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April 5, 2015


STARKVILLE, Miss. – No. 45 South Carolina suffered another tough defeat on the road in a 4-1 decision at Mississippi State Sunday afternoon. The Gamecocks continue to play through an injury-plagued season, but got a confidence boost from a 6-1, 6-1 win by senior Thiago Pinheiro over a nationally ranked opponent.

With Harrison O’Keefe out with an injury, the Gamecocks’ reconfigured doubles lineup struggled, and the Bulldogs claimed the first point of the match. In singles, Mississippi State also established early leads in four matches. Pinheiro looked to start some momentum, though, with a commanding 6-1 first set over No. 122 Tassilo Schmid in the No. 4 contest.

While Mississippi State took a 2-0 lead with a win in the No 6 contest, senior Andrew Adams was helping the momentum, battling No 108 Florian Lakat to a tiebreak in the first set at the top of the lineup. While he would drop the set 7-6 (4), his teammates were beginning to show signs of a comeback.

As Pinheiro kept things rolling for the Gamecocks with a 6-1 second-set victory that cut the Bulldogs’ lead in half at 2-1, the Gamecocks were in competitive second sets in the other four matches. Thomas Mayronne was holding off Rishab Agarwal in the No. 5 match, while Kyle Koch used a service break to take a 6-4 second set from Juan Cruz Estevarena in the No. 2 contest. Andrew Schafer shook off his 6-2 first-set loss to Mate Cutura and forced a tiebreak in the second set as momentum was shifting toward the Gamecocks.

Playing on their home courts, though, Mississippi State would not succumb. Agarwal scored a late service break to escape Mayronne 7-5 for a 3-1 Bulldog lead, and Cutura closed out the win moments later with a final surge to take a 7-6 (5) tiebreak over Schafer.

The Gamecocks return to Columbia for their final two home matches of the season, hosting No. 14 Ole Miss at Carolina Tennis Center on Thu., April 9, at 5 p.m. and the tackling a doubleheader against No. 58 Arkansas and South Carolina State on Sat., April 11, at 11 a.m. South Carolina will honor its three seniors prior to the Arkansas match.

#26 Mississippi State 4, #45 South Carolina 1

Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 2)
1. (31) Kyle Koch / Thiago Pinheiro (SC) tied (14) Julian Cash/Florian Lakat (MS) 5-5 suspended
2. Mate Cutura/Tassilo Schmid (MS) def. Thomas Mayronne / Sam Swank (SC) 6-4
3. Juan Cruz Estevarena/Robin Haden (MS) def. Andrew Adams / Andrew Schafer (SC) 6-2

Singles (Order of Finish: 6, 4, 5, 3)
1. (108) Floria Lakat (MS) led Andrew Adams (SC) 7-6 (4), 2-1 suspended
2. Kyle Koch (SC) tied Juan Cruz Estevarena (MS) 3-6, 6-4 suspended
3. Mate Cutura (MS) def. Andrew Schafer (SC) 6-2, 7-6 (5)
4. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. (122) Tassilo Schmid (MS) 6-1, 6-1
5. Rishab Agarwal (MS) def. Thomas Mayronne (SC) 6-2, 7-5
6. Julian Cash (MS) def. Sam Swank (SC) 6-2, 6-2