No. 53 GW Men's Tennis Wraps Season at NCAA Regionals
Colonials Fall to South Carolina, 4-1, in NCAA First Round
May 10, 2014
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – No. 53 George Washington men’s tennis fell to No. 28 South Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Team Championship on Saturday afternoon at North Carolina’s Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
The Gamecocks earned the doubles point and picked up singles victories at the Nos. 1, 4 and 6 positions to advance to Sunday’s second round. Competing in the final match of his career, senior Nikita Fomin earned the program’s first-ever NCAA singles victory with a 6-3, 6-2 decision in the second flight over South Carolina’s Tsvetan Mihov.
In the three-hour and 40-minute battle between the two squads, two sets were decided in extra games and three were decided in tiebreakers. The Colonials wrap the season with an overall record of 17-7 after reaching the NCAA Championship for the third time in school history with its third Atlantic 10 Championship crown in four seasons to earn the league’s automatic bid.
Opening with doubles play, the Gamecocks held the advantage as GW's No. 2 team of Fomin and sophomore Danil Zelenkov fell to Andrew Adams and Kyle Koch, 4-8. In a clash of two nationally ranked opponents, the No. 83 tandem of junior Francisco Dias and rookie Julius Tverijonas was edged in a tiebreaker by the No. 30 team of Chip Cox and Tsvetan Mihov, 7-8 (5), and South Carolina took a 1-0 lead into singles action.
Fomin evened the match at 1-1 with his straight-set No. 2 singles victory, but the Gamecocks regained the lead at 2-1 when Dias fell to No. 54 Andrew Adams, 5-7, 2-6, at the No. 1 spot. South Carolina extended its lead after Tverijonas dropped a 3-6, 3-6 No. 4 singles match to Cox, and clinched the match in the sixth flight when senior Ulrik Thomsen fell to Andrew Schafer, 4-6, 4-6.
In the No. 3 match, Zelenkov was edged by Pinheiro in the first set, 5-7, and was knotted at 6-6 in the second when the match was called. At the No. 5 slot senior Viktor Svensson dropped his first set in a tiebreaker to Koch, 6-7 (3), but fought back to take the second, 7-6 (5), and force a third set when the Gamecocks clinched.
GW will lose Fomin, Svensson and Thomsen to graduation this month and is slated to return three players to the 2014-15 lineup. Svensson and Thomsen wrap their four-year careers with the Buff and Blue with three A-10 titles and NCAA appearances.