Jan. 17, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 27 South Carolina claimed the second half of its season-opening doubleheader with a 5-2 win over Furman Saturday afternoon at USC Fieldhouse. Senior Kyle Koch completed a perfect day with wins in doubles and singles in both halves of the twin bill. The Gamecocks (2-0) opened both matches 4-0 to clinch the victories before the final scores were determined.
“I was very impressed overall as a team today,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “We came out tight in the first match against Elon in doubles. It wasn’t pretty, but our guys played the fundamentals well. Wins are always welcome, and it gave us a good idea where we are this year as a team. Today was a test. Whether we won or lost as a team is not our biggest concern. We needed to get tested today before we go into our other competition, starting with our next match out against Stanford. The whole goal of today was to have two tough teams come in, and our guys came through. I think we played well in the big moments. We didn’t play great, which is actually comforting. We didn’t have to play great; we just trusted our good stuff. That’s really important for me to see as a coach. I hadn’t seen that from a team this early in the season since I’ve been the coach here. We’ve always felt like we had to press when we got tested, and today we just stayed calm and executed.”
Against Furman, the Gamecocks won the doubles point quickly with Andrew Adams and Andrew Schafer sprinting past Jacob Behal and Stefan Rhodes 6-1 in the No 3 contest. At the top of the lineup, Koch and Thiago Pinheiro closed out the point with a 6-2 win shortly after. With a 1-0 lead, No. 118 Koch doubled it with an efficient 6-3, 6-3 win over Matt Browne in the No. 2 match, closing it out with three straight service winners. No. 83 Schafer followed, winning his first set 6-0 and getting a late break for a 6-4 second-set victory.
The match-clinching point was in the hands of redshirt freshman Thomas Mayronne, who was playing in the No. 6 spot. Playing his first singles match of the spring, Louisiana native opened with a 4-0 lead and held off Stefan Rhodes late in the first set to claim it 6-3. Both players struggled to hold serve in the second set, but Mayronne delivered when most important, holding his final game to take the 6-4 win and deliver the Gamecocks’ second team victory of the day.
For the second time of the day, the No. 1 match went to a third-set super tiebreak with the Gamecocks yielding the point. But Adams got South Carolina back on the board with a commanding 6-2, 6-1 win in the No. 3 contest. The Paladins wrapped up the match with another third-set, super-tiebreak victory.
South Carolina heads to Gainesville, Fla., for ITA Kickoff Weekend action next week. The Gamecocks will take on No. 30 Stanford on Sat., Jan. 24, and then face either No. 13 Florida or No. 32 Ole Miss on Sunday.
#27 South Carolina 5, Furman 2
Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 1*)
1. Thiago Pinheiro/Kyle Koch (SC) def Matt Browne/Ben Horst (FUR) 6-2
2. Thomas Mayronne/Harrison O’Keefe (SC) led Adam Steryous/Cameron Green (FUR) 5-3 suspended
3. Andrew Adams/Andrew Schafer (SC) def. Jacob Behal/Stefan Rhodes (FUR) 6-1
Singles (Order of Finish: 2, 4, 6*, 1, 3, 6)
1. Adam Steryous (FUR) def. (71) Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10)
2. (118) Kyle Koch (SC) def. Matt Browne (FUR) 6-3, 6-3
3. Andrew Adams (SC) def. Jacob Behal (FUR) 6-2, 6-1
4. (83) Andrew Schafer (SC) def. Ben Horst (FUR) 6-0 6-4
5. Cameron Green (FUR) def. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (6)
6. Thomas Mayronne (SC) def. Stefan Rhodes (FUR) 6-3, 6-4