COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Citadel men's tennis team dropped a pair of hard-fought matches at No. 25 South Carolina Friday afternoon in the first dual matches of season. The Gamecocks swept both matches by a score of 7-0 at the Carolina Tennis Center, but the young Bulldogs showed lots of fight and did not give up many easy points.
Location: Columbia, S.C. (Carolina Tennis Center)
Final Score Match 1: No. 25 South Carolina 7, The Citadel 0
Final Score Match 2: No. 25 South Carolina 7, The Citadel 0
Records: SC (2-0), The Citadel (0-2)
The first match of the day got underway at 11 a.m. with doubles action. Juniors Noah Nawabi and Willen van Zyl competed at No. 1 against Jake Beasleyand Joseph Brailovsky. Sophomore Will Graham and senior Roy Hobson went up against Yancy Dennis and Daniel Rodrigues at No. 2 doubles. Freshman Phillip Quinn and sophomore Gavin Stewart took on Thomas Brown and Patrick Cacciatore in No. 3. The Gamecocks took the doubles point behind 6-0 wins at No. 1 and No. 3, and a 6-1 victory at No. 2.
In singles action, three of the youngest players on the roster were the final players to step off the court as sophomores Luke Eafano and Graham pushed their matches late into the going, and Quinn's match at No. 4 singles against Brailovsky was the final one to wrap up. Quinn ultimately fell 6-2, 6-0, but put up one of the best and longest fights of the first match.
Eafano's match against Cacciatore at No. 6 went 6-0, 6-2 in favor of Cacciatore, but not before Eafano made some pushes for points late.
Graham went up against Beau Pelletier at No. 5 singles and took three total points from the Gamecock, falling 6-2, 6-1. Graham and Pelletier were the second to last matchup to finish.
Another good matchup in the first match saw Nawabi take three points from Beasley at No. 3 singles, falling 6-1, 6-2, all while putting up a strong fight to the end.
Jack Pyritz claimed two points in the second set of his matchup against Raphael Lambling at No. 2 singles, falling 6-0, 6-2, and Hobson fell 6-0, 6-0 to Rodrigues at No. 1.
In doubles action, Hobson and Graham fell 6-1 to Rodrigues and Cacciatore at No. 2 in the first matchup to finish. Nawabi and van Zyl then fell 6-2 to Dennis and Lambling, despite putting up a strong fight, at No. 1 doubles, clinching the point for the Gamecocks. Stewart and Quinn also put up a strong, long fight at No. 3 doubles, eventually falling 6-2 to Brown and Pelletier.
In singles action, Nawabi gave the Gamecocks the biggest scare at No. 2 singles as he took Lambling to a tiebreaker at 6-6. Lambling ended up winning the point 7-6 and then put the matchup away with a 6-0 win in the second set.
Pyritz also put up a strong fight, taking five total points from Brailovsky to fall 6-2, 6-3 at No. 3 singles.
Hobson and Quinn both claimed three points in their singles matchups. Hobson fell 6-2, 6-1 to Dennis at No. 1 and Quinn ultimately fell 6-2, 6-1 to Beasley at No. 5.
Graham started things off with a 6-0, 6-1 loss to Brown at No. 6 singles and van Zyl fell 6-2 to Pelletier at No. 4.
The 'Dogs will next travel to Statesboro, Georgia to face off against Morgan State and Georgia Southern on Sunday, Jan. 13. The Bulldogs and Morgan State will tangle at 12:30 p.m., and the 'Dogs will then take on the Eagles at 3:30 p.m.