Feb. 15, 2015
NASHVILLE – No. 23 South Carolina posted its fourth-straight victory with Sunday’s 4-1 win over No. 21 Memphis, despite continuing to play without senior Thiago Pinheiro due to injury. The Gamecocks (8-3) have made the most of their shuffled lineup since losing their No. 2 singles entry last week, relying on their youth to fill the void. Sophomore Andrew Schafer’s three-set win in the No. 2 spot clinched the victory after Kyle Koch and Harrison O’Keefe had posted singles wins as well.
“We knew that this was going to be a challenging weekend for our team for a lot of reasons – coming back after a two-loss weekend, playing down a key player in our lineup and playing in a tough environment,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “But, this team continues to step up to the challenges that are put in front of them. Pulling through this weekend will pxqay major dividends for us later in the year.”
South Carolina’s doubles play continued its winning ways, dominating the Tigers with wins in the Nos. 2 and 3 matches to put the Gamecocks up 1-0 early. The Tigers leveled the match with a 7-6 (2), 6-1 win from No. 102 Connor Glennon over Andrew Adams at the top of the singles lineup, but the Gamecocks were out in front in the three other matches on court.
Schafer, Koch and O’Keefe all got up a break early in their first sets in the Nos. 2-4 positions, respectively. No. 120 Schafer was the first to close out the set, taking down No. 40 Andrew Watson 6-2 to start the Gamecocks’ momentum. After No. 103 Koch closed out his first set 6-4 over Patrick Mayer, Memphis’ Ryan Peniston forced a first-set tiebreak with O’Keefe, but the Gamecock freshman delivered in the clutch to take his first set 7-6 (4).
Watson came back to win the second set over Schafer, 6-3, to force a third just before Koch fought back from an early deficit to force a tiebreak with Mayer in their second set. O’Keefe suffered not such difficulties in his second set, opening a 4-1 lead on Peniston. Koch made it a 2-1 Gamecock lead as he powered through the tiebreak to post the 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over Mayer in the No. 3 match.
O’Keefe brought South Carolina within a point of the win as he closed out Peniston 7-6 (4), 6-3 to make it a 3-1 Gamecock lead while Schafer had again surged in front of Watson early in the third set. The Gamecocks’ top sophomore turned his 5-2 lead into a 6-3 victory that clinched the team win as well.
The Gamecocks return to Columbia for a few days before continuing their seven-match road swing in San Diego next weekend. South Carolina takes on San Diego State on Fri., Feb. 20, and San Diego on Sun., Feb. 22.
#23 South Carolina 4, #21 Memphis 1
Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 2*)
1. (46) Thomas Mayronne / Harrison O’Keefe (SC) tied Connor Glennon/Kai Lemke (MEM) 7-7 suspended
2. Andrew Adams / Kyle Koch (SC) def. Andrew Watson/Louis Asser (MEM) 8-1
3. Andrew Schafer / Sam Swank (SC) def. Patrick Mayer/Ryan Peniston (MEM) 8-5
Singles (Order of Finish: 1, 3, 4, 2*)
1. (102) Connor Glennon (MEM) def. Andrew Adams (SC) 7-6 (2), 6-1
2. (120) Andrew Schafer (SC) def. (40) Andrew Watson (MEM) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
3. (103) Kyle Koch (SC) def. Patrick Mayer (MEM) 6-4, 7-6 (5)
4. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Ryan Peniston (MEM) 7-6 (4), 6-3
5. Kai Lemke (MEM) led Sam Swank (SC) 6-2 suspended
6. Thomas Mayronne (SC) led Shakeel Manji (MEM) 3-1 suspended