Columbia, S.C. – No. 4 South Carolina men’s tennis suffered its second loss of the season on Thursday, falling to No. 9 Wake Forest 5-2 at home. The Gamecocks again dropped the doubles point for the fourth time this season and were only able to claim two singles victories in the loss.
In doubles, the Gamecocks struck first with James Story and Lucas Andrade da Silva taking down Filippo Moroni and Matthew Thomson 6-3. Wake Forest was quick to respond with a win at the top of the lineup where No. 7 DK Suresh and Holden Koons defeated Toby Samuel and Casey Hoole 6-3. The Demon Deacons clinched the doubles point at the third position with another 6-3 victory.
In singles play, Hoole was first to put a point on the board, recording a top-50 win at the No. 2 position. The junior took on No. 49 Suresh and made quick work of his ranked opponent, dismantling him 6-2, 6-4.
Immediately after, Wake Forest took the match lead back with Luca Pow besting Sean Daryabeigi 6-2, 6-2 on the No. 6 court. They increased their lead with a win on Court 4 where No. 76 Jelani Sarr fell to Luciano Tacchi 6-4, 7-5.
Story made the most of his return to the singles lineup, earning a win at the No. 3 position. The senior battled through a tiebreaker first set 7-6(6) and came back to win the second set 6-4 for his first singles win of the season and bring the match up to 2-3 in favor of Wake Forest.
The two remaining matches on Courts 1 and 5 were both in third sets with South Carolina needing both to make a comeback.
At the top of the lineup, No. 50 Samuel was taking on No. 23 Moroni with Samuel taking first set 7-5 and Moroni taking the second set by the same margin. In the third set, Moroni broke the Gamecock on his first serve and went up 2-0 but Samuel battled back to tie again a 2-2. As the match progressed the Demon Deacon gained the advantage and carried his positive momentum to the end, winning it 6-3.
The final match on was between Da Silva and Koons with the two each taking a set 6-3. The final set was even throughout with no breaks on either side, forcing a tiebreaker. Da Silva struggled through the breaker and was only able to put two points on the board before Koons closed it out 7-6(2).
The Gamecocks will be in action next on Sun., Feb. 11, traveling to Columbus, Ohio, to take on top-ranking Ohio State at noon.
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