Feb. 19, 2016
TAMPA, Fla. — No. 55 South Carolina men’s tennis dropped a hard-fought match to No. 14 South Florida, 4-1, on Saturday at the USF Varsity Tennis Complex. Sophomore Harrison O’Keefe scored a decisive win at No. 3 singles, but it was all the Gamecocks could manage as the Bulls rallied for the doubles point and took matches at one, four and six in singles.
South Carolina came out swinging in doubles, going toe-to-toe with the Bulls at courts one and three. Sophomore Thomas Mayronne and junior Andrew Schafer pulled ahead, 5-3, at court three and junior Alex Fennell and sophomore Harrison O’Keefe found themselves in a 5-5 battle at court one. However, the Bulls’ tandem of Sasha Gozun and Vadym Kalyuzhnyy earned a 6-3 win over sophomore Gabriel Freidrich and junior Sam Swank at court two, and USF’s Roberto Cid and Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz came from behind to top Mayronne and Schafer in a tiebreaker at three to take the doubles point.
In singles, Fennell was unable to overcome the firepower of Cid, who came in ranked No. 7 in the nation, as he suffered a 6-1, 6-0 loss at court one. Looking to spark his team, O’Keefe powered past his opponent to a 6-3, 6-3 win at court three to pull South Carolina back to within one at 2-1. Gonzalez-Muniz, however, stretched the lead to 3-1 with a win over freshman Wood Benton at six, while sophomore Justin Roberts outlasted Schafer at No. 4 in an epic 7-6 (5), 6-4 contest to clinch the win for USF.
The Gamecocks had a shot to take doubles as Mayronne and Schafer held a 5-3 advantage at court three, but Cid and Gonzalez-Muniz stormed back to take the match, 7-6 (4). Had they held on for the win, Carolina was in position to take the point as Fennell and O’Keefe were even at 5-5 on court one.
- Sophomore Harrison O’Keefe has won three straight singles matches and five of his last six.
- With a no result today, Sophomore Thomas Mayronne remains 8-1 this spring, which leads the team.
- Redshirt freshman Wood Benton dropped just his second match of the spring. He has won 12 of his last 14 decisions.
South Carolina will take on No. 17 San Diego at the USF Varsity Tennis Complex on Saturday at 2 p.m.