CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson men’s tennis team (6-1) fought but fell to No. 8 South Carolina (6-0) 7-0, suffering its first loss of the season on Friday night at the Duckworth Family Tennis Facility.
The Tigers and Gamecocks battled from the very beginning in doubles play, but a hot start from South Carolina’s No. 2 pair was too much of a deficit for Max Smith and Jorge Plans Gonzalez to overcome. Trey Stinchcomb and Matt Pitts fought on Court 3 until the South Carolina pair of Hoole and Lambling took the victory 6-2. Ryuhei Azuma and Spencer Whitaker played unbelievable tennis, going up 4-3 on Court 1 against the number one team in the country in Toby Samuel and Connor Thomson, but Courts 2 and 3 would finish first, leaving the result as 4-3 unfinished.
South Carolina took its momentum into singles play, earning a win on Court 5 6-1, 6-3 before Lambling took the win on Court 3, 6-3, 6-1. Azuma battled to the end against No. 15 Samuel but was unable to take the point, losing 6-4, 6-3. South Carolina’s Thomson secured a victory on Court 2 before the Gamecocks would win on Courts 4 and 6, despite incredible efforts from Matt Pitts and Nini Dica.
The Tigers will hit the road for the first time this season as they head to Lynchburg, Va. to take on Liberty on Friday, Feb. 10 at 5 p.m. and VCU on Saturday, Feb. 11. at 2 p.m.
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