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Jan. 19, 2014

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 18 South Carolina opened its 2014 season with a 7-0 win over Furman in the first half of Sunday’s doubleheader. The Gamecocks dominated in doubles and held that momentum through singles play. The Gamecocks return to action this afternoon, hosting The Citadel at 4 p.m. at Carolina Tennis Center.

“We expected some hiccups and definitely had a few, but the guys competed well and hung around, which is what we expected from them today,” said head coach Josh Goffi. “We’re all a little anxious with the new scoring system, and how we come out of the gate really matters. Our guys were prepared and came out and did exactly what they were supposed to do.”

The Gamecocks yielded just three games in the two doubles matches they won with No. 24 Chip Cox and Kyle Koch overpowering Furman’s Alex Christ and Joel Cook 6-1 to start things off. In the No. 2 spot, Thiago Pinheiro and Tsvetan Mihov were efficient in a 6-2 effort against Jacob Behal and Adam Steryous that clinched the doubles point.

Ranked No. 41 in singles, Mihov wasted little time doubling the Gamecocks’ lead with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Christ. Andrew Adams returned to competition for the first time since last year’s NCAA Tournament and needed little time to knock the rust off. Matt Browne dropped his opening service game to the Gamecocks’ junior and could not recover in a 6-3 first set. Adams needed five games in the second set to score his first service break, but got it to go up 4-2 and cruise to the 6-3 second-set victory.

Cox clinched the team victory with his 6-2, 6-4 win over Behal in the No. 4 match, holding off a late surge from Furman’s junior. Freshman Sam Swank finished closely behind Cox thanks to a dominant second set. Both Swank and Ben Horst struggled to hold serve through the first set, but once it went to the tiebreak, Swank delivered 7-2. The freshman dropped his serve to start the second set, but quickly recovered and did not lose another game in the 6-1 victory.

On Court 3, Pinheiro came and Steryous were both struggling to hold serve. After both players held, Pinherio took control and finished out the first set 6-3. In the second, Pinherio came out firing on all cylinders taking a 4-1 lead. Furman’s freshman rallied back from the deficit, narrowing the lead to 5-4. Despite his efforts, Pinheiro regained control to finish off a 6-4 victory.

In his dual-match debut, No. 91Andrew Schafer battled throughout the contest. The freshman earned his first set point with a 6-4 win, and then fell in his second set to Juan Sheppard, 3-6, forcing a third set. Schafer persevered to complete the sweep over the Paladins with a 6-3 victory.

South Carolina returns to the courts at 4 p.m. today to take on The Citadel.

#18 South Carolina 7, Furman 0

Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 2*)
1. (24) Chip Cox/Kyle Koch (SC) def. Alex Christ/Joel Cook (FUR) 6-1
2. Thiago Pinheiro/Tsvetan Mihov (SC) def. Jacob Behal/Adam Steryous (FUR) 6-2
3. Andrew Adams/Andrew Schafer (SC) def. Matt Browne/Ben Horst (FUR) 4-3 suspended

Singles (Order of Finish: 1, 2, 4*, 6, 3, 5)
1. (41) Tsvetan Mihov (SC) def. Alex Christ (FUR) 6-1, 6-0
2. Andrew Adams (SC) def. Matt Browne (FUR) 6-3, 6-3
3. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Adam Steryous (FUR) 6-3, 6-4
4. Chip Cox (SC) def. Jacob Behal (FUR) 6-2, 6-4
5. (91) Andrew Schafer (SC) Juan Sheppard (FUR) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
6. Sam Swank (SC) def. Ben Horst (FUR) 6-5 (2), 6-1