Men’s Tennis Hits Road to Take on LSU, No. 14 Mississippi State
Columbia, S.C. –South Carolina men’s tennis will continue conference play on the road this weekend, traveling to dual against No. 45 LSU and No. 14 Mississippi State. The Gamecocks go into the weekend with their highest ranking in program history, coming in at No. 2 in the latest ITA Team Rankings.
Following Friday’s match, South Carolina will head to Starkville, Miss., where they will face the No. 14 Bulldogs on Sunday, March 19 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Live video and live stats for the match is available here.
- South Carolina is 14-1 on the season and 3-0 in SEC play. The team is also a perfect 5-0 when playing on the road this season.
- The Gamecocks are sitting at their highest ranking in program history, coming in at No. 2 in the latest ITA Team Rankings following their upset of No. 4 Ohio State and sweep of No. 66 Alabama.
- Junior Toby Samuel enters the weekend of conference play as the reigning SEC Player of the Week following last weeks matches. Samuel is ranked No. 6 in the nation by the ITA in singles and has a 12-2 mark from the top spot in the lineup.
- Fellow junior Connor Thomson is also in the ITA’s singles top-10, coming in at No. 5. Thomson is 24-4 overall this season including a 10-2 mark from the No. 2 position.
- Also in the ITA Singles Rankings for the Gamecocks are No. 83 Casey Hoole and No. 84 Raphael Lambling. Hoole is 22-9 overall this season while Lambling is 9-5.
- Junior James Story enters the weekend on a four-match win streak and Jake Beasley enters with a three-match win streak. Both Gamecocks hold perfect records in conference play thus far.
- The doubles pair of Samuel and Thomson still holds onto the top spot in the ITA Doubles Rankings. The duo is 16-1 overall and 9-1 in dual play, all from the No. 1 position. They enter the weekend on a seven-match win streak.
- Beasley and Story are also ranked together in doubles, coming in at No. 22. They are 20-5 overall and 12-3 in dual play.
Scouting the Tigers
- LSU is 8-5 this season with a 0-4 mark in SEC play. Friday’s match will be their SEC home opener, having faced all four of their SEC opponents on the road so far this season. The Tigers have a 5-1 mark when playing on their home courts.
- LSU is ranked No. 45 in the latest ITA Team Rankings but has been ranked as high as No. 34 this season.
- Junior Ronald Hohmann has led the Tigers this season. He is ranked No. 55 in the latest ITA Singles Rankings and has an overall record of 11-7 with a 4-4 record from the No. 1 position. Hohmann has been ranked as high as No. 27 this season.
- In doubles, LSU’s No. 1 pair of Stefan Latinovic and Nick Watson are ranked No. 35 by the ITA. The duo is 15-7 overall and 6-5 from the top spot in the doubles lineup.
Scouting the Bulldogs
- Missisppi State is 14-3 (2-2 SEC) with a 12-1 record on their home courts this season. The Bulldogs hold wins over No. 15 Florida State in Tallahassee, and over No. 19 Florida and No. 15 Auburn in Starkville. They have suffered losses to No. 16 Florida in Gainesville during the ITA Kickoff Weekend, a loss to No. 59 Ole Miss in Oxford, and a loss to No. 39 Texas A&M in Starkville.
- The Bulldogs have two players in the ITA Singles Rankings – No. 89 Carles Hernandez and No. 125 Nemanja Malesevic. Hernandez primarily plays at the No. 3 position where he is 12-1. Malesevic plays at the top spot in the lineup for the Bulldogs where he is 8-6.
- Hernandez and Malesevic also combine for Mississippi State’s lone ranked doubles pair, coming in at No. 26. The duo is 8-4 from the No. 1 position and 13-6 overall.
The LSU Series
- South Carolina is 18-29 all-time against LSU and on an eight-match win streak over the Tigers. Despite not leading in the series, the Gamecocks have won 11 of the last 14 meetings
- The two teams first faced off in 1973 with LSU winning 6-3.
- South Carolina’s first win of the series was March 28, 1981, winning 6-3 in Baton Rouge.
- LSU holds the longest wins streak of the series with 14 wins from 1989-2000.
- The Gamecocks defeated the Tigers twice in 2022 – 4-1 during the ITA Kickoff Weekend and 4-3 during the regular season.
The Mississippi State Series
- Mississippi State leads the all-time series 23-12 and holds the longest win streak of the series with nine wins between 1992 and 1998.
- Mississippi State has won 11 of the last 13 matchups.
- South Carolina’s first win of the series was 4-3 in Columbia in 1999.
- The Gamecocks won the most recent matchup 5-2 in Columbia on March 18, 2022. Prior to the 2022 meeting, Mississippi State was on a five-match win streak over South Carolina.
- South Carolina’s last win in Starkville was a 4-2 victory in 2010.
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