Gamecocks Deliver with Historic Final Rankings
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 13 South Carolina men’s tennis closed the 2020-21 campaign with some of the best team and individual final rankings in program history, including four Gamecocks ranked in singles for the first time since 1998-99.
After rising as high as No. 10 in the nation earlier in the season and advancing to the NCAA Championship Round of 16 for the first time since 2005, the Gamecocks’ No. 13 ranking was the program’s highest final rank since the 1988-89 team finished at No. 5 after reaching the NCAA semifinals. South Carolina has finished a season ranked in the top 25 every year since 2017.
Sophomore Daniel Rodrigues led the four Gamecocks ranked in singles, coming in at No. 3. That mark matches Paul Jubb’s 2019 entry as the best in program history. Returning freshman Connor Thomson completed his meteoric rise from preseason No. 118 to finish at No. 27, making him just the Gamecocks’ third top-30 singles finisher since 2014. Both Rodrigues and Thomson were All-SEC First-Team selections and earned spots in the NCAA Singles Championships with Rodrigues advancing to the final match. It marked the first time a program had back-to-back singles finalists since 2004-05 (Baylor).
Sophomore Raphael Lambling and true freshman Toby Samuel closed out the South Carolina singles entries at No. 60 and 71, respectively.
In doubles, Rodrigues and Thomson closed the season at No. 11, the highest doubles final ranking since the end of the 1988-89 season. The duo earned a spot in the NCAA Doubles Championships. Lambling and Phillip Jordan stayed in the final rankings a No. 86.
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