March 18, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina men’s tennis had its two-match win streak snapped as it fell to No. 19 Georgia, 7-0, on Friday at the Carolina Tennis Center. The loss drops the Gamecocks to 8-8, 1-3 in SEC play, while the Bulldogs move to 9-3, 4-0 in the SEC.
Georgia took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2. Bulldogs Paul Oosterbaan and Jan Zielinski topped junior Sam Swank and redshirt sophomore Gabriel Friedrich at No. 2, before the fifth-ranked tandem of Austin Smith and Ben Wagland defeated No. 54 Harrison O’Keefe and Alex Fennell at No. 1.
Carolina put together a valiant effort across several courts, but was unable to establish momentum. Friedrich came up short against No. 27 Smith, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1, as Georgia took a 2-0 lead. The lead was extended to 3-0 when sophomore Thomas Mayronne dropped a 6-2, 6-4 decision to freshman Jan Zielinski at No. 5. The Bulldogs then clinched as freshman Emil Reinberg came up with a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 6 over freshman Yancy Dennis.
Play continued as junior Andrew Schafer came out firing and put together an impressive 6-1 first set before No. 25 Wayne Montgomery took control and won, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 2. The Gamecocks lost a pair of heartbreakers to close out the night, as Fennell fell, 7-5, 7-6 (2), at No. 4, and O’Keefe lost 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 1-0 (7) at No. 3.
Head Coach Josh Goffi: “We’re going to move past this one. There were plenty of matches where we were right there; we just failed to move ahead. We failed to play the right way in big moments, and that’s something that we have to learn from today. We’re not going to get mad about the loss as long as we can learn from it. The major takeaway is exactly that. We just need to be a little more aggressive in the big moments, be willing to step up and play big.”
- Redshirt freshman Gabriel Friedrich fell in singles for just the second time in seven matches.
- Freshman Yancy Dennis received his first doubles action in SEC play, and he and Thomas Mayronne faired well as they were even at 5-5 when doubles play concluded.
The Gamecocks travel to Lexington, Ky., for a road matchup with Kentucky on Fri., Mar. 25, before returning home to square off with Tennessee on Sun., Mar. 27. South Carolina will take on the Wildcats at 3 p.m., and host the Volunteers at Noon at the Carolina Tennis Center. Parking and attendance at all home matches are free.