Jan. 25, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 29 South Carolina put up a tough fight with four matches decided by third sets before falling to No. 32 Ole Miss 4-2 in the championship match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend event at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex at the University of Florida Sunday. The Gamecocks (3-1) took the doubles point and won three first sets, but the Rebels (3-0) mounted their second comeback in as many days to move on to the National Team Indoor Championships.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my team this weekend,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “We brought it the way we wanted to, which put us in a position to win the match. Unfortunately, we stumbled a little at that point, but it’s early in the year, and there will be many more battles like this one where the finish line is only steps away. We’ll make adjustments in order to capitalize on these moments. And, hats off to Ole Miss, who survived almost certain defeat twice this weekend. They deserve to move on.”
The Gamecocks took the doubles point behind a 6-3 win from Thiago Pinheiro and Kyle Koch at the top of the lineup. The other two matches were tight down the stretch with both a 5-4 when the first match ended. The freshman duo of Thomas Mayronne and Harrison O’Keefe closed out Nik Scholtz and Zvonimir Babic first, clinching the point with a 6-4 victory.
In singles play, O’Keefe kept the momentum with a 6-4 first-set win over Babic in the No. 5 match. Pinheiro and Andrew Adams also won their first sets, playing in the Nos. 1 and 2 spots, respectively, but the Rebels took the remaining first sets to keep the Gamecocks within reach.
The Rebels got on the board with a win in the No. 3 match, but O’Keefe fought off Babic in the second set, claiming a late service break to win the second set 7-5 and keep the Gamecocks in front 2-1. While Ole Miss won the second sets in the top two spots, No. 83 Andrew Schafer and Mayronne had turned the tables in the Nos. 4 and 6 contests to send both to a third set.
No. 120 Ricardo Jorge got an early service break in his third set against Mayronne and went on to claim the 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 win to level the team score at 2-2. The Rebels other ranked player, No. 80 Stefan Lindmark, got his team within a point of the victory with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Adams in the No. 2 match, leaving the match in the hands of Pinheiro in the No. 1 spot and Schafer at No. 4.
No. 71 Pinheiro was in a fierce battle with Scholtz, who had won the second set in a tiebreak. Schafer and Kallberg were in a similar battle after the Rebels’ senior won the second set in a tiebreak as well. In the No. 1 match, Pinheiro was fighting through dehydration, went down a break and was forced to retire the match with Schafer and Kallberg on serve in their final set.
The Gamecocks are back in action on Sat., Jan. 31, launching a four-match home stand against archrival Clemson at 3 p.m. at the USC Fieldhouse.
#32 Ole Miss 4, #29 South Carolina 2
Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 2*)
1. Thiago Pinheiro/Kyle Koch (SC) def. Gustav Hansson/William Kallberg (OM) 6-3
2. Thomas Mayronne/Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Nik Scholtz/Zvonimir Babic (OM) 6-4
3. Andrew Adams/Andrew Schafer (SC) led Stefan Lindmark/Ricardo Jorge (OM) 5-4, suspended
Singles (Order of Finish: 3, 5, 6, 2, 1*)
1. Nik Scholtz (OM) def. (71) Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 4-6, 7-6 (1), 3-1 retired
2. (80) Stefan Lindmark (OM) def. Andrew Adams (SC) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
3. Gustav Hansson (OM) def. (118) Kyle Koch (SC) 6-3, 6-1
4. William Kallberg (OM) led (83) Andrew Schafer (SC) 5-7, 7-6 (3), 4-3 susp.
5. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Zvonimir Babic (OM) 6-4, 7-5
6. (120) Ricardo Jorge (OM) def. Thomas Mayronne (SC) 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
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