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Gamecocks Drop Heartbreaker at No. 8 Georgia
Men's Tennis  . 

Gamecocks Drop Heartbreaker at No. 8 Georgia

Athens, Ga. – No. 7 South Carolina dropped a tightly contested match at No. 8 Georgia, 4-3, on Sunday. The Gamecocks took the doubles point but only won two of six singles matches to give the Bulldogs the win.
South Carolina earned the doubles point for the first time in four matches. The first win of the day went to Georgia on Court 3, 6-2. The doubles score was evened when No. 30 doubles pair Daniel Rodrigues and Connor Thomson defeated the No. 55 doubles pair from Georgia 6-4 at the top of the lineup.
With the doubles evened, all eyes were on Court 2 for the decision. Junior Jake Beasley and sophomore Toby Samuel started the match cold, finding themselves in a 5-0 deficit. With the doubles point on the line, the Gamecock duo rallied, putting up five straight games of their own to even the match. The No. 27 Bulldog duo of Trent Bryde and Philip Henning went ahead 6-5 but the Gamecocks answered right back to force a tiebreak. The tiebreak was evenly contested with the Gamecocks taking a late lead to win set 7-6(8) to earn the doubles point.
Play transitioned to singles where the Bulldogs took an early lead, winning the first two matches on Courts 2 and 3.
Junior Raphael Lambling evened the score with his upset win on Court 4. Lambling defeated No. 84 Bryde in straight sets. The first set was even and had to be settled in a tiebreak that Lambling won 7-6(6). The second set appeared to favor Bryde after he took an early 3-0 lead, but Lambling wasn’t giving in. The Gamecock went on a five-game run to flip the set in his favor 5-3. Bryde managed to get in one more game win before Lambling put the match away with a 6-4 second set.
Rodrigues returned the lead to the Gamecocks with his win at the top of the lineup. He took on No. 19 Hamish Stewart. Rodrigues was dominant in the first set, going on a five-game run before taking the set 6-3. Stewart fought back in the second, taking it 6-3 to even the match. Rodrigues came out swinging in the third, taking the lead and never looking back to win the final set 6-3, marking his second top-20 win of the weekend. The win moved him to 12-2 from the No. 1 position this season.
The Bulldogs again leveled the match, winning on Court 5. Blake Croyder needed three sets to take down James Story. Croyder took the first set 6-4, but Story came back with a 6-3 win in the second. Story took the first game of the third set, but Croyder went on a four-game run that Story couldn’t overcome, giving Croyder the win with a 6-2 final set.
The match decision came down to Court 6 where Gamecock freshman Casey Hoole took on Miguel Perez Pena of Georgia. The Bulldog took the first set 6-4 but Hoole fought back in the second. Hoole served first and there were no breaks for either player, forcing the match to a tiebreak. The tiebreak was close but Pena pulled away to take the second set 7-6(4) to give the Bulldogs the victory.
South Carolina returns home to take on Mississippi State on Fri., March 18, and Ole Miss on Sun., March 20.
For all the latest South Carolina men’s tennis information, continue to follow or the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).
(8) Gerogia 4, (7) South Carolina 3
Doubles (order of finish: 3, 1, 2)
1. (30) Rodrigues/Thomson (SC) def. (55) McCormick/Stewart (UGA) 6-4
2. Beasley/Samuel (SC) def. (27) Bryde/Henning (UGA) 7-6(8)
3. (62) Croyder/Grevelius (UGA) def. Story/Lambling (SC) 6-2
Singles (order of finish: 3, 2, 4, 1, 5, 6)
1. (16) Rodrigues (SC) def. (19) Stewart (UGA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
2. (40) Henning (UGA) def. (86) Samuel (SC) 6-4, 7-6(4)
3. (31) McCormick (UGA) def. Thomson (SC) 7-6(4), 6-0
4. Lambling (SC) def. (84) Bryde (UGA) 7-6(6), 6-4
5. Croyder (UGA) def. Story (SC) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
6. Pena (UGA) def. Hoole (SC)  6-4, 7-6(4)