Even with a greatly improved performance from Friday’s match versus No. 6 Florida, LSU (9-5) suffered a 2-4 loss to No. 29 South Carolina (9-5).
Two days after getting swept 7-0 by Florida, the team faced another tough Southeastern Conference team in South Carolina. Looking to rebound after back-to-back losses, the Tigers would need to bring their a-game to put themselves back on the map.
LSU came in with a chip on their shoulder after the Gamecocks ended their season last year in the SEC championships.
Daniel Moreno emphasized that, stating that “they weren’t happy to have their seasons ended by them and didn’t want it to happen again.”
In singles, Courts 1-3 featured Top-50 Players, including last year’s national champion, No. 40 Paul Jubb on Court one, and No. 46 Daniel Rodrigues facing freshman Ronnie Hohmann on Court two.
Hohmann has a lot of potential, but struggles keeping his composure due to his inexperience. When he’s on, he could take down almost any player in the country, but he drops a few games, the rest of the match is in jeopardy.
Coach Brandi thinks that once he matures, he’ll be one of the top players in the country.
“Everybody can see that if can keep it together mentally, he’s as good as anyone,” said Brandi. “Before he leaves LSU, he’ll be the best player in the country.”
He proved his potential today.
Facing a Top-50 player, he struggled to get in his groove, trailing 1-4 in the first set. But once he got a feel for his opponent, he pulled it together and exploded, winning seven-straight games to earn a set victory and give himself a 2-0 lead in the second one.
Right when things looked to be positive for Hohmann, he would get into his own head in the second set, struggling to hold onto the lead and eventually losing it towards the end (5-6). He would manage to tie the set up at 6-6, sending the match to tiebreakers.
With the team needing a spark, Hohmann came in clutch in an intense tiebreaker set, winning it 11-9 and earning the Tigers’ second (and last) point of the match.
“At certain moments, even [No. 46 Rodrigues] had no answer for Ronnie,” said Coach Brandi. “It’s generally always up to him. Today he fought through some demons and got a win, and hopefully he can gain some form from that.”
The Tigers had a strong doubles performance but struggled in singles, losing all but one singles match. They have a lot to improve on, but the team is showing that they have potential.