Men’s Tennis Splits Sunday Doubleheader

by Christian L Verde
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Men’s Tennis Splits Sunday Doubleheader

BATON ROUGE—The LSU men’s tennis team went 1-1 on Sunday, falling to No. 18 South Carolina, 4-1, and sweeping Nicholls, 7-0, Sunday afternoon at the LSU Tennis Complex.  

The Tigers move to 9-4 on the season and 1-3 in SEC play.  

South Carolina Doubles

The Tigers and Gamecocks had a fight to the finish for the coveted doubles point. Joao Graca and Joey Thomas got their second win as a duo this season, defeating No. 59 Raphael Lambling and Phillip Jordan, 6-2. No. 60 Rafael Wagner and Ronald Hohmann went toe-to-toe with No. 44 Connor Thomson and Daniel Rodrigues, tying the match up at 5-5. The South Carolina duo took the next two sets, defeating Wagner/Hohmann, 7-5. Nick Watson and Boris Kozlov suffered their first defeat of the season after falling in a tiebreak to Jake Beasley and Toby Samuel, 7-6(4). 

South Carolina Singles

The doubles point was tough to overcome for the Tigers, but they did all they could until the end. The Gamecocks quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead after Jake Beasley defeated freshman Tomas Descarrega, 6-3, 6-2, and No. 32 Daniel Rodrigues took down No. 99 Ronald Hohmann, 6-3, 6-4. Senior Rafael Wagner put the Tigers on the board after an impressive victory over No. 81 Raphael Lambling, 6-3, 6-4. Freshman Tom Pisane was on the opposite end of a marathon tiebreak where he had set-point twice but fell 7-6(11). No. 118 Connor Thomson turned it up in the second set and the Gamecocks took the match by a final of 4-1. The Tigers had some hope though if Pisane held on, however, as Boris Kozlov and Joao Graca forced their matches to a third set, but it was too little, too late.  

Nicholls Doubles

The Tigers took it to Nicholls in doubles, only dropping three combined sets in the two victories. Joey Thomas and Joao Graca received their second win of the day with a 6-1 victory and Ronald Hohmann and Rafael Wagner clinched the doubles point after a 6-2 victory.  

Nicholls Singles

Nicholls only had five players for singles, so the Tigers started out with a 2-0 lead. The Tigers lineup featured four freshmen and a redshirt sophomore in Boris Kozlov, all walking away victories. Ronald Hohmann didn’t drop a game throughout his match, sweeping Salekar, 6-0, 6-0. Kozlov came close to the sweep but dropped one game in the first set, defeating Ricardo Machado, 6-1, 6-0. Tom Pisane made quick work of Pavle Drobnjakovic, defeating him 6-2, 6-3. Louisiana native Ben Koch improved to 3-0 on the dual season after a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Bagade. Benjamin Ambrosio closed out the match and the sweep with a 7-6(5), 6-4 victory.   

Tiger Talk 

Freshman Tom Pisane 

On his performance against No. 118 Connor Thomson… 

“I was just trying to focus on my game and find solutions to get the match going my way. When trying to see the positive in the match, I try to work on my game while also improving on things that didn’t go well the last match. I think I did a pretty good job of that. It’s unfortunately the firsts set didn’t go my way, but I’m improving every match. I’m really close to beating those guys, so that’s a positive of that match.” 

On the team’s overall performance… 

“Compared to the match against Florida, I think we did a much better job competing. Our energy levels were way higher. A couple of courts didn’t finish [Against South Carolina] where we were in the third set and winning. If those played out, it might’ve been 4-3. I think we’re really close. Against Nicholls, I feel like everyone stepped up and did their job. We still have a lot to improve and we’re far from our best level yet. Good things are going to come soon if we keep improving ourselves and work hard every day, I’m sure we can beat a team like South Carolina or Florida this year.” 

Co-Head Coach Chris Brandi 

On the team’s performance… 

“To be honest, we played a terrible match on Friday against Florida. In our league, we’ve got tons of great teams and we’re trying to break into that area. We can’t have days as we did on Friday or we have no chance. We challenge the guys to come back and play the right way and I thought they did. I know they lost that match versus South Carolina, but it was our best match of the year so far. It wasn’t perfect, we probably should have won the doubles point. I think the last four times we played South Carolina; we’ve lost the doubles point in the last match in a tiebreaker. It’s a little disappointing, especially today because somebody got a point penalty on court one and it carried over to the tiebreaker on court three. We had just gotten some momentum back, so that really killed it. I don’t know that that would have made the difference, but it certainly hurt the momentum. In singles, I’d say we had five guys that competed really hard and try their butt off and gave us a chance to win. We just weren’t good enough to overcome some of the holes we dug ourselves in, but we’re getting closer. Even though we lost to South Carolina, I think it’s a match that we took some confidence from and hopefully build some momentum moving into the rest of the year.” 

Up Next

The Tigers travel to Oxford, MS to face Ole Miss on Friday, March 5 at 5:00 p.m. CT. 

For up-to-date information and behind-the-scenes access on the Tigers, follow the LSU men’s tennis team on Twitter and Instagram at @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis

South Carolina vs LSU 

Feb 28, 2021 at Baton Rouge, LA 

(LSU Tennis Complex) 

#18 South Carolina 4, LSU 1

Singles

1. #32 Daniel Rodrigues (SC) def. #99 Ronald Hohmann (LSU) 6-3, 6-4 

2. Rafael Wagner (LSU) def. #81 Raphael Lambling (SC) 6-3, 6-4 

3. #118 Connor Thomson (SC) def. Tom Pisane (LSU) 7-6 (13-11), 6-2 

4. Joao Graca (LSU) vs. Toby Samuel (SC) 3-6, 6-4, 3-3, unfinished 

5. Boris Kozlov (LSU) vs. Phillip Jordan (SC) 4-6, 6-4, unfinished 

6. Jake Beasley (SC) def. Tomas Descarrega (LSU) 6-3, 6-2 

Doubles

1. #44 Connor Thomson/Daniel Rodrigues (SC) def. #60 Rafael Wagner/Ronald Hohmann (LSU) 7-5 

2. Joao Graca/Joey Thomas (LSU) def. #59 Raphael Lambling/Phillip Jordan (SC) 6-2 

3. Jake Beasley/Toby Samuel (SC) def. Nick Watson/Boris Kozlov (LSU) 7-6 (7-4) 

Match Notes: 

South Carolina 7-3; National ranking #18 

LSU 8-4 

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,1,2,3) 

Official: Richie Weaver 

Nicholls vs LSU 

Feb 28, 2021 at Baton Rouge, LA 

(LSU Tennis Complex) 

LSU 7, Nicholls 0

Singles 

1. Ronald Hohmann (LSU) def. P. Surendra Salekar (NICM) 6-0, 6-0 

2. Tom Pisane (LSU) def. Pavle Drobnjakovic (NICM) 6-2, 6-3 

3. Boris Kozlov (LSU) def. Ricardo Machado (NICM) 6-1, 6-0 

4. Benjamin Ambrosio (LSU) def. Axel Cronje (NICM) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 

5. Ben Koch (LSU) def. P. Pravin Bagade (NICM) 6-2, 6-4 

6. LSU 1, NSU Forfeit  

Doubles

1. Rafael Wagner/Ronald Hohmann (LSU) def. P. Surendra Salekar/Pavle Drobnjakovic (NICM) 6-2 

2. Joey Thomas/Joao Graca (LSU) def. Ricardo Machado/Axel Cronje (NICM) 6-1 

Match Notes: 

Nicholls 2-2 

LSU 9-4 

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (1,3,2,5,4) 

Official: Richie Weaver