Gamecocks Earn Dominant 6-1 Road Win Over No. 27 Auburn
Auburn, Ala. – No. 9 South Carolina men’s tennis defeated No. 27 Auburn on the road Friday evening. The Gamecocks clinched a close doubles point and won five of the six singles matches for the victory. South Carolina is now 19-5 on the season and 8-2 in conference play.
“I’m really proud of the guys today,” said head coach Josh Goffi. “They came into a tough environment and got the job done pretty convincingly. We had a gutsy win at No. 2 doubles that set the tone for the rest of the day. Singles Courts 1 through 5 came out and carried that momentum through.”
The first doubles win of the day went to Auburn with No. 36 Tad Maclean and Finn Murgett earning a 6-1 win over No. 28 Daniel Rodrigues and Connor Thomson. The Gamecock’s No. 3 duo of Toby Samuel and Casey Hoole evened doubles with a 6-2 win on their court.
The final decision on Court 2 was a thriller with the match having to be decided in a tiebreak. The Auburn duo took an early lead in the tiebreak but the Gamecocks fought back. With the Tigers leading 5-4, Raphael Lambling and partner James Story went on a run, earning three straight points to win the tiebreak 7-6(5), clinching the doubles point.
Samuel got the first singles win of the day to extend the Gamecocks lead to 2-0. The sophomore took an early lead in the first set to win it 6-3 and blanked his opponent in the second set 6-0 for the win.
The next win came from Story on Court 5. The Cardiff, Wales native dominated his first set, taking it 6-1. His second set was a bit closer with his opponent Will Nolan fighting to stay in the match. Nolan took the first game win on his serve but Story took his own service game and got a break right after. Nolan responded with a three game run to go up 3-2, but Story rallied to regain the lead and never looked back to finish the second set 6-4.
The Tigers got a point on the board with a 6-4, 6-1 win on Court 6, but the Gamecocks answered right back with a match clinching win on Court 3. Thomson had a close first set with opponent Maclean of Auburn. Maclean took his first service game but Thomson responded with his own. The two held the match close with the lead never extending more than one. The Gamecock was finally able to secure a timely break at the last second when up 6-5 to take the first set 7-5. Thomson was unstoppable in the second set, winning it 6-1 to guarantee the Gamecock win.
Lambling was next to clear his court and extend the win. The junior got off to a hot start in his first set, putting up a 3-1 lead and never looking back to take the first set 6-4. His opponent Raul Dobai started strong in the second set bringing the match within one game at 3-2, but Lambling went on a run, winning three consecutive games to take the second set 6-2.
The final match on was a ranked matchup between No. 3 Rodrigues and No. 46 Tyler Stice at the top of the lineup. Rodrigues looked strong through the first set, winning it 6-3. He came out strong in the second as well, going up 5-3 but Stice fought back, putting up two games to tie the set at five all. Rodrigues responded with a game win but Stice earned one of his own to force a tiebreak. The tiebreak started close with Stice tying it up midway at four all, but Rodrigues wasn’t interested in going to a third. The junior won three straight points to take the final set 7-6(4). This win marks Rodrigues’ 10th straight ranked singles win and his 103rd career singles win.
With their win, South Carolina evens the all time series against Auburn with both teams having 21 wins.
The Gamecocks will continue their road trip with a stop in Tuscaloosa to face Alabama on Sunday. First serve will be a 2 p.m. ET. Live stats and streaming links are available on GamecocksOnline.com
For all the latest South Carolina men’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).
(9) South Carolina 6, (27) Auburn 1
Doubles (order of finish: 1, 3, 2)
1. (36) Maclean/Murgett (AU) def. (28) Rodrigues/Thomson (SC) 6-1
2. Lambling/Story (SC) def. Galka/Stice 7-6(5)
3. Samuel/Hoole (SC) def. Dobai/Ross (AU) 6-2
Singles (order of finish: 2, 5, 6, 3, 4, 1)
1. (3) Rodrigues (SC) def. (46) Stice (AU) 6-3, 7-6(4)
2. (66) Samuel (SC) def. Galka (AU) 6-3, 6-0
3. Thomson (SC) def. Maclean (AU) 7-5, 6-1
4. Lambling (SC) def. Dobai (AU) 6-4, 6-2
5. Story (SC) def. Nolan (AU) 6-1, 6-4
6. Murgett (AU) def. Morgan (SC) 6-4, 6-1