Feb. 13, 2015
NASHVILLE – No. 23 South Carolina swept a doubleheader over Belmont and Middle Tennessee State on Friday at Nashboro Village Club behind strong doubles play and solid play in key points across the board. Despite the continued absence of senior Thiago Pinheiro in the No. 2 spot in the singles lineup, the Gamecocks (7-3) swept past Belmont 4-0 then clinched the MTSU match with the first four points en route to the 4-1 final score as Kyle Koch rallied for a three-set win to deliver South Carolina’s third-straight victory.
The Gamecocks opened the doubleheader with a strong doubles showing with seniors Andrew Adams and Kyle Koch closing out the point with a 6-3 win in the No. 2 spot to put South Carolina up on Belmont 1-0. The two teams agreed to put the middle four singles matches on court first, and the Gamecocks claimed the first set in three of them.
Despite dropping his first set to Bruno Russo, sophomore Sam Swank rallied to double South Carolina’s lead over the Bruins with commanding second and third sets in a 1-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory in the No. 5 match. One spot ahead in the lineup, freshman Harrison O’Keefe was steady in a 6-4, 6-4 win over Robin Demasse to bring the Gamecocks within a point of the team victory. In the No. 2 match, Marko Lovrinovic won the second set over No. 103 Koch, to force a third set, but No. 120 Andrew Schafer was up a set and holding steady in the second against Cedric Dujacquier in the No. 3 battle. The two played to a tiebreak, which Schafer delivered 6-3, 7-6 (4) to give South Carolina the win.
After a quick break between matches, South Carolina turned its attention to Middle Tennessee State. The Gamecocks again opened the match with the doubles point, the ninth time in 10 matches this season. Schafer and Swank took an early lead in the No. 3 match, taking a 5-2 lead over Robin Riethmueller and Dima Zyhmantovich. Adams and Koch were similarly up a break in the No. 2 match, but saw Yannick Born and Gian Issa get back on serve at 6-5. Schafer/Swank closed out their 8-5 win, but the Blue Raiders took the win at the top of the lineup, leaving the point to the No. 2 contest. South Carolina’s senior tandem got a late service break to deliver the 8-6 win and the early 1-0 lead.
In singles action, O’Keefe and Schafer wasted little time getting the Gamecocks within a point of the team victory. Playing in the No. 4 match, the South Carolina’s top freshman used early service breaks to defeat Victor Hoang in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. Schafer closed out Zyhmantovich soon after with 6-2, 6-2 scores.
At the top of the lineup, the Gamecock seniors were battling. Koch dropped his serve early in the first set to Ettore Zito, who went on to win the set 6-4 in the No. 2 match. Adams saw his early 3-0 lead on Ben Davis slip away, but the All-American delivered in the clutch, winning the first set in a tiebreak. As the bottom of the lineup took the court, the top two matches switched outcomes in the second set with Davis forcing a third set at the top of the lineup with a 6-2 second-set win over Adams and Koch forcing a tiebreak in his second set, which he won to also force a third set.
The Blue Raiders took the first sets in the Nos. 5 and 6 contests, and the momentum carried over to the No. 1 match where Davis jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on Adams. Koch was carrying his own momentum after winning the second-set tiebreak. As Swank and Thomas Mayronne found their footing in their second sets in the Nos. 5 and 6 matches, respectively, Koch got a late service break to deliver the team win with a 6-4 final set. Davis and Adams finished out their final points with the Blue Raiders getting on the board with his 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 victory.
The Gamecocks stay in Nashville to face No. 21 Memphis on Sun., Feb. 15, at 11 a.m. South Carolina follows that match with a trip to San Diego next weeknd to take on San Diego and San Diego State.
#23 South Carolina 4, Belmont 0
Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 2*)
1. (46) Thomas Mayronne / Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Mauricio Antun/Marko Lovrinovic (BEL) 6-2
2. Andrew Adams / Kyle Koch (SC) def. Cedric Dujacquier/Robin Demasse (BEL) 6-3
3. Sam Swank / Andrew Schafer (SC) tied Geoff Tulloch/Caio Niel (BEL) 4-4 suspended
Singles (Order of Finish: 5, 4, 3*)
1. Andrew Adams (SC) vs. Mauricio Antun (BEL) Did Not Finish
2. (103) Kyle Koch (SC) tied Marko Lovrinovic (BEL) 6-1, 4-6, 2-2 suspended
3. (120) Andrew Schafer (SC) def. Cedric Dujacquier (BEL) 6-3, 7-6 (4)
4. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Robin Demasse (BEL) 6-4, 6-4
5. Sam Swank (SC) def. Bruno Russo (BEL) 1-6, 6-1, 6-1
6. Thomas Mayronne (SC) vs. Caio Niel (BEL) Did Not Finish
#23 South Carolina 4, Middle Tennessee State 1
Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3*)
1. Ben Davis/Victor Hoang (MTSU) def. (46) Thomas Mayronne / Harrison O’Keefe (SC) 8-3
2. Andrew Adams / Kyle Koch (SC) def. Yannick Born/Gian Issa (MTSU) 8-6
3. Andrew Schafer / Sam Swank (SC) def. Robin Riethmueller/Dima Zyhmantovich (MTSU) 8-5
Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 3, 2*, 1)
1. Ben Davis (MTSU) def. Andrew Adams (SC) 6-7, 6-2, 6-4
2. (103) Kyle Koch (SC) def. Ettore Zito (MTSU) 4-6, 7-6, 6-4
3. (120) Andrew Schafer (SC) def. D. Zyhmantovich (MTSU) 6-2, 6-2
4. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Victor Hoang (MTSU) 6-2, 6-3
5. Gian Issa (MTSU) led Sam Swank (SC) 6-3, 3-3 suspended
6. Robin Riethmueller (MTSU) led Thomas Mayronne (SC) 6-0, 4-4 suspended