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Oct. 18, 2013

CARY, N.C. – South Carolina men’s tennis scored a pair of doubles wins to advance to the round of 16 in the ITA Carolina Regional, while senior Tsvetan Mihov moved into the round of 16 in singles as well. Both of the Gamecocks’ nationally ranked doubles teams moved on to Saturday’s round of 16.

Play began Friday with doubles action. South Carolina’s ranked doubles teams earned first-round byes, leaving Andrew Schafer and Ben Barnette to kick off the morning. Playing together for the first time, the duo stretched Duke’s Cale Hammond and CJ McCall to a tiebreak but fell just short of moving on 8-7 (5).

In second-round action, No. 24 Chip Cox and Kyle Koch were efficient in an 8-6 win over Wake Forest’s Sam Bloom and Jon Ho. They will face Robbie Mudge and Sean Weber of NC State Saturday morning for a spot in the quarterfinals. Mihov and Thiago Pinheiro, ranked No. 32 in the nation, dominated Presbyterian’s Ben Kelley and Ryan Miller to move into the round of 16, where they will face Wake Forest’s Pedro Dumont and Jaya Billa.

The Gamecocks struggled in singles Friday with two falling to ranked opponents and only Mihov advancing in the bracket. Pinheiro got out to a quick start against No. 5 Romain Bogaerts, taking the first set 6-2. The Demon Deacon sophomore rallied back to win the next two sets 6-4, 6-1 and thwart the upset bid from Pinheiro. Koch was steady in his match against No. 111 Jason Tahir of Duke but could not put away the win, falling 6-4, 6-4. Cox dropped his first set to NC State’s Mudge 6-4 but looked to be on track to level the match as he took the second set into a tiebreak. The Wolfpack’s junior powered through the tiebreak 7-6 (0) to move on to the next round.

Mihov used a first-set tiebreak win over Aws Laaribi, 7-6 (4), to set the tone for his match. After pressing through the second set 6-4, the nation’s No. 14 will face Brett Clark of North Carolina in the round of 16 on Saturday.

Action on Saturday begins with two rounds of singles and includes one round of doubles.

South Carolina Results

Third Round

(5) Romain Bogaerts (WF) def. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
Robbie Mudge (NCSU) def. Chip Cox (SC) 6-4, 7-6 (0)
(111) Jason Tahir (DU) def. Kyle Koch (SC) 6-4, 6-4
(14) Tsvetan Mihov (SC) def. Aws Laaribi 7-6 (4), 6-4

First Round

Cale Hammond/DJ McCall (DU) def. Andrew Schafer/Ben Barnette (SC) 8-7 (5)

Second Round
(24) Chip Cox/Kyle Koch (SC) def. Sam Bloom/Jon Ho (WF) 8-6
(32) Tsvetan Mihov/Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Ben Kelley/Ryan Miller (PC) 8-3