Friedrich, O'Keefe Fall in NCAA Singles First Round
May 24, 2017
ATHENS, Ga. — South Carolina men’s tennis juniors Gabriel Friedrich (49) and Harrison O’Keefe (71) fell in the First Round of the NCAA Singles Championships at the Dan McGill Tennis Center in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday. The Gamecocks’ top doubles pair of O’Keefe and Yancy Dennis will begin competition in the NCAA Doubles Championship tomorrow.
Friedrich played a close match against Strong Kirchheimer (37) of Northwestern, forcing the match to a three-set, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, battle. He took a 4-3 lead early in the first set but dropped four of five games for a 7-5 score. In the second set, he found renewed momentum, jumping out to a 4-1 lead before Kirchheimer was able to close in for a 7-5 score to force a third set. In the final set, Friedrich fell behind 1-4 early but fought back to bring the score within one but eventually fell 6-4.
O’Keefe, who was originally an alternate for the NCAA singles competition, fell to Andre Goransson (61) of California in straight sets. After trailing early in the first set, O’Keefe was able to find some momentum to capture two games for a 6-2 score. O’keefe was able to carry that momentum into the second set tying it up at 2-2 early in the set but Goransson ran away with it from there to post a 6-2, 6-2 final score and advance to the Second Round.
The Gamecocks’ top doubles team of O’Keefe and Dennis have put together an impressive spring campaign, reaching their highest ranking of No. 13 in the most recent Oracle/ITA Rankings. The pair has posted a 18-8 dual-play record and an 8-5 record in the SEC. This season the duo claimed five victories over ranked opponents, including two over top-10 opponents. The duo will face Jack Findel Hawkins and Lasse Muscheites of North Florida Thursday.
For more information on South Carolina men’s tennis, follow the team on Twitter and Instagram at gamecockmtennis or check in at GamecocksOnline.com.