Jan. 30, 2016
Columbia, S.C. – Georgia Tech won the doubles point, but was only able to capture one singles match Saturday as 59th-ranked South Carolina got past No. 39 Georgia Tech, 5-2, at the USC Field House.
Christopher Eubanks staked the Yellow Jackets (3-2) to a 2-0 lead on the Gamecocks (3-2), defeating Gabriel Friedrich at the No. 1 position, 6-3, 6-4. Eubanks, a sophomore from Atlanta, remained unbeaten this spring.
South Carolina dug itself out of that hole, however, by winning the other five singles matches in straight sets. Andrew Schafer downed the Yellow Jackets’ freshman Andrew Li, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 4, and 65th-ranked Harrison O’Keefe pulled the Gamecocks even with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Michael Kay at No. 3.
Alex Fennel, ranked No. 115, downed Carlos Benito, 6-3, 67-4, at No. 2, and Thomas Mayronne clinched the match for South Carolina with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Nathan Rakitt on court 5. Wood Benton closed it out for the Gamecocks at No. 6 with a 7-5, 6-3 decision over Cole Fiegel.
The Yellow Jackets outlasted the Gamecocks in a tightly contested doubles session. Tech’s duo of Eubanks and Benito pulled out a 6-4 win at court 2 over O’Keefe and Sam Swank. South Carolina forced tiebreakers on courts 1 and 3, but the Jackets’ Li and Rakitt pulled out a 7-2 win in the tiebreak for a 7-6 victory on court 3 to clinch the point for Tech.
Tech returns to action next Saturday with a 5 p.m. match against No. 6 Georgia in Athens.
HEAD COACH Kenny Thorne SAYS – “We got our doubles going and fought through that well. However, something happened that every coach hates…we got out-competed in singles. Our execution under pressure was horrible. There is a deeper level of execution that comes down to guys under pressure saying and really believing, ‘I want to be the man.’ We have a tough road schedule this season, and it requires guys digging deeper because the home team always plays a bit better at home. UGA is up next so it won’t be hard to get up for them, but we need to see who wants to finish the job.”
#59 South Carolina 5, #39 Georgia Tech 2
Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 3*)
1. Fennell / Mayronne (SC) vs. #36 C. Kay / M. Kay (GT), 6-6, unfinished
2. Eubanks / Benito (GT) def. Swank / O’Keefe, 6-4
3. Li / Rakitt (GT) def. Friedrich / Dennis (SC) 7-6 (2) Singles (Order of Finish: 1, 4, 3, 2, 5*, 6)
1. #6 Christopher Eubanks (GT) def. Gabriel Friedrich (SC) 6-3, 6-4
2. #116 Alex Fennell (SC) def. Carlos Benito (GT) 6-3, 6-4
3. #65 Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Michael Kay (GT) 7-5, 6-3
4. Andrew Schafer (SC) def. Andrew Li (GT) 6-3, 6-4
5. Thomas Mayronne (SC) def. Nathan Rakitt (GT) 6-2, 6-1
6. Wood Benton (SC) def. Cole Fiegel (GT) 7-5, 6-3