OXFORD, Miss. – The No. 20 LSU men’s tennis team (15-11, 5-8 SEC) were defeated 4-3 by No. 17 South Carolina (18-9, 8-5 SEC) Thursday afternoon at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center in Oxford, Miss., in the first round of the SEC Championships.
With the match on the line and LSU trailing 3-2, it all came down to the final two singles matches between LSU’s Olivier Borsos and South Carolina’s Thiago Pinheiro on court three and LSU’s Tam Trinh and South Carolina’s Harry Menzies on court six.
After winning the first set 6-2, freshman Trinh dropped the second set 3-6. Trailing 0-4 in the third set, Trinh came back big and won the final six games to win the match 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, and tie the match up at 3-3. The Gamecocks were able to stave off the Tigers’ comeback attempt and clinched the match following Pinheiro’s 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over LSU’s Borsos.
“I think we have had a great season, and we fought hard but it was a tough match,” head coach Jeff Brown said. “It kind of typifies the matches in the SEC. It was tough with South Carolina winning the doubles point, but we came back and had a chance to win. We didn't but they are a great team and best of luck to them in the tournament.”
The Gamecocks started the doubles matches strong and carried themselves to a 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point. South Carolina’s Pinheiro and Andrew Adams overpowered LSU’s Chris Simpson and Boris Arias on court three, winning the match 8-3. The doubles point was secured by No. 14 Tsvetan Mihov and Chip Cox when they defeated LSU’s No. 86 Roger Anderson and Borsos 8-4 on court one. The match on court two between LSU’s No. 72 Stefan Szacinski and Trinh and South Carolina’s No. 50 Menzies and Kyle Koch was left unfinished with the Tigers leading 6-3.
After losing the doubles point and trailing early in their singles matches, the Tigers refused to go down without a fight. South Carolina pushed their lead to 2-0 behind a 6-4, 7-5 victory by No. 39 Mihov over LSU’s No. 50 Simpson on court one. The Tigers cut the lead to 2-1 following Arias’ 6-4, 6-4 victory over South Carolina’s Cox on court five. The Tigers tied it up at 2-2 with a 7-6, 6-2 victory by senior Mark Bowtell over South Carolina’s Koch on court four. LSU’s No. 87 Szacinski’s eight-match win streak was snapped after he fell 1-6, 7-5, 4-6 on court two to No. 80 Adams, giving the Gamecocks a 3-2 lead.
LSU’s Trinh defeated Menzies 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 to tie the match at 3-3 on court six, and Pinheiro clinched the match for South Carolina with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over LSU’s Borsos on court three.
For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access on the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men's team on Twitter @lsutennis, and follow head coach Jeff Brown @LSUCoachJBrown and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.
2013 SEC Men’s Tennis Championship
LSU vs. South Carolina
Apr 18, 2013 at Oxford, Miss.
(Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center)
#17 South Carolina 3, #22 LSU 3
1. #39 Tsvetan Mihov (USC) def. #50 Chris Simpson (LSU) 6-4, 7-5
2. #80 Andrew Adams (USC) def. #87 Stefan Szacinski (LSU) 6-1, 5-7, 6-4
3. Thiago Pinheiro (USC) def. Olivier Borsos (LSU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
4. Mark Bowtell (LSU) def. Kyle Koch (USC) 7-6, 6-2
5. Boris Arias (LSU) def. Chip Cox (USC) 6-4, 6-4
6. Tam Trinh (LSU) def. Harry Menzies (USC) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
1. #14 Chip Cox/Tsvetan Mihov (USC) def. #86 Olivier Borsos/Roger Anderson (LSU) 8-4*
2. #72 Stefan Szacinski/Tam Trinh (LSU) vs. Kyle Koch/Harry Menzies (USC) 6-3, unfinished
3. Andrew Adams/Thiago Pinheiro (USC) def. Chris Simpson/Boris Arias (LSU) 8-3
LSU 15-11, 5-8 SEC; National ranking #20
South Carolina 18-9, 8-5 SEC; National ranking #17
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,5,4,6,3*)