Gamecocks Head to Knoxville for NCAA Super Regionals
Knoxville, Tenn. – South Carolina men’s tennis will compete in the NCAA Round of 16 for the third consecutive year this Saturday. The No. 8-ranked Gamecocks will travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on the No. 9-ranked Tennessee Volunteers for the opportunity to advance to Orlando for the Round of 8.
Saturday’s match will take place at Barksdale Stadium and will begin at 3:00 p.m. Gates will open one hour prior to first serve and a clear bag policy will be in effect. Free spectator parking will be available in the G-17 parking garage off Terrace and Lake Ave. Ticket sales and additional fan information can be found on the Tournament Central webpage.
Fans not in attendance can view live streaming here and follow along with live stats here. Cracked Racquets will also be providing broadcast coverage of all Super Regional matches on their YouTube channel.
- South Carolina, the tournament’s No. 9 seed, is coming off a pair of strong first and second round wins with a 4-0 shutout of South Carolina State and a 4-1 romp of No. 18 Florida State at home.
- The Gamecocks are 21-6 overall this season, including seven wins over top-20 teams with four of them in the top-10. Some of South Carolina’s most notable wins this season were a road win over then-No. 5 Kentucky and a win at home over then-No. 4 Ohio State.
- The team’s win over Ohio State propelled them up to the highest ranking in program history at No. 2. The Gamecocks have spent the entirety of the season ranked in the top-10 and currently sit at No. 8 in the nation.
- South Carolina has four players in the ITA Singles Rankings – No. 10 Toby Samuel, No. 16 Connor Thomson, No. 102 Casey Hoole, No. 116 James Story, and No. 122 Raphael Lambling.
- Samuel, Thomson, and Story were all recently named to the All-SEC Teams with Samuel and Thomson on the First Team and Story on the Second Team.
- Samuel has led the Gamecocks in singles this season from the top spot in the lineup where he is 19-4. He has climbed throughout the rankings this season, peaking at a new career-high of No. 3. He is coming off a 6-1, 6-1 singles win over the nation’s No. 7 player.
- Thomson had been a consistent No. 2 for the team. He is 32-6 overall and has a 19-4 mark in dual play.
- Story has been consistent in the middle of the lineup for the Gamecocks. He is 14-5 in dual play with a 3-2 mark at the No. 3 position and an 11-3 mark at the No. 4 position.
- South Carolina also has two ranked doubles pairs – No. 1 Samuel and Thomson and No. 48 Story and Jake Beasley.
- Samuel and Thomson have held the top spot in the national doubles rankings for 11 consecutive weeks this season and were recently named as the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Doubles Tournament. They are 23-4 overall and have a 16-4 mark in dual play, all from the No. 1 position.
- Beasley and Story have been consistent at the No. 2 spot in the doubles lineup this season. The duo is 24-11 overall with a 16-9 mark in dual play.
- Beasley recently became the program record holder for most individual doubles win in program history with 92.
Scouting the Volunteers
- Tennessee has a 23-7 record on the season and is currently ranked No. 9 by the ITA. The Volunteers began the season ranked at No. 6 but some early season struggles dropped them as low as No. 20. They have since made a climb back in the rankings after a 10-2 SEC season and a run to the semifinals at the SEC Tournament.
- Tennessee has three players in the ITA Singles Rankings – No. 5 Johannus Monday, No. 31 Emile Hudd, and No. 117 Shunsuke Mitsui.
- Monday has led the team from the top spot in the singles lineup this season where he is 16-3. He is 19-3 overall and is a perfect 5-0 against opponents ranked in the top-10 this season.
- Hudd has been a consistent No. 2 for the team this season, racking up a 12-3 record at that position. He is 19-9 overall and has a 2-0 record against opponents in the top-10 and a 4-3 record against opponents in the top-25.
- Mitsui has played in each of the top four positions in the singles lineup this season, mostly spending his time at the No. 4 position. He is 28-9 overall and 12-1 at the No. 4 spot in the lineup. He enters the weekend on an 11-match win streak but he has not yet won a match in the NCAA Tournament with both his first and second round matches going unfinished.
- Tennessee also has two pairs in the ITA Doubles Rankings – No. 4 Monday and Pat Harper and No. 59 Hudd and Mitsui.
- Harper and Monday have a 17-3 record from the top spot in the doubles lineup and have been ranked as high as No. 2 in the country this season, behind only South Carolina’s Samuel and Thomson.
- Hudd and Mitsui went 16-2 at the No. 2 position this season and have an overall record of 18-3.
- Tennessee leads the all-time series 38-21 and won the head-to-head matchup during the regular season 6-1 in Columbia. The Gamecocks were without a key piece of their lineup during the battle as Lambling was out with illness.
- During the regular season matchup, doubles were a tight battle with all three matches being decided in tiebreakers. The nation’s No. 1 doubles pair of Samuel and Thomson defeated then-No. 2 pair Monday and Harper 7-6(7), but the other two matches fell in favor of the Volunteers, both of them in a 7-6(4) result.
- South Carolina’s lone point in the 1-6 loss came from Story who defeated Tennessee’s Blaise Bicknell in straight sets at the No. 3 position.
- The last time the Gamecocks were in Knoxville, then-No. 7 South Carolina upset then-No. 1 Tennessee 4-3 in a comeback victory with Thomson clinching the match for the team.
NCAA Tournament History
- This year marks the ninth time the Gamecocks have been selected to the NCAA Tournament under head coach Josh Goffi, including each of the last six tournaments. The team has been to a total of 27 NCAA Championships in the history of the program.
- South Carolina’s No. 9 seed in the highest tournament seed in program history. The program’s previous high was the No. 10 seed that the team earned in the 2022 edition of the tournament.
- The team is 22-26 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with the best team finish coming in 1989 when the Gamecocks advanced to the semifinals.
- This year’s Super Regional appearance marks South Carolina’s third consecutive trip to the Round of 16 and 11th appearance in program history. During the 2021 season the Gamecocks narrowly fell to Texas in a 3-4 decision and in 2022 the team struggled at Virginia after the match was moved indoors due to rain during the middle of singles, resulting in a 0-4 loss.
For all the latest South Carolina men’s tennis information, continue to follow GamecocksOnline.com or the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).