Men’s Tennis Season Concludes in NCAA Quarterfinals
Orlando, Fla. – No. 8 South Carolina men’s tennis saw their season come to an end on Friday, falling to No. 1 Texas 4-0 in the NCAA Quarterfinals. The match was an unconventional one with play beginning on Thurs., May 18, but being forced to postpone until the next day after inclement weather swept through the area.
The match began on Thursday with doubles play where South Carolina’s No. 3 pair of Raphael Lambling and Casey Hoole were first to record a win. The Gamecocks blasted off to a hot start, earning a pair of breaks to go up 5-0. Their opponents were finally able to win their own service game and broke to get on the board at 5-2, but Lambling and Hoole took the break right back to win it 6-2
The No. 2 match was between No. 48 Jake Beasley and James Story and No. 75 Pierre-Yves Bailly and Siem Woldeab. After being broken on their second service game, the Gamecocks were never able to recover a break back, giving Texas the match 6-4.
At the top of the lineup, the nation’s No. 1 pair of Connor Thomson and Toby Samuel were even with the nation’s No. 3 pair of Eliot Spizzirri and Cleeve Harper, but the results weren’t always so close. The Texas pair seemed to have the match in the bag early, breaking the Gamecocks on their first two service games to go up 4-0, but South Carolina didn’t give in, going on a five-game run to take the lead 5-4. From there the Longhorns took their next service game and finally earned another break to go up 6-5 and were able to serve out the match 7-5, clinching the doubles point.
Play moved to singles but was interrupted by a lightning delay before any first sets could be completed. The lightning delay was later updated to a severe weather delay as a thunderstorm rolled through the National Campus. Heavy showers made the courts unplayable and with no end to the rain in sight after two hours and fifteen minutes of delay, the decision was made to postpone the rest of the match until Friday.
The match resumed right where it ended on Friday morning at 10 a.m. with a heat index reaching triple digits. Texas was quick to close out first sets, taking them on five of the six courts. It wasn’t long after all first sets had been recorded that second sets began nearing completion.
The first match done was No. 54 Woldeab defeating No. 122 Lambling 6-4, 6-3 from the No. 4 position. The next Texas point came from No. 61 Micah Braswell on Court 3 where he defeated No. 116 Story 6-4, 6-2. The Longhorns clinched the match on Court 5 where Harper defeated No. 102 Hoole 6-3, 6-4.
The Gamecocks were only able to record one singles set win on the day with No. 10 Samuel hanging a set on the nation’s No. 1 player Spizzirri in a 7-6(4) tiebreaker. They were even in the second set when play was suspended.
South Carolina’s season concludes in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships and with a 22-7 overall record. Samuel and Thomson will continue play next week, competing in both the NCAA Singles and Doubles Tournaments. Both players are individually No. 9-16 seeds in the Singles Tournament and together they are the No. 1 overall seed in the Doubles Tournament
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(1) Texas 4, (8) South Carolina 0
Doubles (order of finish: 3, 2, 1)
- #3 Eliot Spizzirri/Cleeve Harper (UT) def. #1 Toby Samuel/Connor Thomson (SC) 7-5
- #75 Pierre-Yves Bailly/Siem Woldeab (UT) def. #48 Jake Beasley/James Story (SC) 6-4
- Casey Hoole/Raphael Lambling (SC) def. Chih Chi Huang/Evin McDonald (UT) 6-2
Singles (order of finish: 4, 3, 5)
- #10 Toby Samuel (SC) vs. #1 Eliot Spizzirri (UT) 7-6 (7-4), 2-3, unfinished
- #16 Connor Thomson (SC) vs. #28 Pierre-Yves Bailly (UT) 6-7 (2-7), 1-2, unfinished
- #61 Micah Braswell (UT) def. #116 James Story (SC) 6-4, 6-2
- #54 Siem Woldeab (UT) def. #122 Raphael Lambling (SC) 6-4, 6-3
- Cleeve Harper (UT) def. #102 Casey Hoole (SC) 6-3, 6-4
- Lucas da Silva (SC) vs. Nevin Arimilli (UT) 5-7, 2-3, unfinished