South Carolina sweeps Alabama on the road

Tuscaloosa, Ala. – 9. South Carolina men’s tennis swept over Alabama in Tuscaloosa Sunday afternoon. Gamecocks won double points and all six singles matches in their victory, with five of the six singles victories coming in straight sets. With their two wins this weekend, South Carolina is now 20-5 on the season and 9-2 in conference play.

“It was a really impressive weekend on the way from the boys,” the head coach said Josh Goffi. “They’re starting to show some maturity and consistency down the stretch. I know we’re all looking forward to finishing the regular season at home ahead of our Grenade aces on Friday.”

Gamecocks picked up the day’s first win with a double win at Court 3. Sophomore Toby Samuel and first-year students Casey Hoole joined forces to defeat German Samofalov and Joao Ferreira of Alabama in a convincing 6-1 decision. Crimson Tide equalized doubles with a 6-3 win from second place in a row.

The final double decision came down to Court 1, where No. 28 Daniel Rodrigues and Connor Thomson took on Alabama’s Filip Planinsek and Patrick Kaukovalta. The Gamecock pair were given an early break to go up 3-1, but the Tide duo fought back to bring the match within a difference of one match. With the tide behind 5-4 and the position at deuce, Thomson sent a huge serve right up the middle for and ace to win the match 6-4, securing the gamecocks double-point.

The game went over to singles, with Thomson being the first to clear his lane. Sophomore was relentless and took his match 6-3, 6-3 for the quick win.

Hoole earned the next win for the Gamecocks. The first-year player started hot and went up to 5-0 in the first set. However, his opponent Zach Foster did not go down without a fight as he came back to win three games before Hoole closed out the first set 6-3. The second set was a closer competition where Foster took the early lead. Hoole closed out the match in a two all, three all, and again on four all, before finally pulling off and taking the second set 6-4.

Samuel again took the fight for the Gamecocks. Bournemouth, England, natives earned an early break to go up to 2-0 in the first set, but his opponent Enzo Aguiard fought back to equalize the set on three all. Samuel responded with three wins in a row, closing the first set 6-3. The second set started in a similar way with Aguiard getting just three. The gamecock then took his service play and a break, allowing only his opponent one more win before winning the 6-4 second set victory. This win marks Samuel’s seventh game of the season.

Sophomore James Story earned Gamecock’s next win. He knocked down his opponent in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 from lane 5. Rodrigues followed that victory with one of his own from first place in the row. The junior extended his consecutive winning streak to 11 games with a 6-1, 7-6 (5) victory over No. 60 Planinsek.

The last single victory of the day came from junior Raphael Lambling on Court 4. The first set was even between Lambling and his opponent, German Samofalov from Alabama. The narrow lead was exchanged between the players, but Gamecock was given a timely break late in the set to win 7-5. Second set, the entire Samofalov with the Alabama freshman won 6-1 to equalize the match. When the overall match was already over, the final set was played as a 10-point tiebreak. Lambling took an early lead and never looked back, winning the final set 1-0 (7) to complete the South Carolina sweep.

Goffi’s team will play their last regular game of the season on Friday, April 15 at the Carolina Tennis Center. First serve will be at. 17. The program will honor their four fourth-year members with a ceremony prior to the start of the match. There is free admission and open to the public.

For all the latest information on South Carolina men’s tennis, keep following GamecocksOnline.com or the team at social media (@GamecockMTennis).

(9) South Carolina 7, Alabama 0
Double (order of finish: 3, 2, 1)

1. (28) Rodrigues / Thomson (SC) def. Planinsek / Kaukovalta (UA) 6-4
2. Aguiard / Martin (UA) def. Lambling / Story (SC) 6-3
3. Samuel / Hoole (SC) def. Samofalov / Ferreira (UA) 6-1

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

1. (3) Rodrigues (SC) def. (60) Planinsek (UA) 6-1, 7-6 (5)
2. (66) Samuel (SC) def. Aguiard (UA) 6-3, 6-4
3. Thomson (SC) Kaukovalta (UA) 6-3, 6-3
4. Paralysis (SC) def. Samofalov (UA) 7-6, 1-6, 1-0 (7)
5. Story (SC) def. Ferreira (UA) 6-4, 6-4
6. Hoole (SC) def. Foster (UA) 6-3, 6-4

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