Georgia Women's Tennis Advances To NCAA Second Round
ATHENS, Ga. - Sixth-ranked Georgia blanked College of Charleston 4-0 Friday to advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Up next, Georgia (22-4) will play host to No. 24 Clemson Saturday at 3 p.m. The Tigers (16-9) posted a 4-0 win over Arizona State on Friday. The Bulldogs lead the overall series with Clemson 23-19 including a 7-0 win earlier this season in Athens.
In their first round match with the Cougars (25-6), the Bulldogs claimed the doubles point and then picked up singles wins from Chelsey Gullickson, Nadja Gilchrist and Lauren Herring for the victory.
“We are a 100 percent confident right now, in great physical shape and it was fun to get out on the courts again and play a match because we haven’t had one since the SEC Tournament,” said Gullickson. “We’ll be ready for Clemson. I know we played them already this year but that was three months ago and they have a different lineup and the matchups will be different too.”
In doubles, the No. 1 Bulldog team of Gilchrist and Kate Fuller, ranked No. 46 nationally, was the first to finish, cruising to an 8-1 win over Samantha Maddox and Irene Viana. Then at No. 3, the duo of Lilly Kimbell and Maho Kowase clinched the team point with an 8-3 victory over Katie Lee and Christin Newman. It was a school record-setting win for the duo, their 20th straight this season and moved their overall record to 22-2. The No. 2 match was halted with Gullickson and Herring leading 7-3 with a match point. In the postseason, matches are halted once the double point and overall contest winner has been decided.
In singles, Gullickson dispatched Newman 6-0,6-1 in the No. 1 contest for a 2-0 Bulldog lead. She has a team-best 32-8 singles mark. Gilchrist registered a 6-4,6-1 win over Kelly Kambourelis at No. 2 for a 3-0 edge. Herring clinched the win at No. 4, defeating Maddox 6-2,6-3. It was a team-leading seventh match-clinching win for Herring. She had been out with an arm injury since April 1.
“I thought we came out and played really well; College of Charleston has had a fine season, Angelo has done a nice job with their program,” said Georgia coach Jeff Wallace. “Everybody has been working hard to get ready for NCAAs, and it was great to see Lauren clinch the match because she has put in a lot of time to get back to playing again. I think when people see her play and having to serve underhand and still competing hard, it’s going to inspire them. Also, congratulations to Maho and Lilly for setting the doubles record with their 20th straight win, that’s fantastic.”
The previous record for consecutive doubles victories was 19 by the All-American duo of Marissa Catlin and Vanessa Castellano set in 1999.
South Carolina Records 4-1 Win Over TCU in NCAA Tournament
DURHAM, N.C. — The No. 30-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team recorded a 4-1 victory against No. 32 TCU on Friday at Ambler Tennis Stadium in Durham, N.C., in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. South Carolina improved to 16-8 with the victory, while TCU ended its season with an 18-6 mark. The Gamecocks are playing in their 18th consecutive NCAA Tournament and have now advanced beyond the first round in 16 of those appearances. South Carolina next faces No. 3 Duke, a 4-0 winner over Winthrop, at 3 p.m. Saturday with a trip to Athens, Ga., on the line.
“I’m very pleased, it was a great effort and I’m really proud of my team,” interim head coach Katarina Petrovic said. “They took care of business and I thought the score would have been 6-1 in the end. Overall, the match was tough, but I do think that we had a little bit more gas in the end and we were in better shape than TCU. I think that’s what determined the outcome of the match.”
South Carolina grabbed the doubles point, marking the ninth time in the past 12 matches the Gamecocks have taken a 1-0 lead heading to singles play. The Gamecock charged ahead on all three courts and eventually saw Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova finish first with an 8-5 triumph over Gabby Mastromarino and Simona Parajova at the No. 3 position. The duo improved to 17-8 with the victory and 11-4 on court three.
After jumping out to a 4-0 advantage, Anya Morgina and Dominika Kanakova provided the clinching point at No. 2 doubles with an 8-4 win against Kelsey Sundaram and Federica Denti. Morgina and Kanakova are now 9-5 together this season and 5-2 playing the second court.
The remaining match at No. 1 doubles between South Carolina’s Jaklin Alawi and Dijana Stojic, and TCU’s Millie Nichols and Olivia Smith was suspended with the Gamecocks ahead 7-6. South Carolina had several match points with a 7-6 lead before Morgina and Kanakova managed to close out the doubles competition.
In singles, South Carolina struck first with Stojic earning a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Smith at No. 3 singles. The Horned Frogs answered back, though, with their first and what turned out to be their only point on court four. Nichols defeated Kanakova 6-2, 6-2 to put TCU within one point of Carolina.
Pereira pushed the Gamecocks further in front with a 7-5, 6-2 win versus Mastromarino at the No. 6 spot. The win avenged a straight set loss Pereira suffered against the TCU senior when they met in the 2010 NCAA Tournament first round in Tallahassee, Fla. The Gamecocks still won that match by a 4-2 score.
The final point came courtesy of Katerina Popova on court five. After winning the first set handily 6-1, Popova fell behind 3-1 in the second to Denti and eventually lost the set 6-4. Popova regrouped in the third, winning the first game and then the second after it went to several deuces. When Popova charged ahead 3-0, Denti called for an injury timeout. After the break in action, Popova continued to wear down Denti to snag the 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 triumph.
