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Gamecocks Claim First Win in Athens Since 1989
Men's Tennis  . 

Gamecocks Claim First Win in Athens Since 1989

Athens, Ga. – No. 20 South Carolina men’s tennis pulled off a gritty comeback win at No. 34 Georgia on Friday evening without their No. 2 man. The Gamecocks gave up the doubles point in a tiebreaker but were able to overcome the deficit in singles, claiming four victories.

With junior Casey Hoole out due to injury, South Carolina played with an amended doubles lineup where their usual No. 2 pair of James Story and Lucas Andrade da Silva had to play the top of the lineup. The duo rose to the occasion and posted a dominant 6-1 win over Freddy Blaydes and Niels Ratiu, handing the duo their first SEC loss of the season.

The Bulldogs were able to claim their first doubles win of the day at the No. 2 position where the senior duo of Toby Samuel and Carter Morgan paired up for the first time in their careers. The pair gave up a break early and were never able to regain the upper hand, giving Georgia the match 6-4.

With things evened, the decision fell of the freshman pair of Jelani Sarr and Sean Daryabeigi at the No. 3 position. The duo held serve throughout their match but so did their opponents, forcing the decision to a tiebreaker. In the breaker, the Gamecocks were late to get things going, giving it up 7-5.

In singles play, things looked to go either teams way throughout the majority of the match with Court 1-5 all splitting sets.

Daryabeigi was the first to complete his match after having been moved up to the No. 3 position with Hoole’s absence. The Delray Beach, Florida, native came out on the right side of three sets 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to win his third straight singles match and even things up at 1-1.

On the next court, Story also claimed a win in three sets, his in a comeback victory over No. 58 Ryan Colby. The senior gave up his first set 2-6 and looked close to a loss while trailing 1-4 in the second set but he rallied to break back to tie at 4-4 and break again to take the set 7-5. Story then dominated the final set 6-1 to give South Carolina the 2-1 lead and earn his first ranked victory of the season.

Shortly after, Georgia tied things up at 2-2 with Morgan falling to Blayes, but Samuel helped the Gamecocks regain the lead with his 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 victory from the top of the lineup that helped him to remain perfect in SEC singles play.

The final two matches on Courts 4 and 5 were both in third sets but Georgia was able to take the first win of the two with Sarr falling 5-7, 6-2, 4-6 to even things up at 3-3 and force the decision to Da Silva on Court 5.

Da Silva had taken his first set 7-5 but given up the second 1-6 and was tied at 2-2 in the third. From there his opponent Cryus Mahjoob was able to claim a break and lead 4-2 with both players then winning their own service games for the Bulldog to lead 3-5, serving for the match.

However, da Silva had other plans in mind and was able to save match point and break back for 4-5. Da Silva then went on a tear, winning the next three games to win the third set 7-5, clinching the match for South Carolina.

The win marks South Carolina’s first win over Georgia since 2021 and is the Gamecocks first win in Athens since 1989.

The men’s tennis team will continue action on the road on Sunday, traveling to Knoxville to take on No. 8 Tennessee. The match will begin at 1:00 p.m.

For all the latest South Carolina men’s tennis information, continue to follow or the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).

(20) South Carolina 4, (34) Georgia 3

Doubles (order of finish: 1, 2, 3)

  1. James Story/Lucas da Silva (SC) def. Freddy Blaydes/Niels Ratiu (UGA) 6-1
  2. Ryan Colby/Thomas Paulsell (UGA) def. Toby Samuel/Carter Morgan (SC) 6-4
  3. Cyrus Mahjoob/Miguel Perez Peña (UGA) def. Sean Daryabeigi/Jelani Sarr (SC) 7-6 (7-5)

Singles (order of finish: 3, 2, 6, 1, 4, 5)

  1. #21 Toby Samuel (SC) def. #61 Thomas Paulsell (UGA) 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3
  2. James Story (SC) def. #58 Ryan Colby (UGA) 2-6, 7-5, 6-1
  3. Sean Daryabeigi (SC) def. Niels Ratiu (UGA) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
  4. #81 Miguel Perez Peña (UGA) def. Jelani Sarr (SC) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4
  5. Lucas da Silva (SC) def. Cyrus Mahjoob (UGA) 7-5, 1-6, 7-5
  6. Freddy Blaydes (UGA) def. Carter Morgan (SC) 6-3, 7-5