Men’s Tennis Hosts Top-5 Showdown Wednesday
Columbia, S.C. – No. 5 South Carolina men’s tennis will host No. 5 Ohio State on Wednesday, March 7, at the Carolina Tennis Center. The top-5 matchup will begin at 1 p.m. with doubles action followed by singles play.
The Gamecocks recently made their way into the top-5 of the ITA Team Rankings after having taken down then-No. 5 Kentucky in Lexington last weekend. The No. 5 ranking ties for highest ranking in program history and is the highest in-season ranking ever. South Carolina’s last appearance in the top-5 came at the end of the 1989 season when the team earned a final ranking of No. T-5 under head coach Kent DeMars.
Action at the Carolina Tennis Center will begin at 1 p.m. with gates opening at noon. Admission to the match is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the Heyward Street garage, just a short walk away from the courts. Outside food and drink will be permitted.
Those not in attendance can view the match live via Track Tennis here and can follow live stats here.
- South Carolina is 12-1 on the season and holds ranked wins over No. 18 North Carolina, No. 9 Wake Forest, No. 10 Baylor, No. 12 North Carolina, and No. 5 Kentucky. Their only loss of the season was to then-No. 13 Georgia at the ITA Indoor National Championships in Chicago, Ill.
- The Gamecocks have four individuals ranked in the latest ITA Singles Rankings – No. 5 Connor Thomson, No. 6 Toby Samuel, No. 83 Casey Hoole, and No. 84 Raphael Lambling.
- Thomson primarily plays at the No. 2 position where he has a 9-1 record in dual play. He is 23-3 overall this season and has an 8-2 record against ranked opponents, including three top-10 ranked wins. Thomson’s No. 5 ranking is the highest ranking of his career and he enters the dual on a four-match singles win streak.
- Samuel has lead the team from the top spot in the lineup this season where he is 10-2. He has a 15-3 overall record and a 7-2 record against ranked foes.
- Hoole holds down the No. 5 position for the Gamecocks. He is 5-4 from the No. 5 spot and has a 21-9 overall record with a 4-2 record against ranked opponents.
- Lambling is 8-5 overall and primarily plays at the No. 3 position for the Gamecocks.
- South Carolina has been dominant in doubles this season, winning the doubles point in 12 of their 13 matches. Overall in dual play, the team is 26-5 with a 9-1 mark from the No. 1 position, 11-2 from the No. 2 position, and 6-2 from the No. 3 position.
- Samuel and Thomson hold the top spot in the ITA Doubles Rankings. The duo is 15-1 overall and have an 8-1 mark from the No. 1 doubles position. They have clinched the doubles point five times this season, including each of the last four.
- Also in the ITA Doubles rankings are Jake Beasley and James Story. The duo comes in at No. 22 with their 11-2 dual record.
Scouting the Buckeyes
- No. 4 Ohio State has been ranked in the top-5 of the ITA Team Rankings all season, including a period of being ranked No. 1 in the February 8th ITA Coaches Poll where they received nine first place votes.
- The Buckeyes are 15-1 overall with their only loss of the season coming against then-No. 7 Texas in the second round of the ITA Indoor Championships. They hold ranked wins over No. 23 Texas A&M, No. 6 Texas at home, No. 9 Wake Forest on the road, No. 5 Virginia on the road, No. 10 Baylor at home, and No. 5 Virginia at a neutral site.
- Ohio State has six players represented in the ITA Singles Ranking – No. 20 JJ Tracy, No. 26 James Trotter, No. 39 Cannon Kingsley, No. 52 Alexander Bernard, No. 58 Justin Boulais, and No. 116 Robert Cash.
- The Buckeyes have had a number of players rotate through the top spot in the singles lineup with three different individuals recording wins at the position. Boulais has a 2-1 record, Kingsley has a 2-0 record and Tracy has a 1-1 record from the No. 1 position.
- Boulais and Kingsley have both traded time at the No. 2 position – Boulais with a 5-0 record and Kingsley with a 4-1 record.
- Two Buckeyes have perfect singles records on the season – Trotter with a 14-0 record and Cash with a 13-0 record.
- Ohio State also has two doubles pairs in the rankings. Andrew Lutschaunig is represented in both, coming in at No. 2 with Tracy and at No. 7 with Trotter.
- Lutschaunig and Trotter have spent the most time at the top of the doubles lineup where they have a 6-3 record.
- South Carolina leads the all-time series against Ohio State 4-1, winning the first four matches of the series.
- The two teams first faced in Columbia in 1972 with South Carolina winning 7-2. They also met in Columbia in 1975 and 1977 with the Gamecocks winning both of those as well.
- Ohio State and South Carolina have faced off three times in Columbia and once in Columbus. The Gamecocks have won all four of those matches.
- Ohio State won the most recent matchup during the NCAAs in 2004. The match was played in Chapel Hill, N.C., with the Buckeyes winning 4-0.
For all the latest South Carolina men’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).