The South Carolina men's tennis team struggled during its weekend home matches, losing to both Tennessee and Georgia.
The No. 5 Gamecock men’s tennis team was unable to generate any momentum in a 4-0 loss to Georgia on Friday.
The day started with a marquee top-10 doubles match between the No. 1 doubles pair in the country, South Carolina juniors Toby Samuel and Connor Thomson, and Georgia's No. 7 ranked doubles pair, redshirt freshman Ethan Quinn and fifth-year Trent Bryde.
Samuel and Thomson struggled early — going down 3-0 — and never recovered from the rough start, losing 6-3. The Bulldogs then clinched the doubles point when fifth-years Philip Henning and Teodor Giusca beat the No. 31 pair of junior James Story and graduate student Jake Beasley, also by a 6-3 score.
In the singles matches, there were three ranked matchups: No. 6 Samuel played No. 3 Quinn, No. 11 Thomson played No. 13 Henning and No. 120 graduate student Raphael Lambling played No. 107 fifth-year Blake Croyder.
Although Lambling battled hard, Croyder ultimately prevailed, beating Lambling 6-3, 6-4 and handing the Bulldogs the overall win. Neither Samuel or Thomson were able to finish there matches as Georgia decided to stop play when it clinched the win.
The other singles victories for Georgia saw sophomore Miguel Perez Peña defeat No. 88 sophomore Casey Hoole 6-3, 6-2 in a match that Peña dominated throughout as well as a win for Giusca over Beasley. Though Beasley battled back from being down by four games at one point in his first set with Giusca, he still lost in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.
This is South Carolina’s second loss to Georgia this season. In their previous matchup on Feb. 17, the Gamecocks claimed the doubles point, but Georgia won four of the six singles matches and took the match 4-3. Unlike the last match, the Bulldogs won relatively easily on Friday.
The Gamecock men’s tennis team had another bad day on Sunday, losing 6-1 to Tennessee.
In the doubles round, every match went down to the wire, with each matchup being decided 7-6. However, the Volunteers won two out of the three, giving them the point.
On the first court, Samuel and Thomson defeated the No. 2 duo of graduate student Pat Harper and junior Johannus Monday. On the second court, Beasley and Story lost to No. 44 graduate student Emile Hudd and sophomore Shunsuke Mitsui in another ranked matchup.
The doubles point was ultimately clinched on court three, as Tennessee senior Angel Diaz and graduate student Martim Prata beat Hoole and freshman Lucas Da Silva. Though each matchup felt like it could’ve gone either way, the Volunteers came away with a small advantage.
While the doubles play was an improvement from Friday’s loss to Georgia, South Carolina's singles play against Tennessee was just as bad — if not worse — than it was on Friday.
In the first match to finish, Hoole lost to No. 124 Mitsui 6-3, 6-3 on court four. On the second court, Thomson lost to Hudd in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. Then, on the fifth court, Diaz beat Beasley 6-3, 7-6 to clinch the win for the Volunteers.
Tennessee chose to continue playing the rest of the matches, despite clinching the win, so the Gamecocks were able to earn a singles win when Story beat senior Blaise Bicknell 7-6, 6-4.
Samuel lost to No. 2 Monday in the highest-ranked singles matchup 6-4, 7-6, and Harper defeated da Silva 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to officially end the match.
South Carolina will look to get back to its winning ways during its next match against Texas A&M on Friday in the team's final roadtrip of the season.