Feb. 7, 2016
RALEIGH, N.C. — No. 55 South Carolina men’s tennis earned a sweep of Bryant University before falling in a road contest to No. 32 NC State, 4-3, on Sunday at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center. The Gamecocks moved to 5-4 this spring with all four losses to teams who are currently ranked in the top-75 of the Oracle/ITA Rankings.
The Gamecocks got the day started with a 4-0 win over Bryant University. Doubles wins by sophomore Harrison O’Keefe and junior Alex Fennell at No. 1 and sophomore Gabriel Freidrich and junior Sam Swank at No. 2 put South Carolina on top 1-0. O’Keefe, ranked No. 65 in singles, quickly put away his match, 6-0, 6-2, to extend the Gamecock lead to 2-0. South Carolina continued its flurry with straight-set wins by Fennell, ranked No. 116 in singles, at No. 1 and sophomore Thomas Mayronne at No. 4.
In the afternoon session, NC State scored doubles wins at courts two and three to go up 1-0. The Wolfpack then took a 2-0 lead as senior Simon Norenius defeated Fennell at No. 2, but O’Keefe powered past freshman Ivan Saveljic, 6-2, 6-2, to pull the Gamecocks back within one.
Friedrich and junior Andrew Schafer both started their second sets well after dropping their opening sets. Friedrich was even at 2-2 at court one before losing the final four games. Schafer was a game away from forcing a third set at court four, but couldn’t hold on as NC State was able to clinch the victory.
Playing out the last two matches, Mayronne put together a strong performance at No. 5 to give the Gamecocks their second point, winning his first set, 6-0, and the third-set super tiebreak, 10-8. Freshman Yancy Dennis moved to 3-0 this spring in singles with an impressive 6-2, 6-4 victory that made the final margin, 4-3 in favor of the home team.
Head Coach Josh Goffi: “Credit goes to NC State today. They came at us hard from the first point in doubles and played extremely well at the No. 1 and 2 spots. Our inexperience as a young squad showed itself in the start of the matches this weekend. We got behind early in both and that’s something that can’t happen against tough teams. We are looking forward to putting the indoor season behind us and getting outdoors for a few weeks of practice before heading down to Tampa.”
The Gamecocks get a week off before gearing up for another weekend on the road, this time in Tampa, Fla. South Carolina will take on No. 13 South Florida on Fri., Feb. 19, at 2 p.m. and No. 16 San Diego the next day at 2 p.m. The month of February concludes with a matchup at in-state rival, Clemson on Feb. 27.