COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The No. 25 LSU men's tennis team used a dominating doubles point and freshman Simon Freund's first career Southeastern Conference clinch to defeat South Carolina 4-1 in the first round of the SEC Tournament on Thursday in College Station.
Head coach Jeff Brown said the Tigers (17-7, 6-6 SEC) used lessons learned in their regular season loss against South Carolina (15-15, 3-9 SEC) to avoid the same result and advance in the tournament.
"We certainly got a boost from doubles, which is a better way to win," Brown said. "This match was especially important to get the doubles point due to certain match ups."
Freund's focus is especially impressive considering he was in the same position in last Sunday's match against Mississippi State. Despite his best effort, he dropped a third-set tiebreaker.
Given the same opportunity on Thursday, the Stockholm, Sweden native came through and the Tigers will advance in the tournament.
"It was really good for [Freund] to get the win today," Brown said. "He had a tough match last time and I am really impressed with his ability to handle the pressure."
LSU continues their SEC Tournament run on Friday at noon when they face second-seed Texas A&M (18-4, 11-1 SEC) who is ranked No. 6 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
The Aggies handed LSU their largest defeat of the season in the home finale, but Coach Brown is optimistic that things will be better this time around.
"The more you play, the better chance you have to win one," Brown said. "Hopefully the guys understand that they will have a chance at the end of the match. It is just a road match and we are comfortable anywhere right now."