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March 22, 2015

ATHENS, Ga. – No. 47 South Carolina was sharp early but could not close out the upset in a 4-0 loss at No. 5 Georgia Sunday afternoon at Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility. The top two doubles matches featured ranked teams that took each other to tiebreaks, and the Gamecocks took early in leads in three of the first four singles matches on court. The Bulldogs rallied behind the home crowd to hold off upset-minded South Carolina.

The Gamecocks gave the Bulldogs all they could handle in doubles. Georgia struck first with a win in the No. 3 match, but the ranked battled in the Nos. 1 and 2 spots went down to the wire. No. 47 Thomas Mayronne and Harrison O’Keefe took No. 70 Eric Diaz and Nathan Pasha into a tiebreak in the No. 2 contest just before the top of the lineups did the same. The Gamecocks’ freshman duo edged out the win 7-6 (4), leaving the doubles point in the hands of seniors Kyle Koch and Thiago Pinheiro, ranked 44th in the nation, who were battling No. 7 Austin Smith and Ben Wagland point for point throughout the match. The Bulldogs’ top-10 duo eked out the win by the same tiebreak score, 7-6 (4), to put Georgia up 1-0 heading into singles action.

Singles got off to a good start at the top of the lineup with Andrew Adams opening up a 3-0 lead on No. 17 Wayne Montgomery in the No. 2 match and Koch taking an early 4-2 lead on No. 30 Smith at the top of the order. No. 113 Andrew Schafer also built a 4-2 lead on Wagland in the No. 4 position as the Gamecocks were aggressive early.

Koch and Schafer claimed their first sets by matching 6-2 scores, but Georgia took a 2-0 lead with a win in the No. 3 match and Montgomery rallied to force a tiebreak against Adams, which he claimed 7-6 (4) just as Smith delivered a tiebreak win over Koch to send the No. 1 match into a third set. Wagland similarly won his third set over Schafer, and the Gamecocks needed to mount a comeback.

The veteran Bulldog team kept its foot on the gas, though, not allowing South Carolina to reclaim the momentum. Montgomery put Georgia up 3-0 with a 7-6 (4), 6-1 win over Adams in the No. 2 match, and Wagland closed out the match with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Schafer in the No. 4 contest.

The Gamecocks return to Carolina Tennis Center on Sun., March 29, for a doubleheader that features a 1 p.m. start against No. 11 Vanderbilt.

#5 Georgia 4, #47 South Carolina 0

Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1)
1. (7) Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (GA) def. (44) Kyle Koch / Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 7-6 (4)
2. (47) Thomas Mayronne / Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. (70) Eric Diaz/Nathan Pasha (GA) 7-6 (4)
3. Wayne Montgomery/Paul Oosterbaan (GA) def. Andrew Adams / Sam Swank (SC) 6-4

Singles (Order of Finish: 3, 2, 4*)
1. (30) Austin Smith (GA) led Kyle Koch (SC) 2-6, 6-7 (3), 5-3 suspended
2. (17) Wayne Montgomery (GA) def. Andrew Adams (SC) 7-6 (4), 6-1
3. (15) Nathan Pasha (GA) def. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 6-1, 6-3
4. Ben Wagland (GA) def. (113) Andrew Schafer (SC) 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
5. Nick Wood (GA) led Harrison O’Keefe (SC) 5-2 suspended
6. Paul Oosterbaan (GA) led Thomas Mayronne (SC) 1-0 suspended