Former MB standout Cox lifts No. 25 Gamecocks past LSU

Former Myrtle Beach High standout Chip Cox won his singles match in straight sets to help No. 25 South Carolina stretch its win streak to four with a commanding 4-1 win over No. 33 LSU on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Tennis Center.

The Gamecocks (15-7, 5-3 SEC) dropped a hotly contested doubles point, but for the second match in a row, asserted themselves early in singles and controlled the matches to earn their fifth league win of the season, the most since the 2006 team finished 6-5.

“There is definitely momentum around the team, but more importantly there is a belief and a trust of what it takes to win as a college team,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “The last weeks the team has really honed in and understood that.”

Doubles was going the Tigers’ way early, but the Gamecocks fought down to the wire before LSU took the match’s first point. The match at the top of the order went to a tiebreak and both the other two were decided by a 9-7 score.

Trailing 1-0, South Carolina established leads in three matches early as Tsvetan Mihov, Thaigo Pinheiro and Chip Cox each led 5-2 to kick things off. Kyle Koch and Harry Menzies followed in their teammates’ footsteps, each scoring a service break to establish 5-3 leads in the Nos. 5 and 6 matches. Mihov was the first to close out his first set, 6-2 over No. 83 Chris Simpson at the top of the order.

On Court 3, though, Pinheiro was under pressure from Olivier Borsos, who stretched the Gamecock sophomore into a long service game, eventually coming out on top to get back on serve a 5-4. Cox and Menzies stayed the course, though, winning their first sets 6-3. Koch was serving for his set against Tam Trinh, but trailed Love-40 before booming serves put him back in control to win the set 6-3.

Pinheiro and Andrew Adams, who had teamed for the lone doubles win for the Gamecocks early, both saw their sets go to a tiebreak, which the Tigers captured to breathe life into their comeback hopes. Mihov was relentless in his dismantling of Simpson in the No. 1 spot, though, winning the second set 6-2 before Adams even closed his tiebreak. Looking for his trademark comeback after dropping the first set, Pinheiro had opened a two-break lead on Borsos as well.

Just after Mihov’s win leveled the team score at 1-1, Menzies and Cox each went up a break in their matches. Consolidating a break to go up 5-2, Menzies kept the pressure on Boris Arias in the No. 6 match. The senior came out of the changeover and took a 15-40 lead on the Tigers’ freshman, who was ranked as high as No. 64 in juniors last season. Arias fought off one match point when Menzies’s backhand found the net. On the next point, however, Menzies lured Arias to the net and drove a cross-court passing shot by him to secure the 6-2 set and his second-straight win and third in the last four matches.

Cox was close on Menzies’ heels after breaking Bowtell to take at 4-3 lead. A quick hold from Cox left Bowtell to serve for the match. The Gamecock junior’s dominating return game was on full display, including on match point when a crisp baseline hit left Bowtell with a tough approach shot, which he dumped in the net to drop the 6-3 set and bring the Gamecocks within a point of the team victory.

“It’s been impressive to see the way Chip and Harry have bounced back from their losing streaks in the Nos. 4 and 6 spots,” South Carolina assistant coach Matt Lucas said. “They’ve both gotten back to competing the way they did early in the season. You can see in their pattern of play that they really trust their games, and they’ve each got three SEC wins now, playing their best tennis at this point in the season.”

During all the excitement on the courts opposite his, Koch was steadily attacking Tam Trinh and was up a break at 5-4 on Court 5. The Tigers’ freshman refused to let Koch serve out the match, though. Just before Pinheiro leveled his match at a set each with a 6-1 second set, Trinh broke Koch’s serve to get to 5-5 and eventually send the set to a tiebreak. The two traded points throughout with neither able to fully wrest control. After a huge forehand from Koch forced a miscue, Trinh staved off match point with a great return to get to 6-5. Even at 6-6, Koch delivered a pinpoint passing shot to set up another match point, and he punctuated it with a clear service winner to give the Gamecocks the victory.

South Carolina will take its win streak back on the road next week, traveling to No. 13 Mississippi State and No. 10 Ole Miss for Friday and Sunday matches, respectively. The Gamecocks will be looking for their school-record fifth-straight SEC victory against the Bulldogs and possibly to tie the school record with seven SEC wins in a season.

