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Men’s Tennis Falls in SEC Title Match
Men's Tennis  . 

Men’s Tennis Falls in SEC Title Match

Baton Rouge, La. – No. 24 South Carolina men’s’ tennis fell to No. 4 Kentucky 4-2 in the SEC Tournament title match on Sunday. The Gamecocks fell in a tight doubles point and were bested by three singles wins.

In doubles, Kentucky took the first match with Taha Baadi and Jack Loutit defeating Jelani Sarr and Lucas Andrade da Silva 6-3 from the No. 2 position. Just minutes later, South Carolina evened the decision with a 6-4 win from the No. 3 position where Casey Hoole and Sean Daryabeigi defeated Jaden Weekes and Eli Stephensen 6-4.

The decision fell to the top court where Toby Samuel and James Story were battling the nation’s No. 7 pair of JJ Mercer and Joshua Lapadat. The Gamecocks fell a break early but broke back immediately for 2-2. Both pairs then held serve for the remainder of the match, forcing the decision to a tiebreaker.

In the breaker, the Gamecocks took the opening point but weren’t able to get much else going, falling 7-6(2) for Kentucky to take the doubles point.

Play transitioned to singles where No. 15 Samuel was quick to even things up for the Gamecocks. He defeated No. 35 Baadi 6-4, 6-2 to even things at 1-1.

It wasn’t long after the Daryabeigi gave South Carolina the 2-1 lead, defeating Weekes 6-4, 6-1.

Kentucky then took the next two points to flip the lead in their favor with Da Silva falling 7-5, 6-3 and Story falling to No. 97 Lapadat 6-4, 6-1.

The two remaining courts remained in play on opposite sides of the facility with Sarr battling in a third set on Court 5 and Carter Morgan fighting in his second set on Court 6.

Sarr took his first set 6-3 but his opponent Loutit claimed the second 6-4. The final set was a close battle with both players holding serve but the decision was left unfinished as the Wildcats clinched the victory on Court 6.

The historic run was South Carolina’s first ever trip to the SEC Tournament title match and set a new SEC record for lowest seed to ever advance to the title match as the No. 11 seed.

The Gamecocks now awaits the NCAA selection show that will take place on April 29 to determine their fate for the remainder of the season.

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

#4 Kentucky 4, #24 South Carolina 2

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

  1. #7 JJ Mercer/Joshua Lapadat (UK) def. Toby Samuel/James Story (SC) 7-6 (7-3)
  2. Taha Baadi/Jack Loutit (UK) def. Jelani Sarr/Lucas da Silva (SC) 6-3
  3. Casey Hoole/Sean Daryabeigi (SC) def. Jaden Weekes/Eli Stephenson (UK) 6-4

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

  1. #15 Toby Samuel (SC) def. #35 Taha Baadi (UK) 6-4, 6-2
  2. #97 Joshua Lapadat (UK) def. James Story (SC) 6-4, 6-1
  3. Sean Daryabeigi (SC) def. Jaden Weekes (UK) 6-4, 6-1
  4. Charlelie Cosnet (UK) def. Lucas da Silva (SC) 7-5, 6-3
  5. Jack Loutit (UK) vs. Jelani Sarr (SC) 3-6, 6-4, 4-3, unfinished
  6. Eli Stephenson (UK) def. Carter Morgan (SC) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3