Feb. 22, 2015
SAN DIEGO – No. 21 South Carolina fought through four third sets and two rain delays in the deciding singles match in a 4-3 loss to No. 37 San Diego on Sunday at Hogan Tennis Center. After claiming the doubles point, the Gamecocks (8-5) saw the singles matches see-saw back and forth. The teams were tied with the No. 1 match in its third set when a pair of rain delays stretched the suspense even further.
The Gamecocks fought all afternoon, beginning with doubles where the Nos. 1 and 3 matches went to tiebreaks after Thomas Mayronne and Harrison O’Keefe took an efficient 6-2 win in the No. 2 contest. While seniors Thiago Pinheiro and Kyle Koch were rallying from a deficit in the top spot, sophomores Andrew Schafer and Sam Swank were locked in an even battle with Ciaran Fitzgerald and Geoffrey Fosso in the No. 3 match. Both matches went to a tiebreak, and the Gamecocks clinched the doubles point with Schafer and Swank delivering at decision time.
Singles began with the Gamecocks’ two steadiest performers jumping out to early leads as Koch kept No. 83 Filip Vittek off the scoreboard for the entire first set of their No. 2 contest and Schafer was just as efficient in a 6-1 win over Jordan Angus in the No. 3 match. The Toreros answered with a 6-2 win in the first set on Court 5 and 6-4 wins to open the Nos. 1 and 4 contests. Mayronne leveled the first-set tally with his 6-4 win over Fitzgerald in the No. 6 match.
As San Diego tied the match score 1-1 with Fosso’s 6-3, 6-2 win over Swank in the No. 5 match, Pinheiro was rallying back from an 0-2 deficit in his second set at the top of the lineup and O’Keefe forced a third set in the No. 4 contest with a 6-2 second-set victory. The Toreros responded by sending the Nos. 2 and 3 contests to a third set as well as Koch narrowly missed closing out his No. 2 match in the tiebreak. Mayronne put the Gamecocks back on top with a 6-4, 6-2 win on Court 6.
At the top of the lineup, Pinheiro scored a late service break to win his second set over No. 82 Uros Petronijevic, 7-5, to send the fourth match into a third set. Still the see-saw team battle ensued with Angus winning his third set over Schafer for the Toreros and O’Keefe completing his comeback against Romain Kalaydjian with a dominating third set (2-6, 6-2, 6-0) to keep the Gamecocks on top 3-2.
The match would come down to the top two spots in the lineup, both battling in third sets. Vittek carried the momentum of his second-set tiebreak win into the third, building an early 4-1 lead over Koch while Pinheiro and Petronijevic were tied 1-1 when the first rain delay stopped action. The matches resumed, and Vittek held off Koch for a 0-6, 7-6, 6-2 win that would knot the team scoring at 3-3.
Petronijevic picked up a service break just after the delay to go up 3-1, and rain again paused the match with him leading 3-2. Pinheiro battled deep into just his second match back from injury, but he could not break back, falling 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.
The Gamecocks open SEC play next week, continuing on the road, however, as they travel to Auburn for a 3 p.m. (ET) match on Thu., Feb. 26, and then on to Florida for a 1 p.m. contest on Sat., Feb. 28.
#37 San Diego 4, #21 South Carolina 3
Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 3)
1. Thiago Pinheiro / Kyle Koch (SC) tied (54) Jordan Angus/Filip Vittek (USD) 6-6 suspended
2. (46) Thomas Mayronne / Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Romain Kalaydjian/Uros Petronijevic (USD) 6-2
3. Andrew Schafer / Sam Swank (SC) def. Ciaran Fitzgerald/Geoffrey Fosso (USD) 7-6
Singles (Order of Finish: 5, 6, 3, 4, 2, 1)
1. (82) Uros Petronijevic (USD) def. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
2. (83) Filip Vittek (USD) def. (103) Kyle Koch (SC) 0-6, 7-6, 6-2
3. Jordan Angus (USD) def. (120) Andrew Schafer (SC) 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
4. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Romain Kalaydjian (USD) 2-6, 6-2, 6-0
5. Geoffrey Fosso (USD) def. Sam Swank (SC) 6-3, 6-2
6. Thomas Mayronne (SC) def. Ciaran Fitzgerald (USD) 6-4, 6-2