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

Comments

comments

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-South

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-SouthA pair of former teammates and rivals joined forces for [more]

Pelicans fail to finish .500 after losing first-half finale

Pelicans fail to finish .500 after losing first-half finaleThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans dropped their final game of the [more]

Ibarrondo comes to rescue to rally first-place Mutiny

Ibarrondo comes to rescue to rally first-place Mutiny The Myrtle Beach Mutiny needed a wake-up call late Saturday [more]

Pelicans split twinbill with Mudcats, play finale today

Pelicans split twinbill with Mudcats, play finale todayAfter the Myrtle Beach Pelicans fell 2-1 to the Carolina [more]

CCU's Biermann, Lancaster make All-American squad

CCU's Biermann, Lancaster make All-American squadCoastal Carolina shortstop Seth Lancaster and designated hitter Zach Biermann [more]

Pelicans lose fifth straight, play doubleheader today

Pelicans lose fifth straight, play doubleheader todayVictor Diaz's seven strong innings for the Carolina Mudcats were [more]

All-County Boys Tennis: Johnson, MB duo top list

All-County Boys Tennis: Johnson, MB duo top listThe future looks bright for the sport of high school [more]

Hess carves his way to Team USA surfing nod

Hess carves his way to Team USA surfing nodCarter Hess carved his way to a spot on the [more]

Pelicans' bullpen spoils Thompson's perfect start

Pelicans' bullpen spoils Thompson's perfect startAfter Keegan Thompson was removed following seven perfect innings for [more]

Piggot feasts, scores four goals to lead Mutiny win

Piggot feasts, scores four goals to lead Mutiny winThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny rolled to a 6-0 victory over [more]

CCU trio makes all-region; Lancaster an All-American

CCU trio makes all-region; Lancaster an All-AmericanCoastal Carolina shortstop Seth Lancaster was named to the Perfect [more]

Braves' icons Avery, Jones to appear at Pelicans game

Braves' icons Avery, Jones to appear at Pelicans gameThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans will welcome former MLB All-Stars and [more]

Coastal guard Labinowicz announces plan to transfer

Coastal guard Labinowicz announces plan to transferCoastal Carolina University men's basketball player Artur Labinowicz plans to [more]

Report: Myrtle Beach Bowl 'near lock' for 2020 kickoff

Report: Myrtle Beach Bowl 'near lock' for 2020 kickoffIn yet another development in the Grand Strand's booming sports [more]

Adaptive surfers depart for US Surfing Championship

Adaptive surfers depart for US Surfing ChampionshipLocal surfers, volunteers, and family members gathered at the Charleston [more]

All-County Boys Golf: MB's Jarman trades bat for club

All-County Boys Golf: MB's Jarman trades bat for clubIf things had worked out differently, Myrtle Beach High senior [more]

Gamecocks' season ends one win shy of Omaha

Gamecocks' season ends one win shy of OmahaThe University of South Carolina baseball team saw its season [more]

Pelicans' Ademan, Pereda, Peyton make all-star team

Pelicans' Ademan, Pereda, Peyton make all-star teamMyrtle Beach catcher Jhonny Pereda, right-hander Tyler Peyton and infielder [more]

Johnson wins at St. Jude, recaptures No. 1 ranking

Johnson wins at St. Jude, recaptures No. 1 rankingFormer Coastal Carolina two-time All-American and Myrtle Beach resident Dustin [more]

Gamecocks slam their way into final game with Hogs

Gamecocks slam their way into final game with HogsThe South Carolina baseball team scored five runs in the [more]

Pelicans win ninth straight, make late run at first place

Pelicans win ninth straight, make late run at first placeThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans racked up their ninth straight win [more]

All-County Girls Soccer: Gordon nets record, POY

All-County Girls Soccer: Gordon nets record, POYBlair Mueller remembers her first day on the job as [more]

Pelicans hammer their way to eighth straight victory

Pelicans hammer their way to eighth straight victoryKevonte Mitchell lashed three extra-base hits and the Myrtle Beach [more]

Gamecocks drop opener, face elimination Sunday

Gamecocks drop opener, face elimination SundayArkansas scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh [more]

Pelicans extend win streak to seven in walk-off thriller

Pelicans extend win streak to seven in walk-off thrillerAramis Ademan tied the game with a three-run home run [more]

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-South

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-SouthA pair of former teammates and rivals joined forces for [more]

Pelicans fail to finish .500 after losing first-half finale

Pelicans fail to finish .500 after losing first-half finaleThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans dropped their final game of the [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach