Gamecocks Take Down Tar Heels for Second Time This Season
Chicago, Ill. – No. 8 South Carolina defeated No. 10 North Carolina for the second time this season on their final day of competition at the ITA Indoor National Championships. The Tar Heels took the doubles point, but the Gamecocks were able to get the job done in singles, winning four of them.
The match began in doubles with the Tar Heels taking a 6-3 win on Court 2. Just minutes later the Gamecocks tied the decision with No. 3 Toby Samuel and Connor Thomson defeating No. 37 Casey Kania and Ryan Seggerman 6-4. This win is the duos third ranked doubles win of the weekend, having previously defeated No. 9 and No. 24.
It didn’t take long for North Carolina to claim the doubles point though, with No. 59 Casey Hoole and Raphael Lambling falling just seconds after the decision on Court 1. This is the first time that the Gamecocks have given up the doubles point this season.
Play transitioned to singles were matches were intense, frequently going deep into games with an abundance of deuce points.
It was Samuel who earned the first singles win to tie the match up at one all. The No. 11 junior took on No. 59 Brian Cernoch at the top spot in the lineup. Samuel was dominant, winning 6-2, 6-2. It was a stark contrast from when the two competitors played each other at their January meetup where Samuel had to fight back from down 2-6, 0-3 for his win.
The evened match score didn’t last long as North Carolina claimed the next singles win on Court 6 where freshman Lucas Da Silva fell to junior Peter Murphy.
All four remaining matches were locked into battles with all four needing to be decided in third sets.
The next match win fell on the side of the Gamecocks with No. 67 Lambling pulling off a comeback win after dropping his first set 1-6. The fifth-year earned an early break in the second set to win it 6-4 to even his match and send it to a third set. In the third, the Gamecock went down 1-3 early on, but earned a break back to even the set at three all, four all, and five all. On the Tar Heel’s serve, Lambling earned a perfectly timed break and was able to serve out the match with a 7-5 final set.
The Gamecocks were finally able to take the 3-2 lead with No. 11 Thomson also completing a comeback on Court 2. Thomson went up 3-1 early in the first set but was broken back and dropped the set 7-5. In the second set, he went up 3-0 early but his opponent, No. 19 Seggerman, was able to tie the set back up at five all. The Gamecock refused to let the match end, taking the next two games to tie the decision at one set a piece. The junior was dominant in the final set taking Seggerman’s first two service games, both a deuce point, to go up 5-0. The Tar Heel was only able to get one game on the board in the final set, allowing Thomson to win the final set 6-1.
North Carolina wouldn’t back down easily, earning the next win in three sets on Court 4 to tie the match again at 3-3.
The final match on was between Hoole and North Carolina’s Anuj Watane. The Gamecock earned an early break to take the first set 6-4, but the Tar Heel took the second set in a late break 7-5. All eyes were on the third set for the match decision.
Hoole, who earned his first career clinch just last weekend against Georgia Tech, was calm and collected in the final set. The Gamecock broke his opponent on his first two service games to go up 4-0. Watane was only able to get two games on the board before Hoole clinched the match for South Carolina with a 6-2 final set.
The Gamecocks leave the ITA Indoor Championships with ranked wins over Nos. 10 and 12 and a 10-1 overall record on the season. Samuel went perfect in play on the weekend with ranked doubles wins over Nos. 9, 24, and 37, and ranked singles wins over Nos. 5, 59, and 117. Thomson was also perfect at the event with the same ranked doubles wins as well as singles wins over Nos. 8 and 12.
South Carolina men’s tennis will return home to continue training before the SEC season gets started. Their first conference match of the year will take place at Kentucky on March 2 at 5 p.m.
For all the latest South Carolina men’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).
(8) South Carolina 4, (12) North Carolina 3
Doubles (order of finish: 2, 1, 3)
- #3 Connor Thomson/Toby Samuel (SC) def. #37 Casey Kania/Ryan Seggerman (NC) 6-4
- Brian Cernoch/Benjamin Kittay (NC) def. #30 James Story/Jake Beasley (SC) 6-3
- Will Jansen/Karl Poling (NC) def. #59 Casey Hoole/Raphael Lambling (SC) 6-3
Singles (order of finish: 1, 6, 3, 2, 4, 5)
- #11 Toby Samuel (SC) def. #59 Brian Cernoch (NC) 6-2, 6-2
- #12 Connor Thomson (SC) def. #19 Ryan Seggerman (NC) 5-7, 7-5, 6-1
- #67 Raphael Lambling (SC) def. Will Jansen (NC) 1-6, 6-4, 7-5
- Karl Poling (NC) def. James Story (SC) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
- Casey Hoole (SC) def. Anuj Watane (NC) 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
- Peter Murphy (NC) def. Lucas de Silva (SC) 6-4, 6-4