Gamecocks Flourish at ITA Carolina Regional
CARY, N.C. - South Carolina men's tennis closed out a successful weekend at the ITA Carolina Regional at Cary Tennis Park on Sunday. Gamecocks won the back draw in both singles and doubles at the event, while sophomore Andrew Adams advanced to the quarterfinals of the main draw of the event. Sophomore Thiago Pinheiro was the top finisher in the back draw of singles, while Chip Cox and Kyle Koch combined to win the doubles back draw.
Adams put together blistering efforts on Friday as he stormed through the draw on a collision course with the nation's No. 1 ranked player. Holding the No. 62 spot in the country, Adams handled UNC Wilmington's Zach Hublitz 6-4, 6-1 on Friday then dispatched William Parker, who played No. 5 singles for North Carolina most of last season, by a score of 6-1, 6-1. Saturday brought a much more difficult task as the Gamecock sophomore squared off with Duke's Henrique Cunha in the quarterfinals. The Blue Devils' top player advanced to the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-0 victory.
The back draw came down to a showdown of Gamecocks as three pushed through the bracket toward each other. Ben Barnette and Chip Cox defeated their opponents in the round of 32 to set up an intra-squad matchup in the next round. Barnette's win came over Wake Forest's Connor Sherwood (6-1, 6-4), while Cox topped Andrew McKinnon of Appalachian State (6-2, 6-3). Cox repeated the effort against his teammate, defeating Barnette 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Pinheiro was also on a mission to cross paths with Cox. Pinheiro battled back from a narrow first-set loss to defeat Davidson's top singles threat Joe Shafer 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. In the quarterfinals, the Gamecock sophomore escaped another close call, this one against North Carolina's Oystein Steriro. The Tar Heels' No. 6 singles player last season eked out a tiebreak to win the first set, but Pinheiro shook off the setback to steamroll to a 6-7, 6-1, 6-1 win.
Both Cox and Pinheiro advanced to the final when their scheduled semifinal opponents withdrew from the tournament. In the last match, Pinheiro's steady pressure got the better of his elder teammate as he scored a 6-4, 6-2 victory.
Cox did not leave the tournament empty handed, however, as he teamed with Kyle Koch to pick up wins in the semifinals and final of the back draw of doubles. The duo first dispatched its teammates Barnette and Harry Menzies 8-2 in the semis then closed the event with a win over Elon's Robert Lindren and Juan Madrid by the same score.
South Carolina Results
Round of 32
(62) Andrew Adams (SC) def. Zach Hublitz (UNCW) 6-4, 6-1
Round of 16
(62) Andrew Adams (SC) def. William Parker (UNC) 6-1, 6-1
(1) Henrique Cunha (DU) def. (62) Andrew Adams (SC) 6-0, 6-0
Consolation Round of 32
Ben Barnette (SC) def. Connor Sherwood (WF) 6-1, 6-4
Chip Cox (SC) def. Andrew McKinnon (ASU) 6-2, 6-3
Consolation Round of 16
Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Joe Shafer (DAV) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
Chip Cox (SC) def. Ben Barnette (SC) 6-2, 6-3
Ted Nilsson (CCU) def. Harry Menzies (SC) 6-3, 6-4
Chip Cox (SC) def. Taylor Meyer (UNC) 6-4, 6-1
Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Oystein Steriro (UNC) 6-7, 6-1, 6-1
Chip Cox (SC) wins by default
Thiago Pinheiro (SC) wins by default
Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Chip Cox (SC) 6-4, 6-2
Round of 64
Andrew Adams/Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Jamal Hoyte/Tamina Kienka (NCCU)
Nicky Kunz/Joe Schafer (DAV) def. Ben Barnette/Harry Menzies (SC) 8-4
Brett Clark/William Parker (UNC) def. Chip Cox/Kyle Koch (SC) 8-4
Round of 32
(17) David Hopkins/Amogh Prabhakar (WF) def. Andrew Adams/ Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 8-3
Chip Cox/Kyle Koch (SC) win by default
Ben Barnette/Harry Menzies (SC) win by default
Chip Cox/Kyle Koch (SC) def. Ben Barnette/Harry Menzies (SC) 8-2
Chip Cox/Kyle Koch (SC) def. Robert Lindren/Juan Madrid (Elon) 8-2