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South Carolina's Chip Cox impresses in debut with Gamecocks

COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 56 South Carolina kicked off the spring season with a 6-1 win over Wofford, but dropped a 5-2 decision to Elon in the second half of a men’s tennis doubleheader at the USC Indoor Fieldhouse Sunday. In the first matches for head coach Josh Goffi, freshmen dominated the day, led by Chip Cox who finished the day with a pair of singles victories in his first collegiate matches. Nick Jones and Jake Bowling also drew their first career dual match wins on the day.

"Overall, it was a pretty good day for us," Goffi said. "Obviously we had a hiccup against Elon, but we had three new guys on the court today, and I think they played well. Chip Cox was the highlight of the day for us. For being a 17-year-old freshman in his first match, he played like a fifth-year senior. He showed everyone what it is like to be a Gamecock out there today. He was the shining star today."

The Gamecocks started the day’s first match against Wofford by taking the doubles point as Cox and Johannes Pulsfort swiftly took care of Drew Superstein and Randall Heffron in the No. 3 position 8-1. That victory offset the Terriers’ 9-8 win in the No. 2 match. The Gamecocks’ point was clinched by Jones and junior Ivan Machado as they beat Alan Donald and Stuart Robertson of Wofford in the No. 1 spot 8-4.

South Carolina also got off to a hot start in the singles matches winning the first two points as Cox quickly defeated Wofford senior Paul Bartholomy at the No. 4 spot 6-1, 6-2. Soon after, Jones took the Gamecocks’ third point in the No. 1 match 7-5, 6-4 over Michael Schecter. The match was clinched when Bowling took down Tom Wood in an impressive 6-2, 6-1 win at the No. 6 position. Alexander Kostanov kept the foot on the throttle with a grueling three set tiebreaker 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) win in the No. 2 spot. Senior Chris Sheehan closed out Superstein as well, winning 7-5, 7-5 in the No. 5 spot.

In the afternoon match with Elon, the Gamecocks found trouble early when they dropped the doubles point. Singles got off to a slow start as well with Elon quickly picking up wins at No. 1 and No. 4. Kostanov tallied the Gamecocks’ first win with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Cameron Silverman in the No. 3 singles spot. Eric Turner sealed the win for the Phoenix with a win over Jones in the No. 2 position.

Although the match had been decided, Cox continued to battle against Elon’s Alberto Rojas in the No. 5 singles contest. After dropping the first set 1-6 and losing the first five games of the second set, Cox caught fire and churned out seven straight games to take level the match with a 7-5 second set win. The two played a super-tiebreaker to decide the match, and Cox dominated to win it 10-3.

South Carolina is 1-1 on the season and will host No. 23 Georgia Tech on Sun., Jan. 23, at 1 p.m.

 
No. 56 South Carolina 6, Wofford 1
Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1)
1.    Nick Jones/Ivan Machado (SC) def. Alan Donald/Stuart Robertson (WC) 8-4
2.    Paul Bartholomy/Michael Schecter (WC) def. Chris Sheehan/Alexander Kostanov(SC) 9-8 (4)
3.    Johannes Pulsfort/Chip Cox (SC) def. Drew Superstein/Randall Heffron (WC) 8-1

Singles (Order of Finish: 2, 5, 3, 1, 6, 4)
1.    Nick Jones (SC) def. Michael Schecter (WC) 7-5, 6-4
2.    Alexander Kostanov (SC) def. Stuart Robertson (WC) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1)
3.    Alan Donald (WC) def. Johannes Pulsfort (SC) 6-4, 6-2
4.    Chip Cox (SC) def. Paul Bartholomy (WC) 6-1, 6-2
5.    Chris Sheehan (SC) def. Drew Superstein (WC) 7-5, 7-5
6.    Jake Bowling (SC) def. Tom Wood (WC) 6-2, 6-1
 
Elon 5, No. 56 South Carolina 2
Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2)
1.    Chase Helpingstine/ Philip Nemec (EU) def. Nick Jones/Ivan Machado (SC) 8-5
2.    Alexander Kostanov/ Chris Sheehan (SC) def. Alberto Rojas/Cody Stauffer MacDowell (EU) 9-8 (5)
3.    Cameron Silverman/Eric Turner (EU) def. Johannes Pulsfort/Chip Cox (SC) 8-6

Singles (Order of Finish: 1, 4, 3, 2, 6, 5)
1.    Philip Nemec (EU) def. Ivan Machado (SC) 6-0, 6-4
2.    Eric Turner (EU) def. Nick Jones (SC) 5-7, 6-1, 6-4
3.    Alexander Kostanov (SC) def. Cameron Silverman (EU) 6-4, 6-3
4.    Chase Helpingstine (EU) def. Johannes Pulsfort (SC) 6-3, 6-3
5.    Chip Cox (SC) def. Alberto Rojas (EU) 1-6, 7-5, 1-0 (3)
6.    Cody Stauffer-MacDowell (EU) def. Jake Bowling (SC) 6-2, 6-1
 
 

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