Rodrigues and Thomson’s All-American Season Ends in Semifinals
The Gamecock doubles pair fell to the second seeded duo from Ohio State in a hard-fought three-set battle.
Champaign, Ill. – Daniel Rodrigues and Connor Thomson‘s historic run in the NCAA Doubles Championship came to a heartbreaking end in the semifinals on Friday. The Gamecock doubles pair fell to the second seeded duo from Ohio State in a hard-fought three-set battle.
Play began outdoors in Champaign where the South Carolina duo go off to a hot start, earning a break on the Buckeyes second service game to go up 4-1 early. Rain began one serve in Matej Vocel and Robert Cash’s service game and play was moved indoors. The Ohio State duo appeared to have the clear advantage on the indoor courts, winning five straight games to take the first set 6-4.
The Gamecocks refused to back down and prepared to grind out the second set. It was truly a battle of the best, with each team taking their own service games throughout. Rodrigues and Thomson had first serve and finally earned a perfectly timed break when up 6-5 to take the second set 7-5.
With sets split, the decision came down to a ten-point tiebreaker. Rodrigues served first but the Ohio State duo took the first point. The Gamecocks took the next two, but Ohio State tied it up a two all and again at three all. Rodrigues and Thomson got some momentum, putting up three more points to earn the higest lead so far at 6-3. Vocel and Cash broke their stride with two game points, but the Gamecocks responded with two of their own to go up 8-5. Ohio State managed to earn two points off of South Carolina’s next two serves to tie it at eight all and served their way through the next two points to take the set.
Rodrigues and Thomson end the season with a 22-8 overall record in doubles. Their 22 wins are tied for second most matches won by a doubles team in a season in program history.
Overall, the duo is 44-21 through two seasons of playing together. Their 44 wins come in third place in the program record book for matches won and their 65 matches together are the most matches that a South Carolina doubles pair has ever played together.
In dual action over the past two seasons, Rodrigues and Thomson have gone 33-12, all from the No. 1 spot in the lineup. Their 33 career doubles wins together rank first in the record book by 15 matches. Their 18 wins during the 2022 season are also first in the record book by three matches.
The duo’s 18-4 dual record from the 2022 season gives them a .818 winning percentage which is also ranked first in the record book.
Rodrigues and Thomson finish the season as All-Americans, the program’s first All-American duo since 1989. Their run to the semifinal round goes down as the furthest that a Gamecock doubles pair has ever advanced in the NCAA Championships.
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NCAA Doubles Championship Results
(2) Vocel/Cash (OSU) def. (18) Rodrigues/Thomson (SC) 6-4, 5-6, 1-0(8)