Deacon Comeback Falls Short in 4-3 Loss to Gamecocks
Feb. 9, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest men's tennis team dug out of a 3-1 hole to tie South Carolina 3-3 before the Gamecocks' Thiago Pinheiro pulled out a third-set tiebreak in the deciding No. 6 singles match to give his team a 4-3 victory on Thursday afternoon at the Indoor Tennis Center.
The 42nd-ranked Demon Deacons (4-4) did themselves no favors by dropping the doubles point and falling behind early in five of six singles matches, but as the matches wore on, the momentum began to shift in their favor.
Danny Kreyman pulled the match even at 1-1 with a commanding 6-4, 6-0 win over Nick Jones at the No. 1 position, and while the No. 48 Gamecocks responded with wins at No. 5 and No. 4 to again go ahead 3-1, Wake Forest still showed signs of life on the remaining courts.
David Hopkins started the comeback at No. 2 singles against Ivan Machado, rallying from a 2-5 deficit in the first set to come back and win it 7-5 before holding off the pesky Gamecock player in the second set with another 7-5 win to pull the Deacs within a point at 3-2.
On the next court over, Amogh Prabhakar regrouped after dropping the first set to Andrew Adams to post a 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory that evened the match at 3-3.
That left the outcome to be decided at the No. 6 position, where freshman Alex Tsai had battled back after losing the first set to take the second 6-4, forcing a deciding third frame. Tsai see-sawed back and forth with South Carolina's Pinheiro, first jumping out to a 3-1 lead, then falling down a break 3-4 before winning the next two games to force Pinheiro to serve to stay in the match at 4-5.
The Gamecock freshman succeeded, and then again broke Tsai, giving him the opportunity to serve out the match at 6-5. But the Deacs had one more comeback left in them, as Tsai put Pinheiro into 0-30 hole before breaking him to force the deciding tiebreak. Pinheiro, however, pulled himself back together in the tiebreak, racing out to a 5-1 lead before closing it out 7-2, to seal the South Carolina victory.
Hopkins and Prabhakar scored the Demon Deacons' lone doubles win at the No. 1 position, easily dispatching Jones and Kyle Koch 8-3.
Wake Forest will look to get back above .500 on Saturday when it hosts Elon and Winthrop. The Deacons will face the Phoenix at 11 a.m. before taking on the Eagles at 4 p.m.
#48 South Carolina 4, #42 Wake Forest 3