Feb. 1, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 17 South Carolina hosts its second double header of the season this Sunday, Feb. 2 in the USC Field House, with matches against No. 56 Middle Tennessee at 10 a.m. followed by Wofford at 4 p.m. The Gamecocks (3-2) are looking to shake off Friday’s tough loss at Georgia Tech in their only two home matches in a seven-match stretch.
South Carolina has won the doubles point in four of its five matches so far this season with the team of Thiago Pinheiro and Tsvetan Mihov leading the way with a perfect 5-0 record. The Gamecocks boast the nation’s 24th-ranked tandem in Chip Cox and Kyle Koch, and the duo is looking to end a three-match skid that included a pair of hard-fought losses top-20 tandems. In the No. 3 spot Andrew Adams and Andrew Schafer have been solid with a 3-1 record, including point-clinching tiebreak wins in their last two outings. In singles action, South Carolina has yet hit its full stride as early-season injuries slowed the Gamecocks’ progress. Still three entries have national rankings, including No. 91 Schafer who remains undefeated in dual-match play. Mihov comes in at No. 41 and is looking to get back on track after a pair of losses, as is Koch, who is ranks No. 103 in the nation.
Middle Tennessee State is 1-2 so far this season, returning just three players from last season’s 19-8 squad. The nation’s No. 22 doubles pairing of Victor Cornea and David Fox return to play at the top of the Blue Raiders’ doubles lineup. The pair advanced to the Ohio Valley Regional final, but lost to the nation’s No. 3 duo. Fox holds the No. 98 singles rankings as well, going 20-5 last year and reaching the Ohio Valley Regional quarterfinals this fall. After a strong 7-0 victory in their first match of the year against Chattanooga, the young Blue Raiders suffered losses to No. 48 Louisville and No. 57 Denver during last weekend’s ITA Kick-Off event in Columbus, Ohio.
Wofford took on Spartanburg Methodist earlier this week, beating the Pioneers 7-0 at home before a 7-0 loss at Clemson on Friday. The Terriers host College of Charleston Saturday afternoon before Sunday’s outing against the Gamecocks. SoCon Second-Team honoree Rob Galloway returns for his junior year in the No. 1 singles position after going 8-9 last year. Galloway is currently 1-3 earning the Terriers a point against Mercer. Along with Haris Poric, Galloway competes in the No.1 doubles position, and a 2-2 record.
After Sunday’s doubleheader, the Gamecocks head back out on the road for a pair of matches against ACC foes. South Carolina visits No. 20 Wake Forest on Fri., Feb. 7, then heads to No. 35 NC State on Sun., Feb. 9.