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March 6, 2016

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#50 Miss. St. – 5 || #73 USC – 2
Pos. Singles (2, 4, 6, 1, 3*, 5) Score
1. Gabriel Friedrich (USC) d. #44 Mate Cutura (MSU) 6-0, 7-6 (3)
2. Nuno Borges (MSU) d. Andrew Schafer (USC) 6-2, 6-1
3. #74 Rishab Agarwal (MSU) d. Alex Fennell (USC) 6-4, 6-4
4. Niclas Braun (MSU) d. Harrison O’Keefe (USC) 6-4, 6-1
5. Trevor Foshey (MSU) d. Thomas Mayronne (USC) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (8)
6. Strahinja Rakic (MSU) d. Wood Benton (USC) 6-4, 6-2
Pos. Doubles (2, 3*) Score
1. #51 Fennell/O’Keefe (USC) vs. Borges/Braun (MSU) 4-4 (susp.)
2. Friedrich/Swank (USC) d. Cutura/Foshey (MSU) 6-3
3. Mayronne/Schafer (USC) d. Agarwal/Hunter (MSU) 6-4

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina men’s tennis fell to Mississippi State, 5-2, on Sunday at the Carolina Tennis Center. The Gamecocks came out firing in doubles en route to a 1-0 lead, but the Bulldogs took control in singles with first-set wins on five courts that eventually proved too much to overcome. Carolina’s No. 1 singles player, sophomore Gabriel Friedrich, put together a strong 6-0, 7-6 (3) performance for the Gamecocks in the loss.

As it has for most of the spring, Carolina brought the energy in doubles as it captured wins at No. 2 and No. 3. Junior Sam Swank pounded home a volley to give he and teammate Gabriel Friedrich a 6-3 victory at No. 2 over Mississippi State’s Mate Cutura and Trevor Foshey. At No. 3, a Mississippi State volley went long as junior Andrew Schafer and sophomore Thomas Mayronne captured a 6-4 win, giving the Gamecocks the early 1-0 lead.

The Bulldogs would find their rhythm in singles, establishing leads on five of six courts and eventually gaining the edge on the scoreboard. It was a trio of Bulldog freshman who led the way as Nuno Borges was first off the court with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Schafer at No. 2, and Niclas Braun besting O’Keefe at No. 4. Serbian Luka Sucevic put the Bulldogs up, 3-1, with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Gamecock freshman Wood Benton at No. 6.

The Gamecocks pulled to within one when Friedrich scored his biggest career win, taking down No. 44 Mate Cutura at No. 1 singles, 6-0, 7-6 (3). Junior Alex Fennell put up a tough fight against No. 74 Rishab Agarwal at No. 3, but lost a pair of heartbreaking sets, 6-4, 6-4, as the Bulldogs clinched the win. Down a set and with the match decided, Mayronne refused to give in. He took his second set, 6-4, to force a third-set super tiebreaker, where he lost an epic 10-8 dual.

Quoting Head Coach Josh Goffi

On what he can take away from this weekend: “I think we’re getting better every match. We are trying to stay positive with where we are. It’s obviously not a good spot to be in right now, starting off the league 0-2, but at the same time we are finally getting our lineup where it needs to be. With Gabriel in there at No. 1 and getting a big win today, that’s big for him and big for the team. We are winning on all of the doubles courts, and that’s a big deal for us. We’ve been working hard on our doubles.”

On Alumni Weekend: “It was awesome. If we could play in front of that crowd every single time, it would be amazing. It was great having all of the alumni back and listening to some of their war stories at dinners. It was a phenomenal weekend and we are really looking forward to the next one.”

Match Changer

The Gamecocks excelled in doubles play and took the early 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs, however, responded by winning the first set on five-of-six courts.

Notables

  • The Gamecocks move to 4-2 at home this season.
  • South Carolina has taken the doubles point in four of the last five matches.
  • Sophomore Gabriel Friedrich scored the highest-ranked win of the season for the Gamecocks and has won three of his last four matches.

Up Next

Carolina is back on the road for a pair of matches on Thursday, Mar. 10, in Nashville, Tenn. The Gamecocks square off with Murray State at 10:30 a.m., before an SEC road match against Vanderbilt at 6 p.m. The Gamecocks fell to the Commodores last season, but lead the head-to-head series, 15-12.

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