Gamecocks Set for Final Home Matches
April 3, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 40 South Carolina returns to Carolina Tennis Center for its final home matches this weekend. The Gamecocks face No. 50 Ole Miss (8-10, 3-6) on Fri., April 4, at 5 p.m. and continue league play on Sun., April 6, at noon against No. 16 Mississippi State (17-7, 6-3 SEC). South Carolina will honor its two seniors, Chip Cox and Tsvetan Mihov, prior to the start of Sunday’s match.
The Gamecocks secured their third SEC win and their fifth shutout of the season claiming a 4-0 win over then-No. 67 Arkansas last Sunday, after a tough 4-3 loss at then-No. 62 LSU on Friday. Andrew Adams and Kyle Koch have not dropped a doubles match since they began competing together, winning nine straight to earn the top spot in the lineup this week. In singles, the Gamecocks are starting to peak. Koch is in the midst of a six-match win streak while Cox has won four of his last five outings and freshman Andrew Schafer is back on track winning three of his last four decisions. Mihov, who is ranked No. 88 in the nation, has battled back to win back-to-back three-set matches, and Adams collected his first career win in the No. 1 spot in an SEC match last weekend at LSU, topping No. 70 Chris Simpson for his fourth win over a ranked opponent this season.
Ole Miss and head coach Billy Chadwick rely on No. 16 Nik Scholtz, the most dominant player in the singles lineup. With an overall dual-match record of 18-5, Scholtz has won 10 of his last 17 matches, with the other seven being suspended while he was in the lead or tied. Ranked No. 102 in singles play, William Kallberg won seven of his first nine matches of the season but has struggled down the stretch. He and Stefan Lindmark form the nation’s No. 75 doubles team and play at the top of the Rebels’ lineup. The tandem of John Backstorm and Joe Rogers has been a force in the No. 3 spot for the Rebels, posting an overall 5-3 record. The Rebels are 5-3 on the road this season but are 2-8 against nationally ranked teams.
The Bulldogs are fourth in the SEC with a 6-3 league mark, and their overall 17-7 record has them ranked 16th in the nation this week. In singles, Mississippi State has two ranked players in No. 67 Florian Lakata and No. 114 Malte Stropp. Lakata plays No. 1 in the singles lineup with an overall 10-6 record, and Sropp, who predominately plays at No. 2, holds a 7-5 record, winning three of his last four matches. Joining them are Jordan Angus, who is 15-8 in dual-match play, winning his last five matches, and Tassilo Schmind, who is 3-0 at No. 5. In doubles, No. 63 Angus and Stropp post an 8-7 record in the No. 1 spot. Rishab Agarwal and Zach White are flourishing with a 10-4 record in the No. 3 spot.
The Gamecocks finish league play next weekend as they travel to No. 14 Kentucky on Fri., April 11, at 4 p.m. Their final regular-season match will be on Sun., April 13, at 1 p.m. at No. 26 Vanderbilt.