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Jan. 25, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 40 South Carolina struck first with the doubles point, but could not hold off No. 17 Texas in singles action, falling to the Longhorns 4-1 in men’s tennis action at Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center in ITA Kickoff Weekend. The Gamecocks will now take on No. 47 Michigan State at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the consolation match of the event.

The Gamecocks (4-1) were in just the “dog fight” head coach Josh Goffi predicted right out of the gate. Chip Cox and Tsvetan Mihov were efficient in an 8-5 win over Nick Naumann and Chris Camillone at No. 1 doubles. The Longhorns leveled the match with an 8-4 win in the No. 3 spot. The doubles point was in the hands of Kyle Koch and Harry Menzies, who rallied back from trailing David Hollner and Daniel Whitehead by an early service break to level the set at 7-7. In the tiebreak, the two foes traded points through 9-9 with each winning in his serve. The Longhorns surged ahead 10-9, but with the match on the line, Koch and Menzies dug deep and powered through to win the next three points and clinch the doubles point with the 8-7 (10) victory.

Singles got off to a good start for the Gamecocks in two of the four matches on court, but the Longhorns enjoyed early service breaks in the other two contests. In the No. 3 match, Cox fell behind three games into his set against Whitehead and could not recover, falling 6-3, 6-1. In his first spring outing of the season, Andrew Adams fell behind 2-3 when No. 43 Sundanwa Sitaram scored the first service break of the No. 2 match. The Gamecocks’ top returner answered immediately to get back on serve a 3-3. The Longhorns’ junior from India kept the pressure on, finally breaking through to go up 5-4 and closed the set 6-4. Adams dropped his serve three games into the second set and could not recover, falling 6-1 as the Longhorns claimed a 2-1 lead in the match.

Mihov, facing a former Big 12 rival, picked up where he left off his career at Oklahoma. Now playing in the No. 1 position for the Garnet and Black, he pressed No. 31 Soren Hess-Olesen throughout the match. The two were on serve through six games before Hess-Olesen managed to break Mihov’s serve to take a 4-3 lead that he held to a 6-4 first set. The Gamecock junior dropped serve to open the second set, but continued to hammer away at Hess-Olesen, breaking back to level the set a 5-5. The Longhorns’ top player responded by winning the next two games for the 7-5 victory, putting his team within a point of the win.

The fate of the match rested on the No. 4 match with Koch, who shrugged off a 6-2 first-set loss and an early service break in the second to stretch Lloyd Glasspool to his limit. Trailing 4-3, Koch gutted out the next three games for a 6-4 victory that sent the match to a third set. Glasspool seized the momentum back with a break to open the third set and held off Koch to win the match 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 and deliver the team victory for Texas.

In the opening match of the weekend event, No. 9 Kentucky topped No. 42 Michigan State 4-2. The Wildcats and Longhorns will battle for a spot in the ITA National Indoor Championship.

#17 Texas 4, #40 South Carolina 1

Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2)
1. Chip Cox / Tsvetan Mihov (SC) def. Nick Naumann/Chris Camillone (TX) 8-5
2. Kyle Koch / Harry Menzies (SC) def. David Hollner/Daniel Whitehead (TX) 8-7 (10)
3. Soren Hess-Oleseon/Ben Chen (TX) def. Ben Barnette / Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 8-4

Singles (Order of Finish: (3, 2, 1, 4)
1. (31) Soren Hess-Olesen (TX) def. Tsvetan Mihov (SC) 6-4, 7-5
2. (43) Sundanwa Sitaram (TX) def. Andrew Adams (SC) 6-4, 6-1
3. Daniel Whitehead (TX) def. Chip Cox (SC) 6-3 6-1
4. Lloyd Glasspool (TX) def. Kyle Koch (SC) 6-2, 4-6. 6-2
5. (98) Nick Naumann (TX) led Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 6-3, suspended
6. David Hollner (TX) led Harry Menzies (SC) 6-2, suspended