Jan. 17, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 27 South Carolina opened its 2015 spring season with a win, downing No. 55 Elon 5-2 in the first half of a doubleheader at the USC Fieldhouse on Saturday. The Gamecocks’ veterans dominated early, giving South Carolina the doubles point as well as the first three singles matches. Seniors Kyle Koch and Andrew Adams yielded only five games each in their singles matches to set the tone for the match.
The doubles pairing of Thiago Pinheiro and Koch earned the Gamecocks’ first point of the afternoon when they topped Stefan Fortmann and Brian Kowalski by a score of 6-1. The seniors dominated from the opening serve and never let their opponent in the match. South Carolina’s redshirt-freshman duo of Thomas Mayronne and Harrison O’Keefe opened its match with a 4-0 lead then held off a brief run by Juan Madrid and Robert Lindgren to clinch the doubles point with a 6-3 victory.
Ranked No. 118 in singles, Koch’s dominance carried over to his No. 2 match against Robert Lindgren. The hard-serving senior overwhelmed Lindgren 6-0 in the first set but had to overcome an early service break in the second set. After getting back on serve with a break to tie the match at 2-2, Koch steadily wore down his opponent, winning the match, 7-5, with a service break in the final game.
In the No. 3 match, Adams was equally efficient in this win over Josh Luck, jumping out to a 4-0 lead on the Phoenix freshman before closing out the first set 6-1. Luck saw the Gamecock veteran break to open the second set and add his sixth of the match to go up 4-1 en route to the 6-4 victory that put the Gamecocks within a point of the overall match win.
Sophomore Andrew Schafer put his No. 83 ranking on the line playing in the fourth spot in the Gamecocks’ lineup. Against Elon’s senior Brian Kowalski, Schafer struggled to hold serve out of the gate, but got on track quickly, winning four straight games to turn a 1-1 set into a 5-1 lead. After wrapping up the first set 6-2, Schafer was in a battle again in the second. The two traded breaks early and late in the set, but Schafer persevered, consolidating his break to go up 6-5 with a hold to pick up the 7-5 win and deliver the team victory as well.
With the Gamecocks leading 4-1 after Elon claimed a super-tiebreak in the third set of the No. 1 match and the Nos. 5 and 6 matches already on court, the two teams played out the final point. In the first dual-match of his career, O’Keefe added a singles win to his doubles victory, topping Jordan Kauffman 6-1, 7-6 in the No. 5 spot. Elon closed out the match with a win in the No. 6 match.
South Carolina will play the second half of Saturday’s twin bill at 3 p.m., taking on Furman.
#27 South Carolina 5, #55 Elon 2
Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 3*)
1. Thiago Pinheiro/Kyle Koch (SC) def. Stefan Fortmann/Brian Kowalski (EU) 6-1
2. Andrew Adams/Sam Swank (SC) vs. Jordan Kaufman/Chris Humphreys (EU) 5-4 suspended
3. Thomas Mayronne/Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Juan Madrid/Robert Lindgren (EU) 6-3
Singles (Order of Finish: 2, 3, 4*, 1, 5, 6)
1. Stefan Fortmann (EU) def. (71) Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (9)
2. (118) Kyle Koch (SC) def. Robert Lindgren (EU) 6-0, 7-5
3. Andrew Adams (SC) def. Josh Luck (EU) 6-1, 6-4
4. (83) Andrew Schafer (SC) def. Brian Kowalski (EU) 6-2, 7-5
5. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Jordan Kauffman (EU) 6-1, 7-6
6. Juan Madrid (EU) def. Sam Swank (SC) 6-1, 7-5