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Jan. 19, 2013

COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 39 South Carolina turned in a workman-like 6-1 win over Furman Saturday morning at the USC Field House. The Gamecocks overwhelmed the Paladins in doubles action, yielding just four games over the two wins. In singles, Thiago Pinheiro and Tsvetan Mihov set the tone with dominant performances, and Kyle Koch clinched the win with his straight-set victory in the No. 3 spot.

The Gamecocks won the doubles point behind a dominant performance by Thiago Pinheiro and Ben Barnette in the No. 3 spot. The duo posted an 8-0 win over Luke Synn and Jacob Behal behind solid play in all aspects of the game. In the No. 1 doubles match, Chip Cox and Tsvetan Mihov scored an early break to go up 2-1 as both were returning the ball well against Furman’s Andrew Mellow and Joel Cook. South Carolina got another break to go up 6-3, sealed by a cross-court backhand from Mihov that found the alley on break point. Cox and Mihov cruised through the final games for the 8-4 victory.

South Carolina kept the pressure on in singles action with Pinheiro closing out Behal 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 4 spot. The Gamecock sophomore broke Behal’s serve to open each set and never let up with relentless pressure from the baseline. Mihov was equally efficient in the No. 1 match, also breaking serve to kick off each set. He wore down Mellow in the second set as his footwork and good hands at the net keyed his 6-2, 6-0 victory.

Furman got on the board with a win in the No. 2 match. Alex Christ eked out a tiebreaker in the first set over Cox and got up a break early in the second en route to a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win.

On Court 3, Kyle Koch clinched the Gamecock victory with a solid 6-2, 6-4 win over Joel Cook. South Carolina’s sophomore went up a break at 4-2 and won the first set when a solid return left Cook to play a drop shot that did not clear the net. The two stayed on serve throughout the second set until Koch broke at 5-4 to win the match.

Harry Menzies was dominant at No. 5 singles defeating Matt Brown 6-2, 6-0 and giving the Gamecocks a 5-1 lead. Ben Barnette provided the final point for South Carolina after a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Ben Horst at No. 6 singles.

#39 South Carolina 6, Furman 1

Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 1)
1. Chip Cox / Tsvetan Mihov (SC) def. Andrew Mellow/Joel Cook (FUR) 8-4
2. Kyle Koch / Harry Menzies (SC) tied Alex Christ/Matt Browne (FUR) 6-6
3. Ben Barnette / Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Luke Synn/Jacob Behal (FUR) 8-0

Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6)
1. Tsvetan Mihov (SC) def. Andrew Mellow (FUR) 6-2, 6-0
2. Alex Christ (FUR) def. Chip Cox (SC) 7-6 (4), 6-3
3. Kyle Koch (SC) def. Joel Cook (FUR) 6-2, 6-4
4. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Jacob Behal (FUR) 6-2, 6-1
5. Harry Menzies (SC) def. Matt Browne (FUR) 6-2, 6-0
6. Ben Barnette (SC) def. Ben Horst (FUR) 6-1, 6-3