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Feb. 24, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. – No. 48 South Carolina suffered a 5-2 loss at No. 34 VCU Sunday afternoon at Thalhimer Tennis Center. The Rams struck first with the doubles point and kept the pressure on with an early singles victory. For the Gamecocks (9-4), Chip Cox and Thiago Pinheiro posted singles victories at the Nos. 3 and 4 positions, respectively.

“It was a well fought match on the road,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “VCU was ready from the start and took advantage in the doubles points. We didn’t shut the door when we had chances, and they did. That is the difference in matches against good teams and something we are still learning to do.”

In doubles, the Gamecocks’ top duo of Cox and Tsvetan Mihov faced No. 37 Alexis Heugas and Dylan McCloskey at the top of the lineup. The ranked duo struck first with an 8-4 win over the Gamecock tandem. The Rams also boast the nation’s 38th-ranked doubles team of Alejandro Argente and Jaime Vazquez, who knocked off Ben Barnette and Thiago Pinheiro 8-6 in the No. 3 doubles match to put VCU up 1-0.

Heugas carried the momentum into singles where he faced Gamecock sophomore Andrew Adams in the No. 2 spot in the order. The nation’s 93rd-ranked singles player scored a 6-1, 6-3 victory for a 2-0 Ram advantage. Pinheiro powered past Michal Voscek 6-2, 6-4 in the No. 4 match to get the Gamecocks on the board, but No. 14 Max Wennakoski scored a late service break in the second set to post a 6-3, 7-5 win over Mihov at the top of the lineup, bringing the Rams within a point of the victory.

Cox staved off that effort with a three-set win over Claes Goransson 6-1, 2-6, 6-3, but the Rams were up a set and a break in both of the remaining matches. Vazquez clinched the Rams’ victory with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Harry Menzies in the No. 6 matchup. Argente closed out the match with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Kyle Koch.

South Carolina is back at Carolina Tennis Center this weekend, beginning on Fri., March 1, against No. 14 Texas A&M in the first SEC match of the season. On Sunday, the Gamecocks will take on in-state rival No. 51 Clemson at 1 p.m.

#34 VCU 5, #48 South Carolina 2

Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 3)
1. (37) Alexis Heugas/Dylan McCloskey (VCU) def. Chip Cox/Tsvetan Mihov (SC) 8-4
2. Max Wennakoski/Michal Voscek (VCU) led Kyle Koch/Harry Menzies (SC) 8-7 suspended
3. (38) Alejandro Argente/Jaime Vazquez (VCU) def. Ben Barnette/Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 8-6

Singles (Order of Finish: 2, 4, 1, 3, 6, 5)
1. (14) Max Wennakoski (VCU) def. (94) Tsvetan Mihov (SC) 6-3, 7-5
2. (93) Alexis Heugas (VCU) def. Andrew Adams (SC) 6-1, 6-3
3. Chip Cox (SC) def. Claes Goransson (VCU) 6-1, 2-6, 6-2
4. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Michal Voscek (VCU) 6-2, 6-4
5. Alejandro Argente (VCU) def. Kyle Koch (SC) 6-3, 6-3
6. Jaime Vazquez (VCU) def. Harry Menzies (SC) 6-0, 6-2