Gamecocks Take Fifth Straight SEC Win
April 1, 2017
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No. 21 South Carolina defeated Alabama 4-3 in a tightly contested match to increase their SEC win streak to five, a program best. The Gamecocks improved to 17-4 overall and 6-2 in the conference, while Alabama fell to 8-14 overall and 1-8 in the SEC.
The Gamecocks dropped the doubles point in tight contests across the board. The doubles pairing of Sam Swank and Alex Fennell closed out their match first, taking down Thibault Cancel and Alexey Nesterov on court two 6-4. But the Crimson Tide rallied with wins on courts one and three. Zhe Zhou and Edson Ortiz notched a 6-4 victory of their own on court three, followed by a 7-5 victory by Mazen Osama and Spencer Richey (40) to close out the doubles competition.
O’Keefe (88) displayed dominance in singles play with a commanding 6-1, 6-1 triumph on court two to even the score. Fennell gave South Carolina their first lead of the match with his straight-set victory (6-3, 6-2) over Ritchie Kruunenberg on court six.
Alabama struck back with a singles victory of their own with Osama (35) upending Gabriel Friedrich (59) in a 7-6, 6-0 win in the No. 1 spot. Schafer fell in a tight 7-5, 7-5 battle, giving the tide a 3-2 lead with Paul Jubb and Yancy Dennis still playing.
Dennis rallied after falling 6-4 in the first set to take 6-2, 6-3 victories in the second and third sets to tie it at three apiece, leaving it to Jubb on court five to clinch the match.
Jubb showed grit and courage in his straight-set, tiebreak triumph over Zhou on court five. With the win, he stayed perfect on the season increasing his record to 9-0 in dual play and 5-0 in the SEC and made a 4-3 final score.
SINGLES (2,6,1,3,4,5 )
1. #35 Mazen Osama (UA) def. #59 Gabriel Friedrich (SC) 7-6, 6-0
2. #88 Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. #105 Thibault Cancel (UA) 6-1, 6-1
3. Alexey Nesterov (UA) def. Andrew Schafer (SC) 7-5, 7-5
4. Yancy Dennis (SC) def. Spencer Richey (UA) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. Paul Jubb (SC) def. Zhe Zhou (UA) 7-6, 7-6
6. Alex Fennell (SC) def. Ritchie Kruunenberg (UA) 6-3, 6-2
DOUBLES (1, 3)
1. #40 Mazen Osama/Spencer Richey (UA) def. #47 Yancy Dennis/Harrison O’Keefe (SC) 7-5
2. Alex Fennell/Sam Swank (SC) def. Thibault Cancel/Alexey Nesterov (UA) 6-4
3. Zhe Zhou/Edson Ortiz (UA) def. Gabriel Friedrich/Andrew Schafer (SC) 6-4
The Gamecocks close out their SEC road slate with two road matches next weekend. South Carolina will travel to Tennessee April 7 and to Georgia April 9 before heading home for their final home matches of the season. For more information on South Carolina men’s tennis, follow the team on Twitter and Instagram at gamecockmtennis or check in at GamecocksOnline.com.