April 3, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – No. 45 South Carolina saw its late comeback fall short at No. 71 Alabama Friday night as the Gamecocks (12-12, 2-7 SEC) dropped a 4-1 decision to the Crimson Tide. Senior Kyle Koch picked up a win to open singles action, but the Crimson Tide held off the Gamecocks in the Nos. 1, 3 and 4 matches to collect the victory.
The Crimson Tide took an early lead in doubles, but the Gamecocks mounted a comeback at the top and bottom of the lineup. Alabama got the win in the No. 2 matchup just ahead of No. 29 Korey Lovett and Becker O’Shaughnessey closing out the win over No. 31 Koch and Thiago Pinheiro 6-3 in the headline match.
Andrew Schafer was the first Gamecock to establish a lead in singles, holding an early 3-1 advantage over Nikko Madregallejo in the No. 3 match. He went on to close out the first set 6-2 with four of the other five matches on serve. After tying his first set at 4-4, Koch claimed the next two games from O’Shaughnessey to take the set 6-4. Pinheiro similarly dominated down the stretch of his first set, claiming a 6-2 win over Stuart Kenyon, and Andrew Adams made it four first sets for the Gamecocks, outlasting No. 88 Korey Lovett 7-6 (4).
Koch leveled the team scoring with an efficient 6-2 second set over O’Shaughnessey, but the Crimson Tide was charging. Sam Edwards put Alabama back on top with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Sam Swank in the No. 6 match, and Danny Kerznerman posted a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Thomas Mayronne for a 3-1 Alabama edge. The momentum had shifted to the Crimson Tide, forcing both Pinheiro and Schafer into third sets.
Still, the Gamecocks were eyeing the win. Adams continued to match Lovett game-for-game at the top of the lineup, and Schafer stormed back to take a 4-1 lead in his third set. Looking for just one more match to go its way, Alabama looked to Kenyon who jumped out to a 4-1 lead in his third set against Pinheiro as Adams and Lovett went into a tiebreak, which Lovett won 7-6 (6).
Madregallejo got back on serve with Schafer, leveling the set at 4-4, as Pinheiro closed in on Kenyon at 4-2. The Gamecock senior felt the effects of the momentum shift in the No. 3 match, though, and Kenyon powered through the next two games to secure the Alabama victory.
South Carolina’s road swing continues with a 2 p.m. match at No. 26 Mississippi State on Sunday.
#71 Alabama 4, #45 South Carolina 1
Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 2)
1. (29) Korey Lovett/Becker O’Shaughnessey (UA def. (31) Kyle Koch / Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 6-3
2. Sean Donohue/Stuart Kenyon (UA) def. (56) Thomas Mayronne / Harrison O’Keefe (SC) 6-2
3. Sam Edwrds/Andrew Goodwin (UA) def. Andrew Adams / Andrew Schafer (SC) 4-4 suspended
Singles (Order of Finish: 2, 6, 5, 4)
1. Andrew Adams (SC) led (88) Korey Lovett (UA) 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 2-1 susp.
2. Kyle Koch (SC) def. Becker O’Shaughnessey (UA) 6-4, 6-2
3. Nikko Madregallejo (UA) led Andrew Schafer (SC) 2-6, 7-5, 5-4 susp.
4. Stuart Kenyon (UA) def. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
5. Danny Kerznerman (UA) def. Thomas Mayronne (SC) 6-3, 6-3
6. Sam Edwards (UA) def. Sam Swank (SC) 6-4, 6-3