Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+
Men’s Tennis Hosts ITA Kickoff Weekend
Men's Tennis  . 

Men’s Tennis Hosts ITA Kickoff Weekend

Columbia, S.C. – No. 8 South Carolina men’s tennis will host NC State, VCU, and Penn for the ITA Kickoff Weekend on Sat., Jan. 28 and Sat., Jan. 29. The top-seeded Gamecocks will take on the No. 4 seed Penn Quakers on Saturday at 11 a.m. before the second-seeded Wolfpack take on the three seed VCU at 2 p.m.

Sunday will bring the consolation match at 11 a.m. and the championship match at 2 p.m. The winner of the weekend will advance to the ITA Indoor National Championships in Chicago, Ill., Feb. 17-20.

All matches will be played at the Carolina Indoor Tennis Center. Admission and parking are free and matches are open to the public. Those not in attendance can watch the matches live here. Broadcast coverage of all ITA Kickoff Weekend matches will be provided by Cracked Racquets on their YouTube channel.

Gamecock Notables

  • South Carolina is ranked No. 8 going into the ITA Kickoff Weekend. The team started at No. 10 in the preseason poll and has gone up one spot in both of the two ranking releases since.
  • The Gamecocks started their season a perfect 3-0, defeating Charlotte, The Citadel, and No. 18 North Carolina.
  • Junior Connor Thomson enters the Kickoff as the reigning SEC Player of the Week. The junior started his season perfect, going 2-0 in doubles and 3-0 in singles. Thomson earned the match clinching point over the Tar Heels, taking down the nation’s No. 9 player to earn the highest ranked win of his career,
  • 15 Toby Samuel is a perfect 2-0 in dual singles action on the season, having won both of his matches from the No. 1 position.
  • Junior James Story has been an asset for the Gamecocks, holding as a steady No. 2 in doubles and No. 4 in singles.
  • The nation’s top ranked doubles pair of Samuel and Thomson remain perfect together. The duo is playing at the No. 1 doubles position for the team.
  • Story has paired up with graduate Jake Beasley in doubles this season. The duo has started the dual season 3-0 including clinching the doubles point against The Citadel.

Scouting the Wolfpack

  • NC State has started their season 2-2, earning two wins over UNC Greensboro to start the season and falling 3-4 at Northewestern and falling by the same margin at home to No. 16 Harvard.
  • The Wolfpack is led by fifth-year senior Rafa Izquierdo Luque who is ranked No. 122 in the nation. Luque is 2-2 on the season from the top spot in the lineup.
  • Luque is also ranked in doubles with partner Joseph Wayand at No. 21. The duo is 1-1 in dual action with a win at the No. 1 position and a loss at the No. 3 position.
  • NC State is also home to the nation’s No. 38 pair Martins Rocens and Fons Van Sambeek. The pair is 2-1 in dual action, all from the second spot in the lineup.

Scouting the Rams

  • VCU is 4-0 so far this season and is coming off of a 4-1 win over Morgan State.
  • The Rams swept their conference’s weekly honors to start the season with graduate Charles Bertimon being named Performer of the Week and Romain Gales earning the title of Rookie of the Week. Bertimon went a perfect 4-0 in singles through the Rams’ opening weekend and won three doubles matches. Gales began his season perfectly, going 3-0 in both doubles and singles.
  • Junior Matisse Bobichon leads the team and is ranked No. 40 in the ITA Singles Rankings. He is 13-3 overall in singles this season and is 3-0 in dual action.
  • Bobichon is also ranked at No. 29 in doubles with partner Rayane Stable. The duo is 6-2 overall but have not yet competed in dual action together.

Scouting the Quakers

  • Penn, under the new leadership of head coach Rich Bonfiglio, has picked up one win on the season, defeating Old Dominion 6-1.
  • The Quakers are led by senior Eduardo Graziani who is ranked No. 48 in the nation. Graziani is the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year. Penn is also home to the nation’s No. 102 player Harsh Parikh.
  • Graziani is also ranked in doubles with partner Kevin Zhu. The pair is tied for No. 7 in the nation and play at the No. 1 doubles position.

For all the latest South Carolina men’s tennis information, continue to follow or the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).