Oct. 20, 2013
CARY, N.C. – South Carolina’s 32nd-ranked doubles team of Tsvetan Mihov and Thiago Pinheiro became the first Gamecock duo to reach the ITA Carolina Region semifinals since 2009, but a single service break separated them from the nation’s 14th-ranked tandem and the program’s first spot in the event’s final since 1998.
Mihov/Pinheiro took on No. 30 Colin Roller and Joran Vliegen of East Carolina in the quarterfinals Saturday afternoon. The Gamecock duo was solid throughout, pushing past the higher-ranked opponent 8-5 to move into the semifinals. The last South Carolina doubles team to advance that far into an ITA regional was Diego Cubas and Ivan Machado, who were ranked No. 9 in the nation at the time, in October 2009.
In the semifinals, Mihov/Pinheiro took on the tournament’s second seed of UNC Wilmington’s Rafael Aita and Sam Williams, who are ranked No. 14 in the country. In the only semi to feature two ranked teams, the two tandems battled throughout the match. Aita/Williams moved ahead with a break that the Gamecock duo could not get back in an 8-6 loss.
The loss closes out the final fall tournament for South Carolina. The Gamecocks will open dual-match play in January. The full spring schedule will be released in the coming weeks.
South Carolina Results
(32) Tsvetan Mihov/Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. No. 30 Colin Roller/Joran Vliegen (ECU) 8-5
(14) Rafael Aita/Sam Williams (UNCW) def. (32) Mihov/Pinheiro (SC) 8-6