No. 22 Gamecocks Upset No. 17 Mississippi St.
April 16, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 22 South Carolina men’s tennis team took down No. 17 Mississippi St. for the first time under head coach Josh Goffi. in a close match where tiebreak battles proved key. With the win, the Gamecocks improved to 20-5 overall, the most since 2005, and 9-3 in the SEC, tying a program best regular season SEC finish at third, while the Bulldogs fell to 17-7 in the spring and 8-4 in the SEC.
The Gamecocks battled it out in doubles play, but eventually dropped the point with losses on courts one and two. Before the Bulldogs could secure the point, the doubles pairing of Andrew Schafer and Gabriel Friedrich upended their opponent 6-1 in the No. 3 spot. Mate Cutura and Vaughn Hunter claimed their match next, defeating Alex Fennell and Sam Swank in a 6-4 battle. Niclas Braun and Trevor Foshey (27) clinched the doubles point with a 6-4 victory on their own on court one to give Mississippi St. the lead heading into singles play.
Schafer would get off the courts first, posting a solid 6-3, 6-4 win over Strahinja Rakic in the No. 3 spot. With the win, he improved to 19-5 in the spring, including nine SEC victories, and 99-54 in his career. Nuno Borges (4) added to the score for the Bulldogs, defeating O’Keefe (76) 6-3, 7-5 on court one. The Gamecocks struck back with a powerful 6-4, 6-4 win from Yancy Dennis on court four, tying it up at two with three still playing.
Fennell gave the Gamecocks a 3-2 lead, taking down Giovanni Oradini on court six in tiebreak fashion with a 6-4, 7-6 score. Friedrich would clinch the match for South Carolina on court two, in a 7-6, 7-6 battle.
The teams decided to play out the remaining match on court six. Freshman Paul Jubb rallied from a 3-1 deficit but eventually fell 6-3 to make a 4-3 final score.
1. Nuno Borges (MSU) def. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) 6-3, 7-5
2. Gabriel Friedrich (SC) def. Mate Cutura (MSU) 7-6(4), 7-6(3)
3. Andrew Schafer (SC) def. Strahinja Rakic (MSU) 6-3, 6-4
4. Yancy Dennis (SC) def. Niclas Braun (MSU) 6-4, 6-4
5. Alex Fennell (SC) def. Giovanni Oradini (MSU) 6-4, 7-6
6. Trevor Foshey (MSU) def. Pual Jubb (SC) 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-3 DOUBLES (3, 2, 1)
1. Niclas Braun and Trevor Foshey (MSU) def. Yancy Dennis and Harrison O’Keefe (SC) 6-4
2. Mate Cutura and Vaughn Hunter (MSU) def. Alex Fennell and Sam Swank (SC) 6-4
3. Gabriel Friedrich and Andrew Schafer (SC) def. Nuno Borges and Strahinja Rakic (MSU) 6-1
South Carolina will compete in the 2017 SEC Men’s Tennis Tournament in Knoxville, Tenn., April 26-30. For more information on South Carolina men’s tennis, follow the team on Twitter and Instagram at gamecockmtennis or check in at GamecocksOnline.com.