May 21, 2015
WACO, Texas – South Carolina men’s tennis senior Kyle Koch and Thiago Pinheiro used a dominant first set and clutch play in the second to move into the second round of the NCAA Doubles Championships at the Hurd Tennis Center. They are the first Gamecock doubles team to advance to the round of 16 since 2010.
Ranked No. 29 in the nation, Koch/Pinheiro drew Duke’s Nicolas Alvarez and Raphael Hemmler, ranked No. 20, in the first round. The Gamecocks’ top tandem struck early, surging to a 4-2 lead behind an early service break. After holding serve to go up 5-2, Koch/Pinheiro broke again for a 6-2 first set. Duke’s duo got back on track in the second, keeping pace with Koch/Pinheiro throughout the set. With the Gamecocks up 6-5, Duke was serving to stay in the match. Koch/Pinheiro were undeterred and ready to close out the match, powering past the Blue Devils 7-5 to move on in the tournament.
South Carolina’s pair will be back in action on Friday at 3 p.m. (ET), facing No. 22 Hugo Dojas/Felipe Soares of Texas Tech, who upset the nation’s No. 5 team from Vanderbilt to move into the round of 16.