Men’s Tennis Hosts Pair of Top-10 Teams This Weekend
Columbia, S.C. – No. 5 South Carolina men’s tennis will host No. 7 Georgia and No. 9 Tennessee this weekend for a pair of top-10 SEC matches.
On Friday, the Gamecocks will have a rematch of the first round of the ITA Indoor National Championships where then-No. 13 Georgia narrowly defeated the then-No. 8 Gamecocks 4-3. In that match, South Carolina took the doubles point but the Bulldogs were able to come back to take four of the six singles matches for the victory.
On Sunday, South Carolina will host No. 9 Tennessee who enters the weekend on a hot streak, winning their last four matches including a 4-0 shutout of then-No. 4 Kentucky and a 4-1 romp of then-No. 9 Columbia.
With projected rain in the forecast, locations for both matches will be determined closer to competition time. Barring rain, matches will be played outdoors at the Carolina Tennis Center located at 1318 Heyward Street. Free parking is available in the Heyward Street Garage. Any inclement weather will push matches inside to the Carolina Indoor Tennis Center located at 529 Superior Street. Free parking is available on the premises. Location updates will be posted on the team’s social media pages.
Admission to both matches is free and open to the public. Gates will open one hour prior to first serve each day. Those not in attendance are encouraged to view live streaming for Friday’s match here and live stats here. For Sunday’s match, live streaming will be available here and live stats here.
- South Carolina is 17-3 on the season with a 6-2 mark in conference play. The Gamecocks are coming off of a 6-1 win at home over No. 55 Arkansas and a 5-2 win on the road at No. 32 Ole Miss.
- The Gamecocks are currently ranked No. 5 in the nation by the ITA but have been ranked as high as No. 2 this season. The team has four top-10 wins this season with two in the top-5 and ten of their 17 wins have come over ranked opponents.
- Four Gamecocks make appearances in the latest ITA Singles Rankings this week – No. 6 Toby Samuel, No. 11 Connor Thomson, No. 88 Casey Hoole, and No. 120 Raphael Lambling.
- Samuel has led the team in singles this season from the No. 1 position. The junior is 21-4 overall with a 16-3 mark in dual play including a 6-2 record against SEC opponents. He has 12 wins over ranked opponents this season including two in the top-10.
- Thomson has been South Carolina’s primary No. 2 player this season. He has an overall record of 28-5 with a 15-3 mark in dual play and 6-1 mark against SEC foes. He enters the weekend on a four-match singles win streak and recently earned his 100th career singles win as a Gamecock with his victory at Ole Miss.
- Lambling also recently entered the Century Club with his 100th career singles win. The graduate is 11-8 this season and primarily plays at the No. 3 position.
- Hoole has an overall record of 24-12 this season and a 9-7 mark in dual play. He typically plays at the No. 5 position but has been filling in at No. 4 for the injured James Story.
- In the ITA Doubles Rankings, two Gamecock pairs make the cut with Samuel and Thomson at No. 1 and Story and Jake Beasley at No. 31.
- Samuel and Thomson have held the No. 1 spot in the rankings for seven consecutive weeks this season and have a 20-1 overall record together. They are 13-1 in dual play, all from the No. 1 position, and have a perfect 6-0 mark against SEC opponents. The duo is on an 11-match win streak together.
- Beasley and Story made a climb in the rankings this week, jumping from No. 43 up to No. 31, just narrowly landing behind their highest ranking of the season which was No. 30. The duo has an overall record of 21-8 and a dual record of 13-6. They primarily play at the No. 2 position where they are 12-5.
Scouting the Bulldogs
- Georgia is 14-5 this season and leads the SEC with a perfect 8-0 record. They are 5-2 when playing on the road this season and enter the weekend on a nine-match win streak.
- The team is currently ranked No. 7 by in the ITA Team Rankings which ties for their highest ranking of the season. They began the season at No. 7 but fell to No. 15 after a pair of losses to No. 16 Florida State and No. 7 Texas to open the dual season.
- Georgia has three players in the ITA Singles Rankings – No. 3 Ethan Quinn, No. 13 Phillip Henning, and No. 107 Blake Croyder.
- Quinn has led the team from the No. 1 position this season where he is 10-8. He has a 20-10 overall record and a 7-1 mark against SEC opponents.
- Henning has held down the No. 2 position for the team this season where he has a 12-4 record. He is 18-9 overall and a perfect 7-0 in SEC play.
- Croyder has spent time at the No. 4 and 5 positions this season. He is 21-13 overall and 12-6 in dual play with a 5-3 record against SEC foes.
- Quinn pairs with Trent Bryde at No. 7 in the ITA Doubles Rankings. The duo plays at the top spot of the doubles lineup for the Bulldogs where they are 10-7 and 5-2 in the SEC. They have an overall record of 12-12.
Scouting the Volunteers
- Tennessee is 16-6 this season and tie with South Carolina for second in the SEC with a 6-2 record. They are 1-4 when playing on the road this season and will make a stop at No. 20 Florida before their appearance in Columbia.
- The team is currently ranked No. 9 in the ITA Team Rankings but began the dual season ranked at No. 6. They have fallen as low as No. 20 after a loss at Auburn but have climbed back into the top ten with their four-match win streak featuring wins over No. 9 Columbia and No. 4 Kentucky.
- The Volunteers have two players in the ITA Singles Rankings including the nation’s No. 2 player Johannus Monday. Monday is 15-1 this season and 12-1 from the top spot in the lineup. He is a perfect 7-0 against SEC opponents.
- Also in the rankings is No. 124 Shunsuke Mitsui. He has played at each of the top four places in the lineup this season but spends the majority of the time at No. 4 where he is 8-1. He has an overall record of 23-9 and a 7-1 mark in SEC play.
- The Volunteers also have two ranked doubles pairs – No. 2 Monday and Pat Harper and No. 44 Mitsui and Emile Hudd.
- Monday and Harper hold duties at the No. 1 doubles position where they are 12-2 and 5-1 in SEC play.
- Mitsui and Hudd are a perfect 12-0 in dual play and 8-0 against SEC opponents. They are 14-1 overall with their only loss coming to Georgia’s Bryde and Quinn during the fall.
The Georgia Series
- Georgia leads the all-time series 39-10 and has won the last two matchups – 4-3 in Athens in 2022 and 4-3 on neutral territory at the ITA Indoor National Championships in Chicago in February.
- Prior to the 2022 regular season meeting, South Carolina had won four of the last five matches with two wins at home and two wins on neutral ground – one during the ITA Kickoff Weekend at Mississippi State in 2020 and one during the SEC Tournament in 2021.
- Six of South Carolina’s wins in the series have come on their home courts in Columbia
The Tennessee Series
- Tennessee leads the all-time series 37-21 but South Carolina won the last matchup 4-3 in 2022.
- The 2022 meeting during the regular season in Knoxville resulted in then-No. 7 South Carolina taking down then-No. 1 Tennessee 4-3 for South Carolina’s first true road win over a team ranked No. 1 in the country.
- Earlier in the 2022 season, then-No. 2 Tennessee defeated then-No. 13 South Carolina 4-2 during the second round of the ITA Indoor National Championships in Seattle.
- South Carolina’s last home win over Tennessee was a 4-2 victory in 2016.
For all the latest South Carolina men’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).