No. 48 USC Trims No. 46 UNCW In Tennis
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - No. 48 South Carolina dropped the doubles point, but rallied with four singles victories to knock off No. 46 UNCW, 4-3, in men's tennis action Saturday at the UNCW Tennis Complex.
The Gamecocks pushed their record to 8-1 this season and bounced back from a loss at N.C. State last Saturday. The Seahawks, meanwhile, had their three-match winning streak snapped and stand 5-2 this spring.
UNCW swept all three doubles matches to grab an early 1-0 lead in the match. UNCW's No. 3 team of Rafael Aita and Pedro Mol trimmed Kyle Koch and Carl Equez, 8-4, for the first win and the freshman combination of Sam Williams and Michael Reilly edged USC's Andrew Adams and Chip Cox, 8-6, at the No. 6 slot to clinch the point. Chris Cooprider and Kosta Blank of UNCW crushed Ivan Machado and Thiago Pinheiro, 8-2, in the final doubles match at No. 1.
In singles, the Gamecocks evened the match at 1-all when Pinherio cruised past UNCW freshman Kaue Pereira, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 6 singles. Adams then downed Cooprider, 7-5, 6-0, at No. 2 and Cox topped Mol, 6-3, 7-6, at No. 3 to build a 3-1 margin..
Koch then clinched the match for USC with a 7-5, 6-3, decision over Williams at No. 5 singles.
Aita, a sophomore from Lima, Peru, remained perfect at 7-0 on the season with a 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-3, triumph over Machado at No. 1 singles. Blank also picked up a 7-5, 6-4, victory against Equez at No. 4 singles.
"Today was a great college tennis match, even though we ended up on the wrong side of it," said UNCW head coach Mait DuBois. "We had one of the largest crowds that I can remember and they brought great energy for us.
"The difference in today's match was a lot of missed opportunities. USC did a great job keeping us under pressure and not going away. We had the opportunities, and just didn't convert. This was a good experience for our young team, and I think it will help us down the road."
The Seahawks resume their lengthy homestand on Friday, Feb. 24, with a 1 p.m. match against South Carolina State in Wilmington.