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Gamecocks Host NC State and Top-Ranked North Carolina This Weekend
Men's Tennis  . 

Gamecocks Host NC State and Top-Ranked North Carolina This Weekend

COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 14 South Carolina men’s tennis (9-5) is set to play two top-20 ACC border rivals this weekend at home. The Gamecocks will first face No. 16 NC State (9-4) on Fri., Mar. 19, at 1 p.m. On Sun., Mar. 21, South Carolina will host Carolina Tennis Center’s first ever No. 1 ranked opponent in North Carolina (10-0) at 1 p.m. 
Gamecock Notables

  • The Gamecocks are 9-5 overall after a weekend on the road against two top-25 SEC teams. 
  • South Carolina remained in the top-15 for the second week in a row, holding steady at No. 14 in the Oracle/ITA Rankings.
  • Doubles pair Toby Samuel and Jake Beasley continues to lead the Gamecocks with a 16-9 overall record and most recently played in the No. 2 spot.
  • The Gamecocks have a combined 12-7 record against ranked singles opponents this season, and No. 32 Daniel Rodrigues leads the team with a 6-2 mark against such foes.
  • Rodrigues and true freshman Toby Samuel both have a team-best 17 singles wins on the season.
  • Samuel is on a nine-match winning streak in singles, which is the longest active streak for the Gamecocks.
  • South Carolina last hosted a No. 1 ranked team on Mar. 9, 2007, before the Carolina Tennis Center was built in 2012.

The NC State Series

  • South Carolina is 35-22 all-time against NC State.
  • The Gamecocks last hosted the Wolfpack on Feb. 17, 2017, and South Carolina won 6-1.
  • South Carolina is 21-4 against NC State at home, winning two out of the three meetings at the Carolina Tennis Center.
  • The border rivals last met on Feb. 14, 2020, during a neutral site match, which the Wolfpack won 4-2.

Scouting the Wolfpack

  • NC State is on a current five-match winning streak, most recently defeating Presbyterian 6-1 on Tue., Mar. 16.
  • The Wolfpack is 1-2 against SEC teams with losses to Alabama and then-No. 12 Georgia, both of which the Gamecocks defeated at home this spring.
  • Out of the 11 players on NC State’s roster, 10 of them are returners.
  • The Wolfpack is led by head coach Kyle Spencer who is in his fourth season.

The North Carolina Series

  • South Carolina last faced North Carolina this spring in the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Chapel Hill, where the Tar Heels came out on top in a 4-1 decision.
  • This will be the Tar Heels’ first trip to Columbia since 2006.

Scouting the Tar Heels

  • North Carolina comes into the weekend undefeated, including a 4-0 road record and a 10-match winning streak. It is the only undefeated team in the Oracle/ITA rankings.
  • The Tar Heels have not played a match since Mar. 7 due to the postponement of two of their matches.
  • Aside from South Carolina, the Tar Heels have played one other SEC team this season in then-No. 10 Tennessee, winning 4-1.
  • Ahead of Sunday, North Carolina will face Wofford on Mar. 17 at home.
  • The nine returners and three freshmen on the Tar Heels’ roster are led by head coach Sam Paul, who is in his 28th season.

Rankings Roundup
No. 14 South Carolina
No. 32 Daniel Rodrigues
No. 81 Raphael Lambling
No. 118 Connor Thomson
No. 44 Daniel Rodrigues / Connor Thomson
No. 59 Raphael Lambling / Phillip Jordan
No. 16 NC State
No. 7 Alexis Galarneau
No. 95 Tadas Babelis
No. 9 Yannai Barkai / Tadas Babelis
No. 23 Alexis Galarneau / Robert Turzak
No. 1 North Carolina
No. 2 William Blumberg
No. 41 Benjamin Sigouin
No. 55 Rinky Hijikata
No. 100 Joshua Peck
No. 5 Mac Kiger / Simon Soendergaard
No. 6 William Blumberg / Brian Cernoch
For men’s tennis updates, continue to check back with or follow the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).