Rodrigues and Thomson’s All-American season ends in semifinals
Champagne, Ill. – Daniel Rodrigues and Connor ThompsonThe historic run in the NCAA doubles championship came to a heartbreaking end in Friday’s semifinals. Doubles pair Gamecock fell to the No. 2 seeded duo from Ohio State in a fierce three-set battle.
The game started away in Champaign where the South Carolina duo got off to a good start, earning a break on the Buckeyes’ second service game to go up 4-1 early. Rain started a serve in Matej Vocel and Robert Cash’s service game and the game was moved inside. The Ohio State duo appeared to have a clear advantage on the indoor courts, winning five straight to claim the opening set 6-4.
The Gamecocks refused to back down and prepared to finish the second set. It was truly a battle of the best, with each team playing their own service games throughout. Rodrigues and Thomson had first serve and eventually earned a perfectly timed break as they trailed 6-5 to take the second set 7-5.
With sets tied, the decision ended in a ten-point tiebreaker. Rodrigues served first but the Ohio State duo took the first point. The Gamecocks won the next two, but Ohio State tied a two-all and again a three-all. Rodrigues and Thomson gathered momentum, scoring three more points to secure the biggest lead so far at 6-3. Vocel and Cash broke their rhythm with two game points, but the Gamecocks responded with two of their own to go up 8-5. Ohio State managed to earn two points on South Carolina’s next two serves to tie the game at eight all and fought their way through the next two points to win the set.
Rodrigues and Thomson finish the season with an overall record of 22-8 in doubles. Their 22 wins are tied for the second most matches won by a doubles team in a season in program history.
Overall, the pair are 44-21 after two seasons of play together. Their 44 wins rank third in the program’s record book for games won and their 65 games together are the most games a doubles pair from South Carolina have ever played together.
In double action over the past two seasons, Rodrigues and Thomson have gone 33-12, all from first place in the roster. Their 33 career doubles wins rank first in the record books with 15 matches. Their 18 wins in the 2022 season are also the first in the record books by three games.
The duo’s 18-4 double record in the 2022 season gives them a winning percentage of .818 which is also ranked first in the record books.
Rodrigues and Thomson finish the season as All-Americans, the program’s first All-American duo since 1989. Their run to the semifinals is the furthest a pair of Gamecock doubles have ever advanced in the NCAA championships.
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NCAA Doubles Championship Results
(2) Voice/Cash (OSU) def. (18) Rodrigues/Thomson (SC) 6-4, 5-6, 1-0(8)