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Sept. 19, 2013

NASHVILLE – South Carolina men’s tennis swept its three doubles matches and won two singles contests on the opening day of action at the SEC Fall Classic at Vanderbilt’s Currey Tennis Center. The Gamecocks’ two ranked tandems efficiently won their matches, while the freshmen duo also advanced into the third round of the doubles draw. In singles, senior Tsvetan Mihov and Kyle Koch moved onto the third round, while the remaining five South Carolina entries moved into the consolation bracket for Friday’s play.

Ranked 26th in the country after a strong summer of doubles play, Koch and Chip Cox carried that momentum into this tournament, powering past Tam Trinh and Andrew Korinek of LSU 8-2. They will take on William Kallberg and Stefan Lindmark of Ole Miss in the third round Friday morning.

South Carolina’s 32nd-ranked duo of Mihov and Thiago Pinheiro were methodical in their 8-4 win over Sean Karl and Brandon Fickey of Tennessee. The win sets up a match against No. 42 Maxx Lipman and Stephane Piro of Florida on Friday. Freshman Andrew Schafer and Sam Swank fought out an 8-5 win over LSU’s Justin Butsch and Erie Perez in their debut. They are set to face No. 12 Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant of Texas A&M in third-round action on Friday.

Ranked No. 14 in the nation, Mihov battled Georgia’s Nick Wood to a first-set tiebreak, during with the Gamecocks’ All-American overpowered his younger foe 7-1 to take the set. Mihov was up 2-1 in the second set when Wood retired the match. The victory put Mihov into the third round of the event, where he will face No. 113 Jordan Angus of Mississippi State, who won two matches Thursday to advance.

Koch picked right up where he left off in 2012-13, efficiently dispatching Jarryd Chaplin of Tennessee 6-2, 6-3 to stay in the main draw for Friday’s play. In the third round, Koch will take on No. 39 Piro (Florida), who yielded just three games in his win over Texas A&M’s Max Montague in the second round.

Cox and Schafer each fell in the second round to nationally ranked opponents. Cox was steady against No. 52 Florent Diep of Florida, but could not break serve in a 6-3, 6-3 defeat. Schafer struggled early in this college debut against No. 72 Hernus Pieters of Georgia, falling 6-0 in the first set. The freshman found some confidence in the second set, but fell 6-3. In the consolation bracket on Friday, Cox will face Mississippi’s Vinod Gowda, while Schafer will look to rebound against John M. Busch of LSU.

Swank got off to a quick start in his first college match, taking the first set from Auburn’s Joseph Van Dooran 6-2. The Tigers’ sophomore, who had won his first-round match in three sets to start the day, recovered to outlast the Gamecock freshman, winning the final two sets 6-3, 6-4 to advance. Swank moved into the consolation bracket to face Arkansas’ Jovan Parlic on Friday. Ben Barnette came up just shy in both sets of his loss to Ole Miss’ Zach Wilder, falling 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) to slide into the consolation bracket, where he will face Dante Saleh of Auburn. Pinheiro dropped a 6-3, 6-4 decision to Trinh (LSU) in the main draw and will take on Sean Donohue of Alabama in the consolation bracket Friday.

Friday’s play will include two rounds of play in the singles main and consolation brackets and one round of doubles. Action begins at 8 a.m.

South Carolina Results

Second Round
(14) Tsvetan Mihov (SC) def. Nick Wood (GA) 7-6 (1), 2-1 retired
Kyle Koch (SC) def. Jarryd Chaplin (UT) 6-2, 6-3
Tam Trinh (LSU) def. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 6-3, 6-4
Joseph Van Dooran (AUB) def. Sam Swank (SC) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
(52) Florent Diep (FL) def. Chip Cox (SC) 6-3, 6-3
Zach Wilder (OM) def. Ben Barnette (SC) 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5)
(72) Hernus Pieters (GA) def. Andrew Schafer (SC) 6-0, 6-3

Second Round
(26) Koch/Cox (SC) def. Tam Trinh/Andrew Korinek (LSU) 8-3
(32) Mihov/Pinheiro (SC) def. Sean Karl/Brandon Fickey (UT) 8-4
Swank/Schafer (SC) def. Justin Butsch/Erie Perez (LSU) 8-5