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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC Starts Well, Beats Gamecocks

Following their first loss of the season, a 4-3 heartbreaker to Furman, the Tar Heels roared back, dominating South Carolina for a 6-1 victory.

"I think we were ready to play," UNC coach Sam Paul said. "We were sort of angry. We let one get away from us -- the Furman match -- that we shouldn't have, and we came back today and showed a lot of character."

The Tar Heels (3-1) started strongly, winning the doubles point, something that they failed to do in Tuesday night's loss.

The No. 1 seeded tandem of Marcio Petrone and Nicholas Monroe dominated play at the net and defeated USC's Seth Rose and Marcus Westman 8-6. At the No. 2 seed, David Cheatwood and Trystan Meniane beat Gamecock duo Guillaume Legat and Rodrigo Pacheco 8-4.

South Carolina (3-1) did post a win at the No. 3 seed, but UNC had the two victories it needed for the doubles point.

In singles action, the match was never in doubt.

Monroe and Greg Archer extended their records to 4-0 in dual match play, as Monroe defeated Carl Wermee 6-2, 6-0, and Archer edged Westman 3-6, 6-2, 6-0.

Chad Riley, who has been struggling after returning to the lineup after a shoulder injury, clinched the match with a 7-5, 6-3 win against Pacheco.

After Meniane outlasted Nasir Sherazi in three sets and USC's ace Rose tallied the Gamecocks' only point, UNC senior Cheatwood was left alone on center court.

Fittingly, he beat David Nelson 4-6,

6-3, 6-4 for his 50th career singles victory.

"I actually didn't know until my dad told me right after the match," Cheatwood said. "It is an honor, and I'm glad I got to 50. Now I'll just try to go out and get some more."

The win marked the fifth time the Tar Heels have defeated the Gamecocks in their eight meetings since Paul became UNC coach.

Paul, a Lancaster, S.C., native, served as an assistant at USC from 1983-86.

Said Paul: "These guys are my friends. Personally, I don't want to beat my friends, but I don't want to lose to them either. I just want to do the best thing for my team."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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