Gamecocks Post Six Wins in Day One at ITA Carolina Regional
CARY, N.C. - The six Gamecocks playing in the ITA Carolina Regional each collected a win in Day One action at Cary Tennis Park with sophomore Andrew Adams advancing to third-round action in the main draw. Sophomore Kyle Koch won his first-round match, while the four other Gamecocks participating won their consolation matches to close the day's play.
Koch put the first win on the board for South Carolina, dispatching NC State freshman Thomas Weigel 6-3, 6-2. The win sent him into the second round againt East Carolina's Joran Vilegen. The Pirates' junior, who went 14-6 last season, including a 13-6 mark in the No. 1 singles spot, quickly won the first set 6-2, but Koch stayed in the match, battling to a tiebreak in the second set. Vilegen narrowly edged in the Gamecock sophomore 7-6 (4) to move on in the tournament.
The nation's 62nd-ranked player, Adams used his first-round bye to cruise past Elon's Juan Madrid 6-2, 6-1 in the second round. He will take on UNC Wilmington's Zach Hubitz on Friday at 11 a.m. to begin third-round action.
Junior Chip Cox narrowly missed out on a spot in the second round, stretching Elon's Brian Kowalski to three sets in first-round action. Kowalski, a transfer from Division III national champion Emory University, took the first set 6-2, only to see Cox match the effort with a 6-2 second-set victory. The Elon sophomore drew on his undefeated record in last year's NCAA Tournament to outlast Cox in the third set, 6-1. The Gamecocks' Myrtle Beach, S.C., product bounced back with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Leo Christofides, who played in the top two singles spots for Coastal Carolina last season. Cox will take on Appalachian State's Andrew McKinnon on Friday at noon in the consolation round 32.
Senior Harry Menzies suffered a 6-3, 6-2 loss in the first round, but shook off the rust of his first match of the fall to collect a 6-4, 6-4 win over Furman's Tyler Droll in the consolation bracket. He will play Stefan Fortmann of Elon on Friday.
Thiago Pinheiro also rallied back from a first-round setback. After dropping a tiebreaker to Brett Clark of North Carolina to fall into the consolation bracket, the Gamecock sophomore was efficient in a 6-2, 6-2 win over Jamal Hoyte of NC Central. He has a bye in the next round, but will take on either Joe Schafer of Davidson or Auston Ansari of Clemson in the consolation round of 16.
Sophomore Ben Barnette rounded out the day's results with a steady 6-4, 6-2 in over South Carolina State's Anton Protsenko in the consolation bracket. The win came after Barnette nearly came back to force a third set in his first round match against UNC Wilmington's Kosta Blank. The Spartanburg, S.C., native lost that contest 6-1, 7-5 to fall into consolation play. Barnette is slated to play Wake Forest's Connor Sherwood on Friday in the consolation round of 32.
Doubles also gets underway on Friday. Barnette and Menzies will team up to take on Davidson's Nicky Kunz and Joe Schafer. Cox and Koch will renew their doubles history, first against North Carolina's Brett Clark and William Parker. Adams and Pinheiro will take on Jamal Hoyte and Tamina Kienka of NC Central.
South Carolina Results
Round of 128
Kyle Koch (SC) def. Thomas Weigel (NCST) 6-3, 6-2
Hunter Harrington (CU) def. Harry Menzies (SC) 6-3, 6-2
Brett Clark (NC) def. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 6-3, 7-6 (3)
Kosta Blank (UNCW) def. Ben Barnette (SC) 6-1, 7-5
Brian Kowalski (ELON) def. Chip Cox (SC) 6-2, 2-6, 6-1
Round of 64
Andrew Adams (SC) def. Juan Madrid (ELON) 6-2, 6-1
Joran Vilegen (ECU) def. Kyle Koch (SC) 6-2, 7-6 (4)
Consolation Round of 64
Harry Menzies (SC) def. Tyler Droll (FUR) 6-4, 6-4
Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Jamal Hoyte (NCCU) 6-2, 6-2
Ben Barnette (SC) def. Anton Protsenko (SCST) 6-4, 6-2
Chip Cox (SC) def. Leo Christofides (CCU) 6-1, 6-4