March 23, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. –
A solid, overall team effort propelled No. 48 South Carolina (9-9, 2-4 SEC) to a 4-1 win over No. 30 Auburn (14-7, 4-3 SEC) this Sunday afternoon at Carolina Tennis Center. Winning their first double point in four matches, the Gamecocks set the tone early then kept up the pressure with early leads in five of the six singles matches. Junior Thiago Pinheiro delivered the match-clinching point, but every Gamecock drove home the second SEC win of the weekend.
“We were a lot more confident in ourselves as a team,” said South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi. “I was feeling much more confident when I saw that on all courts everyone was on a roll today. I think we got a lot of confidence in the Alabama match and we’re going to do a great job moving forward. Our guys are getting used to consolidating wins in the big points and moving forward and playing aggressive; playing to win rather than protecting like what we’ve been doing. Winning the doubles point definitely takes pressure off of everybody else and we haven’t had many of those this season but we’re working towards it. We’re doing the right things we are going to get a lot of them coming up.”
South Carolina started the match with commanding doubles play. Andrew Adams and Kyle Koch had great ball placement and net play in the No. 2 position, which enabled them to hold Auburn’s Dennis Lengsfeld and Lukas Ollert. The Gamecock duo surged ahead with consecutive service breaks late to post their sixth-straight win. Meanwhile, Pinheiro and Sam Swank cruised to an early 3-0 lead against Dante Saleh and Joseph Van Dooren in the No. 3 match. The Tiger tandem would not back down without a fight, cutting into South Carolina’s lead at 4-2. The Gamecocks’ resilience allowed them to outlast the Tiger’s duo to win the match 8-5.
Auburn leveled the match with a win in the No. 2 spot, but the Gamecocks had the momentum as the remaining five first sets went their way with the Tigers winning a combined nine games across the five-court span.
In the No. 5 match, Koch was perfect in his first set, not dropping a single game to come out with a 6-0 win over Van Dooren. In the second set, Van Dooren was out to even the score after Koch earned the 1-0 lead, tying it back up at one all. Both opponents continued to battle for each point until Koch broke serve to win the match 6-0, 6-4 transferring the lead back to the Gamecocks for good at 2-1.
feeding off his teammate’s energy, Cox sailed to an easy 4-1 lead in the first set preventing Saleh’s chance of a comeback, winning the first set 6-1. In his second set, the senior continued to have success with a 3-0 advantage. Using his momentum from the first set’s success, he fought off a multitude of threats from Saleh to win the match 6-1, 6-2 giving the Gamecocks a 3-1 lead. Pinheiro, in the No. 4 spot, had a battle on his hands from the very beginning. The two battled until Pinheiro broke through at 5-3 and kept rolling, winning seven of the remaining eight games in the match for a 6-3, 6-1 victory that delivered the team victory.
At the top and bottom of the lineup, Adams and No. 125 Andrew Schafer were both up a set and were deep into their second sets when play was suspended.
The Gamecocks continue league play next weekend with a two-game road trip as they travel to LSU on Fri., March 28, at 4 p.m. and finish the weekend facing No. 71 Arkansas on Sun., March 30, at 1 p.m.
#48 South Carolina 4, #30 Auburn 1
Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 3*)
1. (56) Chip Cox/Tsvetan Mihov (SC) led Daniel Cochrane/Oliver Plaskett (AUB) 5-4 suspended
2. Andrew Adams/Kyle Koch (SC) def. Dennis Lengsfeld/Lukas Ollert (AUB) 8-4
3. Thiago Pinheiro/Sam Swank (SC) def. Dante Saleh/Joseph Van Dooren (AUB) 8-5
Singles (Order of Finish: 2, 5, 4, 3*)
1. Andrew Adams (SC) led (95) Daniel Cochrane (AUB) 6-2, 5-1 suspended
2. Lukas Ollert (AUB) def. (80) Tsvetan Mihov (SC) 6-2, 6-1
3. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Dennis Lengsfeld (AUB) 6-3, 6-1<>< 4.=””>Chip Cox (SC) def. Dante Saleh (AUB), 6-1, 6-2
5. Kyle Koch (SC) def. Joseph Van Dooren (AUB) 6-0, 6-4
6. No. 125 Andrew Schafer led (SC) Petar Tomic (AUB) 6-3, 4-3 suspended