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MTN: Da Silva Sends Gamecocks Through to Super Regionals
Men's Tennis  . 

MTN: Da Silva Sends Gamecocks Through to Super Regionals

Raleigh, N.C. – No. 16 South Carolina men’s tennis came out on the right side of a nearly five-hour marathon match on Saturday to advance to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The Gamecocks knocked off host and 14th-ranked NC State 4-3 in Raleigh to book their ticket to the Super Regionals for the fourth consecutive season.

At the No. 1 court in doubles, it was all Gamecocks with No. 43 Toby Samuel and James Story claiming a pair of early breaks to lead 5-1 and serve the match out 6-2.

The next doubles court to complete was at the No. 3 position where NC State’s Fons Van Sambeek and Braden Shick defeated Sean Daryabeigi and Casey Hoole 6-2.

The decision fell to the No. 2 court where the freshman and sophomore duo of Jelani Sarr and Lucas Andrade da Silva were taking on the junior and senior pair of Joseph Wayand and Robin Catry. The Wolfpack pair claimed an early break to take the lead 3-1, but the Gamecock GRIT prevailed with the underclassmen duo rallying to take the next five games to win the match 6-3 and clinch the doubles point.

During the break between doubles and singles, rain began in Raleigh, forcing the match to be moved indoors. The NC State facility only has four courts available so the top of the lineup began singles matches with the remaining players watching on.

The first match to finish was at the No. 2 position where No. 101 Hoole made his return to the singles lineup but fell 6-3, 6-2 to No. 74 Shick to tie the match at 1-1.

The Wolfpack also took the match at the No. 3 position to lead 2-1. No. 123 Luca Staeheli claimed the point over No. 97 Story 6-4, 6-0.

Shortly after, No. 6 Samuel tied the match up for the Gamecocks with his win from the top of the lineup. He defeated No. 54 Catry 7-5, 6-1 for his 21st victory of the season and 98th of his career.

The first wave of matches finally concluded with another win for South Carolina. Daryabeigi recorded the fourth ranked win of his young career with a strong performance over No. 72 Van Sambeek. The freshman is now 26-14 on the season and a perfect 4-0 in postseason singles matches.

With the Gamecocks leading 3-2, the remaining two matches began play with Sarr taking on Damien Salvestre at the No. 5 position and Da Silva facing Jakub Katuch at No. 6.

The No. 5 match was first to conclude with the freshman Sarr unable to find a way against the junior Salvestre with the win going to the Wolfpack 6-2, 6-3 to even the match at 3-3.

The decision fell into the hands of Da Silva who had already claimed his first set over Katuch 6-4. With all attention on the two opponents’ match and the home court advantage on his side, Katuch took the second set 6-3 to even things up and force a decisive third set.

In the third, Da Silva had first serve and the two players each held through the first four games for an even 2-2. It was at that point that things started to look a little shaky for the Gamecock after Katuch forced Da Silva’s serve to deuce. On the deuce point, Da Silva fired off a huge serve that saved the game to give him the 3-2 lead.

After that, Da Silva used the momentum to earn a break and increase his lead to 4-2 which would have been all he needed but that wasn’t enough for the sophomore who then broke his opponent once again in the final game to close the match out 6-2.

South Carolina’s wins marks the fourth consecutive season under head coach Josh Goffi that the team has advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 or better. Throughout the history of the program, South Carolina has advanced to the Round of 16 ten times (5 under the 64-team format) in 29 appearances in the tournament.

The Gamecocks will now move on to face No. 2 Virginia in Charlottesville. The match will take place at the Boars Head Resort on Fri., May 10. The two teams faced in the season-opener at Virginia with South Carolina winning the match 4-3.

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

#16 South Carolina 4, #14 NC State 3

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

  1. #43 Toby Samuel/James Story (SC) def. Damien Salvestre/Luca Staeheli (ST) 6-2
  2. Jelani Sarr/Lucas da Silva (SC) def. Joseph Wayand/Robin Catry (ST) 6-3
  3. Fons Van Sambeek/Braden Shick (ST) def. Sean Daryabeigi/Casey Hoole (SC) 6-2

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

  1. #6 Toby Samuel (SC) def. #54 Robin Catry (ST) 7-5, 6-1
  2. #74 Braden Shick (ST) def. #101 Casey Hoole (SC) 6-3, 6-2
  3. #123 Luca Staeheli (ST) def. #97 James Story (SC) 6-4, 6-0
  4. Sean Daryabeigi (SC) def. #72 Fons Van Sambeek (ST) 6-4, 6-2
  5. Damien Salvestre (ST) def. Jelani Sarr (SC) 6-2, 6-3
  6. Lucas Andrade da Silva (SC) def. Jakub Katuch (ST) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2