No. 21 Men's Tennis Upends No. 18 South Carolina, 4-2
Jan. 25, 2014
STARKVILLE, Miss. - -
Claiming two of the three doubles matches and with singles wins from seniors Joe Salisbury and David O'Leary and junior Connor Glennon, the No. 21 University of Memphis men's tennis team (1-0) downed No. 18 South Carolina in the first round of the ITA Kickoff Classic, Saturday morning.
"Today was a great team win," head coach Paul Goebel said. "It took great effort by all the guys on the team to pull out this victory. South Carolina is a very well-respected SEC top 20 opponent, so we knew it would be tough, but our guys kept fighting and really wanted this win.
South Carolina got the first win of the morning, picking up a 6-2 victory at No. 2 doubles. The doubles team of Ian Chadwell and Johnny Grimal answered back with a 6-3 win at No. 3 doubles, putting all the attention on the match at No. 1, where the No. 3 ranked Memphis team of David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury were played the No. 24 ranked team of Chip Cox and Kyle Koch.
The match did not disappoint, going all the way to the tiebreak at 5-5 (the new college rules are in effect until the national indoor championships), before the Tiger duo won the tiebreak.
"The doubles point was very important," Goebel said. "It was nice that our top doubles team could pull out the win in the tiebreaker, it gave us some good momentum for singles."
South Carolina tied the match at 1-1 with a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 6. But O'Leary answered back with a straight set win of his own at 6-2, 6-4 to make is 2-1, Tigers. Glennon then won his match versus No. 41 ranked Tsvetan Mihov, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 at No. 1 for a 3-1 Memphis lead. South Carolina mounted one more push for the match, winning at No. 5, 6-5, 6-5 to pull to 3-2 down, but Salisbury's 6-5 (3), 6-4 win at No. 2 closed out the Memphis victory.
"Like any top-20 match, every court was highly-contested and it was nice to come out on top," Goebewl said. "Tomorrow will be another tough match, but we are really excited to have a chance to play and try to go to the round of 16 again."
Memphis will face No. 13 Mississippi State in the deciding match, Sunday, at 1 p.m. The winner of that match advances to the ITA National Indoor Championships, Feb. 14-17, in Houston, Texas.
No. 21 Memphis 4, No. 18 South Carolina 2