Men’s Tennis Travels to Clemson in Search of Palmetto Series Point
Clemson, S.C. – South Carolina men’s tennis will face their first road test of the season, traveling to Clemson, S.C., to take on the Tigers on Fri., Feb. 3, at 5 p.m. at the Duckworth Family Tennis Facility.
The match is part of the SC Education Lottery Palmetto Series that pits the rivals against each other in search of the Palmetto Series trophy and bragging rights. Started in 2015, South Carolina leads the overall Palmetto Series 4-0. The Gamecock men’s tennis team has earned a point in each of the four competitions.
- The Gamecocks have started their season a perfect 5-0 at home with 7-0 sweeps of Charlotte and The Citadel, a ranked win over No. 18 North Carolina, and two 4-0 sweeps during the ITA Kickoff Weekend that secured the team a spot at the ITA Indoor National Championships in Chicago, Ill.
- South Carolina began the dual season ranked No. 10 in the ITA Top-25 Coaches Poll and have since risen to No. 8. The team has spent the last 16 ranking releases in the top-10, dating back to Feb. 23, 2022.
- Junior Connor Thomson is a perfect 5-0 in dual singles action. He is on a nine-match singles win streak dating back through tournament play with three wins over ranked opponents including two in the top-10. Thomson has clinched the last four consecutive matches for South Carolina.
- Fellow junior Toby Samuel is a perfect 4-0 in dual singles action, all from the top spot in the lineup. Samuel is 9-1 overall on the season and has a 3-1 record over ranked opponents. He is ranked No. 15 in singles by the ITA.
- Also with an untarnished singles record is James Story. He is 4-0 in dual singles play and earned his first ranked win of the season over No. 102 Harsh Parikh of Penn.
- All Gamecocks have perfect doubles records on the season as the team has not dropped a single doubles match through five duals. The pair of Story and graduate Jake Beasley have been the most successful thus far, having won their match in all five competitions.
- The nation’s No. 1 pair of Samuel and Thomson is a perfect 9-0 overall on the season and has won two dual doubles matches, both from the top spot in the lineup
Scouting the Opponents
- The Tigers have started their season 6-0 with sweeps of Furman, ETSU, The Citadel, and Nebraska. All six matches have been won on their home courts.
- Clemson is led by junior Ryuhei Azuma who recently was named Co-ACC Player of the Week for his two ranked singles wins over No. 75 and 123. Azuma is Clemson’s only ranked singles player, coming in at No. 118 in the ITA rankings.
- Playing No. 2 for the Tigers is Jorge Plans Gonzalez. The junior is 4-0 from the No. 2 position and 1-0 from the No. 1 position.
- Azuma and fellow junior Spencer Whitaker play at the top spot of the doubles lineup for the Tigers. The duo is 3-2 at that position.
- South Carolina leads the all-time series 70-42-2.
- The first recorded match of the series was played at Clemson on April 13, 1925 with South Carolina winning 4-2.
- The Gamecocks have won the last seven matchups with the most recent win coming 7-0 in Columbia on Feb. 4, 2022.
- Clemson’s last win of the series was 4-1 on March 5, 2014 at Clemson.
- Friday’s match will be the 49th meeting between the two teams at Clemson. South Carolina is 27-21 when playing the Tigers at Clemson and has won the last three meetings in the upstate.
For all the latest South Carolina men’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).