Men’s Tennis Continues Conference Play Against No. 66 Alabama
Columbia, S.C. – No. 5 South Carolina men’s tennis will return to conference play on Friday, hosting No. 66 Alabama at 3 p.m. The Gamecocks are coming off of their final non-conference match of the regular season where they defeated No. 4 Ohio State 4-1.
The SEC dual will take place at the Carolina Tennis Center, weather permitting. Admission to the match is free and open to the public. Gates will open for spectators one hour prior to match time. Free parking is available in the Heyward Street garage.
- South Carolina is 13-1 on the season and holds ranked wins over No. 18 North Carolina, No. 9 Wake Forest, No. 10 Baylor, No. 12 North Carolina, No. 5 Kentucky, and No. 4 Ohio State. Their only loss of the season was to then-No. 13 Georgia at the ITA Indoor National Championships in Chicago, Ill.
- In conference play, the team has started 2-0 with road wins over Kentucky and Vanderbilt.
- 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 9-2 record in dual play. He is 23-4 overall this season and has an 8-3 record against ranked opponents, including three top-10 ranked wins.
- Samuel has lead the team from the top spot in the lineup this season where he is 11-2. He has a 16-3 overall record and an 8-2 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 13 of their 14 matches. Overall in dual play, the team is 28-6 with a 10-1 mark from the No. 1 position, 11-3 from the No. 2 position, and 7-2 from the No. 3 position.
- Samuel and Thomson hold the top spot in the ITA Doubles Rankings. The duo is 16-1 overall and have an 9-1 mark from the No. 1 doubles position. They have clinched the doubles point six times this season, including each of the last five.
- Also in the ITA Doubles rankings are Jake Beasley and James Story. The duo comes in at No. 22 with their 11-3 dual record.
Scouting the Tide
- No. 66 Alabama is 8-6 on the season and 0-1 in SEC play. The Tide’s conference loss comes at home to the hands of No. 9 Georgia in a 6-1 decision.
- Alabama has been lead by Filip Planinsek this season. The sophomore is 8-4 from the top spot in the lineup and has an overall record of 13-12.
- The Tide’s lone individual in the ITA Rankings is sophomore Enzo Aguiard who primarily plays from the No. 2 position. Aguiard is ranked No. 63 and has a 10-3 record in dual play and an 18-8 overall record.
- Planinsek and Aguiard also hold duties at the top of the doubles lineup. The duo is 4-3 from the No. 1 position.
- The Tide has has a number of duos rotating through the doubles lineup with five different pairs playing at the top of the lineup this season.
- Alabama leads the all-time series 26-21, but the Gamecocks have won each of the last two, defeating the Tide 5-2 in Columbia in 2021 and in Tuscaloosa 7-0 in 2022.
- The two teams first faced off on April 26, 1968 with South Carolina coming out victorious 7-2 in Tuscaloosa. The Gamecocks won the first three matchups of the series.
- The longest win streak of the series belongs to Alabama with six wins between 1999-2004.
- Alabama’s last win in Columbia was a narrow 4-3 victory on March 1, 2020.
For all the latest South Carolina men’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).