Starkville, Mississippi. — In a down-to-the-wire finish, the 19th-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team fell, 4-3, to the 15th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks Sunday afternoon in the final day of the 2020 ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
Despite racing through doubles for the 1-0 advantage, the Bulldogs struggled to do the same in singles as the Gamecocks took four-of-six singles matches for the win. Georgia drops to 2-1 this season, while South Carolina escapes with an unblemished record of 5-0.
“Our kids fought incredibly hard and pushed us to the brink of victory but, in the end, we could not close this one out,” Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz said. “All the credit goes to South Carolina. They earned it. We will need to take this loss as motivation and learn from it.”
In doubles, the freshman-senior duo of Erik Grevelius and Robert Loeb dashed to a 6-1 victory over South Carolina’s Phillip Jordan and Beau Pelletier. Sophomore Trent Bryde and freshman Tyler Zink followed suit on court one, defeating the Gamecock team of Raphael Lambling and Daniel Rodrigues by a score of 6-2.
Sophomore Bulldogs Philip Henning and Blake Croyder earned Georgia’s only singles wins of the day. On court two, 12th-ranked Henning took down No. 21 Daniel Rodrigues (6-4, 6-0) to win the first singles match of the day and push the Bulldog lead to 2-0. No. 88 Croyder faced off against South Carolina’s Beau Pelletier on the last court, where he earned a 6-4, 6-3 win and what would be Georgia’s last.
While the Bulldogs battled hard on the remaining courts, the Gamecocks proved to be relentless. South Carolina would go on to win matches on the last four courts for the 4-3 victory over Georgia.
ITA Kick-Off – Day Two
#15 South Carolina 4, #19 Georgia 3
Jan. 26, 2020
1. Trent Bryde/Tyler Zink (UGA) def. #39 Raphael Lambling/Daniel Rodrigues (SC) 6-2
2. Paul Jubb/Connor Thomson (SC) def. #17 Blake Croyder/Philip Henning (UGA) 6-3
3. Erik Grevelius/Robert Loeb (UGA) def. Phillip Jordan/Beau Pelletier (SC) 6-1
Order of finish: (3, 2, 1)
1. Paul Jubb (SC) def. #57 Trent Bryde (UGA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-0
2. #12 Philip Henning (UGA) def. #21 Daniel Rodrigues (SC) 6-4, 6-0
3. #39 Raphael Lambling (SC) def. Tyler Zink (UGA) 7-5, 6-4
4. #106 Connor Thomson (SC) def. Erik Grevelius (UGA) 6-2, 6-3
5. Phillip Jordan (SC) def. Robert Loeb (UGA) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
6. #88 Blake Croyder (UGA) def. Beau Pelletier (SC) 6-4, 6-3
Order of finish: (2, 4, 6, 5, 3, 1)