Koch Advances to Semifinals at UTC/Steve Baras Fall Classic
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – South Carolina sophomore Kyle Koch won a pair of singles matches on Friday afternoon to advance to the semifinals of Flight 1 at the UTC/Steve Baras Fall Classic. Junior Chip Cox reached the quarterfinals of the same flight, and the duo is in the semifinals of Flight 1 doubles as well.
Koch battled through a tough first-round match against three-time All-Southern Conference selection Zac Dunkle of Samford. The Gamecocks’ sophomore rolled through the first set 6-2 but saw Dunkle come back quickly to win the second set 6-0. Koch shook off the set back to play a steady third set and edge the veteran Dunkle 6-4. In the quarterfinals, Lipscomb’s Oliver Strecker put up a challenge, but Koch continued his solid play to score a break in each set for a 6-4, 6-4 victory. Koch will take on ETSU’s Jsesus Bandres, the third seed in the flight and a two-time All-Atlantic Sun selection, in the semifinals at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
Cox drew the top seed in the flight, but, in his first matches of the season, had a fight on his hands from David Salazar of Lipscomb. Like Koch, Cox won the first set only to see the Bisons’ sophomore matched Cox’s first-set score in the second to level the match at 6-3, 3-6. Cox wore down Salazar in the third set for a 6-2 win and a spot in the quarterfinals. East Tennessee State’s Rogerio Ribiero also battled to a three-set win in the first round to meet Cox in the quarters. The two slugged it out to 6-6 in the first set with Ribiero taking the tiebreaker 7-6 (4). Cox struggled to regain his footing in the second set with Ribiero advancing to the semis with a 6-2 victory.
Koch and Cox, seeded No. 1 in the flight, opened the day’s action with an efficient 8-3 doubles victory over Salazar and Colby Shaw of Lipscomb. The will take on Samford’s Dunkle and Alex Sajonz in the semifinals at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
South Carolina Results
Singles Rd. of 16
Chip Cox (SC) def. David Salazar (LIP) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
Kyle Koch (SC) def. Zac Dunkle (SAM) 6-2, 0-6, 6-4
Kyle Koch (SC) def. Oliver Strecker (LIP) 6-4, 6-4
Rogerio Ribiero (ETSU) def. Chip Cox (SC) 7-6 (4), 6-2
Koch/Cox (SC) def. Colby Shaw/David Salazar (LIP) 8-3