The Daily Gamecock

Men’s tennis seeks 5th straight win

Menzies back on track after slow individual start in conference play

With five league wins this season, USC’s mens tennis team has already reached its highest total since 2006. Last weekend the No. 25 Gamecocks managed to gain their fourth straight victory over the No. 33 LSU Tigers, stretching their winning streak to four with a 4-1 victory.

As they prepare to face No. 10 Ole Miss and No. 13 Mississippi State this weekend, the Gamecocks (15-7, 5-3 SEC) have an opportunity to tie the school record with seven SEC wins for the season.

Coach Josh Goffi is looking forward to a weekend of competition and a chance for his team to earn wins against highly ranked opponents.

“It’ll be a little different pressure this weekend,” Goffi said. “We still need to take care of the exact same things that we have been that led us to be successful.”

The Gamecocks took control in the singles matches against the Tigers, with four wins and two matches suspended. According to Goffi, the players made improvements in both their consistency and level of competing.

“Tennis is a quest for perfection, which you’ll never ever reach. You’ll never become perfect as a tennis player,“ Goffi said.

Senior Harry Menzies was one of the breakout players who found his way back to his original method of competition in matches against LSU last weekend.

“I had a slow start to the SEC season individually, and I sort of figured out what was going wrong,” Menzies said. “Those were two great, tough wins on the road. Coming back to that comfort zone is nice, [as] there are not easy matches in the SEC.”

The senior has a record of 11-9 in singles on the season, including a 3-5 record in conference play. Menzies defeated LSU’s Boris Arias in two quick sets Sunday after losing a close doubles match.

Goffi was also pleased with Menzies’ as well as the team’s improvement over the weekend and hopes they will all continue to get better in their individual areas. He said it was good to see Menzies get back on track and hopes he will continue to capitalize on his strengths as an athlete as well as his ability to execute at the net.

“[Menzies] is a heck of an athlete, and he needs to use his athleticism,” Goffi said. “It’s the way that he plays as he needs to come forward and execute himself at the net.”

Menzies said his mindset is that all the Gamecocks’ opponents will be as good or better than they are and that the team must work no matter what level of competition is on the field.

The senior credited his team’s overall improvement, as well as his opponent’s strengths, with helping him improve. He looks forward to carrying the momentum the Gamecocks have had into this weekend’s match.

“We’re going to go in there, and we’re going to fight, and we’re going to see how it goes,” Menzies said.