Colombia, South Carolina – South Carolina’s No. 10 men’s tennis swept South Carolina State 4-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon at the Carolina Tennis Center. The Gamecocks took the doubles point and picked up three singles wins to win the match.
“The first round always comes with a bit of nervousness,” said the head coach Josh Gofi. “We worked for this tournament all year and came out a little tight, which was obvious in the doubles. We let the guys off on their own today and it went well. We We’re looking forward to playing Pepperdine tomorrow. They “We’re a great team and we’ve been training really well, so we’ll have our hands full tomorrow. Overall, I’m very proud of how our guys performed today.”
The first doubles victory of the day came from the still undefeated Gamecock duo of Casey Hoole and Toby Samuel. The pair earned an early break to go up 3-1 but their Bulldog opponents fought back, leveling the game at three before taking a 4-3 lead. The Gamecocks didn’t back down and responded with a three-game series to win their game 6-4. The duo are now a perfect 5-0 together.
The double point was won by Raphael Lambing and James’ story on Court 2. The pair battled it out in an even game before earning a break and service game after three all to take a 5-3 lead. Their South Carolina State counterparts tried to come back but the Gamecocks won their next service game for the 6-4 victory.
All of the Gamecocks looked strong in singles, with all six players winning their opening sets. Story picked up the first victory of the day with a quick 6-1, 6-1 win on Court 5.
The next singles victory of the day came from Connor Thompson on court 3. Thomson was dominant in his first set, taking a 5-0 lead before leaving his opponent on the board. The second ended his first set 6-1 before delivering another impressive second set which he won 6-2.
The game was won by the nations No. 1 player Daniel Rodrigues. Rodrigues came through their first set 6-1 and started strong in the second, coming up 4-0. The junior hit a little lul, allowing his opponent three games before responding with two of his own to win the second set 6-3 to win the match.
South Carolina will continue the NCAA Championships tomorrow, hosting No. 26 Pepperdine at 1 p.m. at the Carolina Tennis Center. The Gamecocks last played the Waves on February 18, 1999 and won the game 4-3.
Doors to the Carolina Tennis Center will open at noon and a clear bag policy will be in effect. Tickets will be sold at the door and cost $5 for general admission and $3 with a valid college ID.
For all the latest news on men’s tennis in South Carolina, keep following GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).
(10) South Carolina 4, State of South Carolina 0
Doubles (order of arrival: 3, 2)
- (18) Rodirgues/Thomson (SC) led Niv/Benchakroun (SCST) 5-4, uf
- Lambling/History (SC) def. Haflinger/Pauluychenko (SCST) 6-4
- Samule/Hoole (SC) def. Sasso/Almashey (SCST) 6-4
Singles (order of arrival: 5, 3, 1)
- #1 Rodrigues (SC) defeated. Haflinger (SCST) 6-1, 6-3
- #82 Samuel (SC) led Niv (SCST) 6-3, 4-1
- Thomson (SC) beats. Benchakroun (SCST) 6-1, 6-2
- Lambling (SC) led Gorgun (SCST) 6-2, 3-2
- History (SC) def. Pauliucheka (SCST) 6-1, 6-1
- Hoole (SC) led Arzaluz (SCST) 6-1, 3-5