it. There’s a long road ahead that we have to tackle. Singles in the second match is the toughest stretch. It’s the fourth quarter basically, and it’s the longest stretch to the very end. Our guys played very well and had good energy. At the end of the day, I’m very happy.”

South Carolina took the doubles point with powerful performances from Koch and Menzies in the No. 2 spot and Thiago Pinheiro and Ben Barnette in the No. 3 spot. Menzies and Koch provided the first result for the Gamecocks with an 8-2 victory over Steve Karendal and Andrew McKinnon. In the No. 2 match, the teams traded service breaks to open the match, and the Gamecocks then won seven of the next eight games to secure the victory. Pinheiro and Barnette also traded service breaks to open their match against Robert Jenkins and Steve Lake. The Gamecocks then stormed through the next six games and finished with an 8-2 victory to clinch the doubles point. Mihov and Cox were locked at 5-5 against Sebastian King and Zach Bost when play was suspended.

The Gamecocks continued the momentum from the doubles victory into singles action with Menzies quickly overpowering Matt Saltsgaver at No. 4 singles to increase the lead to 2-0. The senior opened the match with a service break and won the next two games, setting the pace to win 6-1, 6-1. In No. 2 singles, Cox also had a strong showing, defeating Karendal 6-1, 6-2. Each held serve to open the match before Cox won the next five games in the first set.

Action on Courts 1 and 4 was a little tighter, but ultimately ended in two more South Carolina victories. Koch was dominant in his first set, starting off with a 3-0 lead to defeat Bost 6-1. The Gamecock sophomore was down early in the second set but fought back to force a tiebreaker and secure the win 7-6 (2). Mihov finished at No. 1 singles at the same time as Koch to give the Gamecocks a 5-0 win. Mihov and King were fairly evenly matched throughout both sets until Mihov broke out at the end of each, winning 6-3, 6-3.

The Gamecocks travel to Lexington, Ky., for ITA Kickoff Weekend Jan. 25-26 and will return to action in Columbia, Sat., Feb. 2, for another doubleheader at the USC Field House.

#39 South Carolina 5, Appalachian State 0

Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 3)
1. Chip Cox / Tsvetan Mihov (SC) tied Zach Bost/Sebastian King (ASU) 5-5 suspended
2. Kyle Koch / Harry Menzies (SC) def. Steve Karendal/Andrew McKinnon (ASU) 8-2
3. Ben Barnette / Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Robert Jenkins/Steve Lake (ASU) 8-2

Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 2, 3, 1)
1. Tsvetan Mihov (SC) def. Sebastian King (ASU) 6-3, 6-3
2. Chip Cox (SC) def. Steve Karendal (ASU) 6-1, 6-2
3. Kyle Koch (SC) def. Zach Bost (ASU) 6-1, 7-6 (2)
4. Harry Menzies (SC) def. Matt Saltsgaver (ASU) 6-1, 6-1
5. Andrew McKinnon (ASU) led Thiago Pinhiero (SC) 1-0