Gamecocks prepped to host NCAA Championships
Columbia, S.C. – Hosting NCAA Championship matches for the third consecutive year, No. 8 South Carolina will face South Carolina State in the first round of the event on Fri., May 5, at 2:00 p.m. The day’s matches at Carolina Tennis Center will begin at 11:00 a.m. with No. 18 Florida State taking on No. 43 Baylor. The winner of Friday’s matches will play on Sat., May 6, at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets to each match will be sold at the main gate at Carolina Tennis Center main entrance and will be cash only. General admission tickets will be $5, and tickets will be $3 for students with a valid university ID or youth under 17 years of age. A clear bag policy will be in effect.
Gates at Carolina Tennis Center will open one hour prior to the first match of the day. Free parking is available in the Athletics Village Parking Garage located off Heyward Street.
Live streaming for South Carolina’s first-round match will be available here with live stats available here. The match will also be broadcast as part of the Cracked Racquets NCAA Tournament Coverage which can be found here.
- South Carolina is 19-6 on the season and is coming off an early departure in the quarterfinal round of the SEC Tournament.
- The Gamecock squad holds eight top-25 wins this season with four in the top 10, including road wins at then-No. 5 Kentucky and then-No. 9 Wake Forest, a neutral site win over then-No. 10 Baylor, and a win at home over then-No. 4 Ohio State that propelled the team to their highest ranking in program history at No. 2.
- South Carolina is currently ranked No. 8 in the nation by the ITA. The team has spent the entire 2023 dual season inside the top 10 and has been ranked as high as No. 2 this season.
- There are five Gamecocks in the latest ITA Singles Rankings – No. 10 Toby Samuel, No. 16 Connor Thomson, No. 102 Casey Hoole, No. 116 James Story and No. 122 Raphael Lambling.
- South Carolina also has two ranked doubles pair, including the nation’s No. 1 pair of Samuel and Thomson as well as the No. 48 pair of Jake Beasley and James Story.
- Samuel and Thomson both recently were named to the All-SEC First Team while Story was named to the All-SEC Second Team.
NCAA Tournament History
- This year marks the ninth time the Gamecocks have been selected to the NCAA Tournament under head coach Josh Goffi, including each of the last six tournaments.
- South Carolina enters the NCAA Tournament as the No. 9 overall seed, which is the highest seed in program history. The pervious program high was the No. 10 seed that the team earned in the 2022 edition of the tournament.
- South Carolina is 6-2 in NCAA Tournament first-round matches under Goffi.
- The team is 20-26 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with its best team finish coming in the 1989 season when the Gamecocks advanced to the semifinals.
Scouting the Bulldogs
- South Carolina State earned an automatic qualification to the NCAA Tournament this season after winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championships.
- The Bulldogs went 10-9 overall this season and had a perfect 5-0 mark in conference play. Their recent conference championship win was the program’s 17th MEAC title and the 15th in the last 18 seasons.
- South Carolina is 10-0 all time against South Carolina State.
- The two teams’ most recent matchup was in the 2022 NCAA Tournament first round, held at Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia. The Gamecocks came out on top 4-0.