Men’s Tennis Hosts Auburn, Arkansas for SEC Action
Columbia, S.C. – No. 4 South Carolina men’s tennis returns home this weekend, hosting No. 18 Auburn and No. 55 Arkansas for a pair of conference matches. The Gamecocks will take on Auburn on Fri., March 24 beginning at 5:00 p.m. before hosting Arkansas on Sun., March 26 at noon.
Both matches will take place at the Carolina Tennis Center with gates opening one hour prior to first serve. Matches are free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the Heyward Street garage.
- South Carolina is 15-2 on the season with a 4-1 mark in conference play. The team is coming off of their first SEC loss of the season, having fallen at No. 14 Mississippi State on Sunday.
- The team currently is ranked No. 4 in the nation and has been ranked in the top-5 for the past three weeks. They have spent all season ranked inside the top-10.
- Junior Toby Samuel enters the weekend as the reigning SEC Player of the Week for the second consecutive week after going a perfect 2-0 in both doubles and singles last weekend on the road.
- Samuel currently sits at a career-high ranking of No. 3 in the nation. He has an overall record of 19-3 including a 14-2 mark in dual play and 4-1 mark against SEC opponents, all from the No. 1 position. He is on a five-match win streak with each of the last four wins coming over ranked opponents.
- Also in the top-10 of the ITA singles rankings is junior Connor Thomson. Thomson is 25-5 overall this season and 12-3 in dual play. He is 9-3 against ranked opponents this season including three wins over top-10 players.
- Sophomore Casey Hoole and graduate Raphael Lambling round out South Carolina’s singles rankings with Hoole at No. 82 and Lambling at No. 111. Hoole is 22-11 overall while Lambling is 9-7 overall.
- In doubles, Samuel and Thomson continue to hold onto the No. 1 ranking. The duo is 18-1 overall and 11-1 in dual play, all from the top spot in the lineup. The pair is a perfect 4-0 against SEC opponents this season.
- Jake Beasley and James Story also make an appearance in the ITA’s Doubles Rankings at No. 43. The pair is 20-7 overall and 12-5 in dual play. They have clinched the doubles point five times this season.
Scouting the Tigers
- Auburn is 13-6 overall with a 2-3 mark in SEC play. They have a 1-3 record when playing on the road this season. In SEC play, the Tigers have fallen to Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi State and have recorded wins over Tennessee and Ole Miss.
- Auburn is currently ranked No. 18 in the ITA Team Rankings and have been ranked as high as No. 14 this season.
- The Tigers have been lead this season by senior Tyler Stice. Stice is 8-8 from the top spot in the lineup and is 0-3 against SEC opponents. He is currently ranked No. 110 in the singles rankings but was ranked No. 9 during the ITA’s preseason rankings.
- Also in the rankings for Auburn is Alejandro Moreno at No. 107. Moreno is 10-3 in dual play, primarily playing at the No. 3 position.
- Auburn has two pairs in the doubles rankings – No. 23 Raul Dobai and Finlay Murgett and No. 65 Jan Galka and Moreno.
- Dobai and Murgett hold down the top spot in the doubles lineup for the Tigers with a 6-6 record. They are 1-2 in dual play. Galka and Moreno have a 7-1 record together but have only played as a pair in one dual match.
Scouting the Razorbacks
- Arkansas is 12-6 overall this season and 0-5 in SEC play. They are currently on a five-match losing streak and will face No. 22 Florida before their stop in Columbia.
- The Razorbacks are 2-3 when playing on the road this season and have picked up road wins at San Diego State and UC San Diego
- Arkansas does not have any players in the ITA singles or doubles rankings.
The Auburn Series
- Auburn narrowly leads the all-time series 22-21 over South Carolina. The Gamecocks evened the series at 21 all during the SEC regular season in 2022, but Auburn regained the lead after defeating South Carolina in the SEC Championships.
- Prior to South Carolina’s loss at the 2022 SEC Championships, the Gamecocks had won 11 of the last 12 matchups.
- South Carolina has won each of the last five matches that have been played in Columbia. Auburns last win in Columbia was in 2012.
The Arkansas Series
- South Carolina is 23-11 over Arkansas and has won 11 of the last 12 meetings.
- The Gamecocks hold the longest win streak of the series with nine wins between 2011-2018.
- Arkansas last won in Columbia with a 6-1 decision in 2009. The Razorbacks have only ever won in Columbia twice – 1992 and 2009. Eight of their wins have come in Fayetteville and they have one neutral site win from 1991.
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