BATON ROUGE – The LSU men’s tennis team tallied a triumphant 4-3 win over No. 36 South Carolina clinched by Eric Perez and Tam Trinh’s 8-6 doubles win on Friday at W.T. “Dub” Robinson Stadium.
“The match itself was pretty incredible as far as the way the dynamics changed, how some people were ahead, some were behind and some were way behind and came back incredibly,” said LSU head coach Jeff Brown. “There were a lot of really amazing emotional swings, and the guys did a great job getting to 3-all. It happened very quickly getting from 3-1 to 3-all. We had the reunion, so we had some emotion with all the guys that came back. Then we had to play the doubles point, which is unusual.”
Due to weather conditions, singles kicked off competition. Every court aside from one advanced into the third set of competition. The fourth spot awarded LSU with the first point as South Carolina’s Thiago Pinheiro retired due to illness with the score at 6-4, 3-2 in favor of the Tigers’ Andrew Korinek.
South Carolina (10-10, 3-5 SEC) notched its first point of the day with Andrew Adams’ top-spot victory over No. 77 Chris Simpson 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Harrison Kennedy recovered from a 6-3 first-set loss to Kyle Koch on court five to fight through a tiebreaker in the second set and ultimately take set two 7-6 (7-3). Unable to hold on, the Gamecocks took their second point as Kennedy fell 6-2 in set three.
Justin Butsch followed and gave South Carolina its third point with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 loss to No. 88 Tsvetan Mihov on court two.
Boris Arias and Trinh quickly retaliated as they both won their matches within seconds of each other, recording two points for the Tigers to tie up the match. After falling 6-4 in the first set and recovering 7-5 in the second, Arias had a slow start in set three. Trailing 5-1 against Chip Cox on court three, Arias came back to take the third set 7-5.
Trinh fell 6-4 in the first set but made a comeback win to take the second set 7-5 after trailing 5-2. He then scored a dominating 6-4 third set to take court six over South Carolina’s Andrew Schafer and score the third point for LSU.
As doubles kicked off, Simpson and Butsch fell to the Gamecocks’ Adams and Koch 8-4 on court two before the pair of Korinek and Arias snatched court three over South Carolina’s Pinheiro and Sam Swank 8-4 to tie doubles.
All eyes were on court one with a tight 6-5 Tiger lead. The 70th-ranked pair of Trinh and Perez managed strong points to take the score to 7-5 against the Gamecocks’ Mihov and Cox before losing the next point to South Carolina. The duo came back again and took the last doubles match 8-6 to tally a victory for the Tigers.
It was a great team win,” Brown said. “It couldn’t have come on a better weekend to showcase what LSU tennis is all about with the fight, the pride and the passion.”
The Tigers (11-9, 2-6 SEC) return to action Sunday as they host No. 16 Florida at 1 p.m. for the final home match of the season at Dub Robinson Stadium.
For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access on the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men’s tennis team on Twitter and Instagram at @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.
#61 LSU 4, #36 South Carolina 3
1. Andrew Adams (USC) def. #77 Chris Simpson (LSU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
2. #88 Tsvetan Mihov (USC) def. Justin Butsch (LSU) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
3. Boris Arias (LSU) def. Chip Cox (USC) 4-6, 7-5, 7-6
4. Andrew Korinek (LSU) def. Thiago Pinheiro (USC) 6-4, 3-2
5. Kyle Koch (USC) def. Harrison Kennedy (LSU) 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2
6. Tam Trinh (LSU) def. Andrew Schafer (USC) 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
1. #70 Tam Trinh/Eric Perez (LSU) def. Chip Cox/Tsvetan Mihov (USC) 8-6
2. Andrew Adams/Kyle Koch (USC) def. Chris Simpson/Justin Butsch (LSU) 8-4
3. Andrew Korinek/Boris Arias (LSU) def. Thiago Pinheiro/Sam Swank (USC) 8-4
South Carolina 10-10; National ranking #36
LSU 11-9; National ranking #61
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,1,5,2,3,6)