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COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 23 South Carolina split a Sunday doubleheader at USC Fieldhouse, capping off the day with a 4-2 win over Wofford after a tough 4-3 loss to No. 29 NC State. Playing without senior Thiago Pinheiro, the Gamecocks (5-3) gave the Wolfpack all it could handle in the opener, but saw NC State’s more experienced lineup prevail. Senior Kyle Koch posted a perfect day with singles and doubles victories in both matches, while freshman Harrison O’Keefe won a pair of singles contests and his one completed doubles match.

After a sluggish start in Friday’s loss, the Gamecocks imposed their will on NC State right out of the gate in doubles. O’Keefe and Thomas Mayronne, ranked 46th in the nation, assumed the No. 1 spot for South Carolina, taking on the nation’s No. 19 duo of Robbie Mudge and Ian Dempster. In the No. 2 spot, seniors Andrew Adams and Koch were responsible for setting the tone of the match, jumping out to an early lead and keeping their foot on the gas in a 6-3 win over Austin Powell and Simon Norenius. O’Keefe and Mayronne withstood a late charge from their higher ranked foe and finished off the point with a 6-4 victory.

“We have seniors involved in our doubles lineup,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “They have three and a half years of doubles training. They know what they’re doing and when they’re doing it and they’re reliable in big moments. That has a lot to do with it, but we’ve also spent a lot more time on it. We truly believe that if we pick up the doubles point, we can give anybody a run.”

In singles, the Gamecocks’ youth was put to the test with Pinheiro out. Andrew Schafer moved into the No. 2 spot in the order and rallied back from an early deficit to No. 51 Austin Powell to force a tiebreak in the first set. The Gamecock sophomore rose to the challenge and delivered the 7-6 (7) win shortly after Koch had scored a late service break to take the first set from Beck Bond in the No. 3 match. The Wolfpack picked up first-set wins at the Nos. 1 and 4 positions to keep the match tight.

NC State leveled the match at 1-1 with a win at the top of the singles lineup and reclaimed the momentum of the match as Schafer and Koch both dropped their second sets in tiebreaks. O’Keefe had turned the tables on Thomas Weigel in the No. 4 match, though, finding his rhythm from the baseline to take his second set 6-3 after dropping the first by the same score. He went on to put the Gamecocks back in front 2-1 with a 6-2 win in the third set. The lead was short-lived, though, as Powell completed his comeback against Schafer to again level the match at 2-2.

Koch shook off his tough second-set tiebreak loss to power past Beck Bond 7-5, 6-7 (8), 6-3 to put the Gamecocks up 3-2, leaving the match to the last two contests to go on court. Sam Swank got behind Simon Norenius early in the No. 5 contest, and No. 39 Nick Horton similarly jumped out to an early lead on Mayronne in the No. 6 spot. The two young Gamecocks fought but could not overcome their more experienced opponents in straight-set losses.

“The team came out and responded,” Goffi said. “We came out awful [Friday] against Wake Forest and our goal today was to come out great and we came out phenomenal. We took a doubles point against a very good doubles team in NC State and through singles we carried that momentum. [Against NC State] We were a tiebreak away from getting out the door with a 4-1 victory. I’m proud of my boys for going out there and fighting but we just didn’t close the door quick enough.”

The Gamecocks had little time to lament the loss, turning their attention to Wofford quickly after the end of the first match of the day. Again, South Carolina claimed the doubles point with wins in the Nos. 2 and 3 matches. Koch and Adams clinched the point after overcoming a 4-5 deficit to win 7-5.

O’Keefe wasted little time doubling the Gamecocks’ lead with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Parks Thompson in the No. 4 spot. Koch got a late service break in the second set to make it a 3-0 advantage as he topped Walker Heffron 6-2, 7-5 in the No. 3 match. Wofford picked up the next two points in the Nos. 1 and 2 matches, but Swank closed the door with his 6-2, 6-2 dispatching of Parks Schoen in the No. 5 position.

The Gamecocks take to the road next weekend and will face off against Middle Tennessee, Belmont and No. 21 Memphis before making a trip to San Diego to take on both San Diego State and No. 35 San Diego. Upon their return from California, the Gamecocks open SEC play on the road, traveling to No. 38 Auburn and No. 14 Florida before finally returning to Columbia to host the No. 42 LSU Tigers on March 6.

#29 NC State 4, #23 South Carolina 3

Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 1*)
1. (46) Thomas Mayronne / Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. (19) Robbie Mudge/Ian Dempster (NCST) 6-4
2. Andrew Adams / Kyle Koch (SC) def. Austin Powell/Simon Norenius (NCST) 6-3
3. Sam Swank / Andrew Schafer (SC) tied Thomas Weigel/Nick Horton (NCST) 5-5 (susp.)

Singles (Order of Finish: 1, 4, 2, 3, 6, 5*)
1. (123) Robbie Mudge (NCST) def. Andrew Adams (SC) 6-2, 6-4
2. (51) Austin Powell (NCST) def. (83) Andrew Schafer (SC) 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 6-1
3. (118) Kyle Koch (SC) def. Beck Bond (NCST) 7-5, 6-7 (8), 6-3
4. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Thomas Weigel (NCST) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. Simon Norenius (NCST) def. Sam Swank (SC) 6-3, 6-4
6. (39) Nick Horton (NCST) def. Thomas Mayronne (SC) 6-1, 6-2

#23 South Carolina 4, Wofford 2

Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 2*)
1. (46) Thomas Mayronne/Harrison O’Keefe (SC) tied Rob Galloway/Haris Poric (WOF) 5-5 (susp.)
2. Kyle Koch/Andrew Adams (SC) def. Walker Heffron/Parks Thompson (WOF) 7-5
3. Andrew Schafer/Sam Swank (SC) def. Trevor Gotkowski/David Sklar (WOF) 6-2
Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 3, 1, 2, 5*)
1. Rob Galloway (WOF) def. Andrew Adams (SC) 6-4, 6-3
2. Haris Poric (WOF) def. (83) Andrew Schafer (SC) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4
3. (118) Kyle Koch (SC) def. Walker Heffron (WOF) 6-2, 7-5
4. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Parks Thompson (WOF) 6-1, 6-1
5. Sam Swank (SC) def. Parks Schoen (WOF) 6-2, 6-2
6. Thomas Mayronne (SC) led Jack Thomas (WOF) 6-2, 1-0 suspended