BATON ROUGE --- It was a "Good Friday," indeed, for the 27th-ranked LSU men's tennis team as they ended their five-match losing streak with a 4-3 win over No. 38 South Carolina Friday at W.T. Dub Robinson Stadium.
LSU's 73rd-ranked senior Neal Skupski clinched the match for the Tigers with a big 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (1) win over South Carolina's Nick Jones.
All tied up at two, the match came down to the final top three courts. LSU capitalized on their opportunities, winning two out of the three matches.
After Stefan Szacinski defeated Kyle Koch in straight sets, No. 55 Olivier Borsos took down South Carolina's only ranked singles player, No. 102 Ivan Machado, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, to give the Tigers a 3-2 advantage.
With the match on the line, it was a race to the finish to see if Chris Simpson or Skupski would finish their match first.
Skupski got the edge and the clinch with his hard-fought victory over Jones.
Up 4-2 and with the match already won by the Tigers, both teams agreed to finish play, leaving Simpson and Andrew Adams to battle it out on court three. Adams would eventually take the match 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (1), adding one more point to the board for the Gamecocks, finalizing the score at 4-3.
"It was a great college tennis match," head coach Jeff Brown said. "Our guys played hard and we got the win."
In doubles, the Tigers (12-9, 3-6 SEC) were able to jump on top early, winning two out of the three in doubles play.
On the top court, Skupski and Simpson eliminated the 47th-ranked duo of Jones and Chip Cox, 8-5.
After Borsos and Roger Anderson fell in a close one to South Carolina's Machado and Thiago Pinhiero, it was up to Tom Knights and Szacinski to take the doubles point.
Knights and Szacinski stayed calm under pressure, defeating Koch and Carl Equez, 8-6, and giving the Tigers a much-needed 1-0 lead.
"It was a real gut check today," Brown said. "We needed two out of three and Szacinski and Knights came through. Olivier and Neal also played against some tough opponents style-wise, but were able to push through and come away with the win. Today was a good win for us."
The Tigers will look to use this momentum going into their final home match of the season Sunday, where they will face the No. 9 Florida Gators.
The match is set to begin at 1 p.m. CT. Admission is free.
Be sure to follow LSU on Twitter at @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis for the latest information on the Tigers.
South Carolina vs LSU
Apr 06, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.
(W.T. Dub Robinson Stadium)
#27 LSU 4, #38 South Carolina 3
1. #55 Olivier Borsos (LSU) def. #102 Ivan Machado (SC) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
2. #73 Neal Skupski (LSU) def. Nick Jones (SC) 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
3. Andrew Adams (SC) def. #98 Chris Simpson (LSU) 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-1)
4. Thiago Pinhiero (SC) def. James Turbervill (LSU) 6-2, 6-1
5. Chip Cox (SC) def. Tom Knights (LSU) 6-4, 6-3
6. Stefan Szacinski (LSU) def. Kyle Koch (SC) 6-3, 6-3
1. Neal Skupski/Chris Simpson (LSU) def. #47 Nick Jones/Chip Cox (SC) 8-5
2. Ivan Machado/Thiago Pinhiero (SC) def. Olivier Borsos/Roger Anderson (LSU) 9-7
3. Tom Knights/Stefan Szacinski (LSU) def. Kyle Koch/Carl Eguez (SC) 8-6
Match Notes: South Carolina 14-9; National ranking #38
LSU 12-9; National ranking #27
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,4,5,1,2,3)