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.
- 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).