“I was pretty confident in myself,” Popova said. “I knew that I was going to win, but I didn’t know I would win in three sets; I thought I would win in two sets. I wasn’t concentrating too much in the second set and that’s why I lost it. In the third set, I said to myself, ‘You have to give it all you have. You cannot lose to this girl.’”
With the win, Popova earned her team-leading 16th win of the season in dual matches. Her record stands at 16-7 in duals and she is 22-12 overall. Her 22 victories in singles are second only to Alawi, who owns a 25-8 record.
Once Popova clinched the decision for Carolina, the remaining matches on courts one and two were suspended with the Gamecocks leading in each. At one, Morgina was about to play match point versus Stefanie Tan with the score 1-6, 6-1, 5-2 and Morgina holding the ad on her serve. Alawi lost the first set to Parajova in a tiebreaker 7-2, but she won the second 6-4 and was ahead 2-0 in the third.
South Carolina improved to 16-3 all-time against TCU with its last two victories against the Horned Frogs coming in the NCAA Tournament. Duke leads South Carolina 11-4 in the 15 prior meetings between the two schools. The Gamecocks and Blue Devils last met in 2003 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Durham and Duke recorded a 4-0 win. South Carolina last defeated Duke in 1995 in Columbia, S.C., by a 5-4 margin.
LSU Women’s Tennis Drops NCAA First Round Match to Texas A&M, 4-1
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The LSU women’s tennis team’s season came to an end at the hands of No. 19 Texas A&M 4-1, in the NCAA Tournament First Round on Friday at Michigan’s Varsity Tennis Center.
Ariel Morton continued her stellar late-season run as she won her third-straight singles match of the spring and her fifth win in the last six to give the Lady Tigers their only point.
LSU finished the season 11-13 overall while the Aggies improved to 19-5 heading into a second round matchup against either No. 15 national seed Michigan or University of Illinois-Chicago.
“We played really hard and we played well too,” LSU head coach Tony Minnis said. “I thought we were a little tight in doubles. It was most of the team’s first time in the tournament. I thought we looked nervous when we came out. In singles we played outstanding, winning three first sets and going to five three-setters. We were very competitive, so hats off to Texas A&M because they played well. Our team fought hard and left it all on the court.”
The Aggies kicked things off in doubles with two victories to claim the doubles point.
No. 29 Christina Sanchez-Quintanar and Wen Sun defeated LSU’s Keri Frankenberger and Wolf 8-2 on court one.
Morton and Olivia Howlett then fell to Nazari Urbina and Janelle Cuthbertson 8-3 giving Texas A&M the doubles point.
Lauren Santacroce and Sheri Olivier led LSU’s Ebie Wilson and Kaitlin Burns 7-2 when doubles ended and the focus shifted to singles.
Wolf got off to a good start on court one by taking the first set, but No.6 Sanchez-Quintanar took the next two sets to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.
No. 78 Sun then gave Texas A&M a 3-0 lead overall as she beat Kaitlin Burns 6-0, 6-3 on court three.
Morton kept LSU alive in the dual match as she battled back from dropping a first set tiebreaker to edge Olivier 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-2 on court six.
The Lady Tigers forced third sets on the three remaining courts.
Cuthbertson booked the Aggies place in the second round over Frankenberger 6-7 (1), 6-3, 6-0 on court four.
Howlett won the first set 7-5 but dropped the second set 2-6, and was trailing 3-5 in the final stanza to No. 53 Urbina on court two when the action was called.
Wilson also took the first set 6-4 in her matchup with Santacroce on court five. Wilson lost the second set at love and was down 2-5 in the third when the match was abandoned.
Lady Vol Tennis Advances To NCAA Second Round
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - For the 16th time in 17 years, the Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team has advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, using a 4-0 win over VCU on Friday at the Snyder Tennis Center to continue its season.
Winning the doubles point for the 21st time this season, Tennessee added singles wins from Natalie Pluskota, Kata Szekely and Caitlyn Williams and will face regional host Virginia on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.
"We're pumped," Pluskota said. "This is tournament time. Anything can happen. We're coming to win, we're playing to win and we're going to give it everything we have."
VCU (20-5) entered the contest with a large dose of confidence riding an 11-match winning streak and a Colonial Athletic Association championship, but the Lady Vols (15-12) did their best to crush that early and often.
After winning the doubles point, UT won five of six opening sets in singles and raced to the finish line.
"Our ones played fantastic," said co-head coach Mike Patrick, referring to UT's doubles play. "Our two and three, you know VCU is a tough team. They competed well at every spot. We had to earn every one of those victories today. I'm just proud of our kids and what they did."
Pluskota and Szekely, who earned an at-large selection to the NCAA Doubles Tournament, jumped out to a 5-0 lead before winning their match, 8-1, over Alex and Ana Bara.
While Pluskota and Szekely improved to 15-1 (8-0) together, Tennessee found itself trailing on courts two and three with the doubles point up for grabs.
Williams and Brynn Boren trailed 5-4, while Joanna Henderson and Jesse Grace were behind 6-4. Both retaliated, but Boren and Williams reeled off four consecutive games to win 8-4, giving the Lady Vols a 1-0 advantage.
From there, Tennessee cruised to its sixth shutout of the season and 16th in an NCAA Tournament match.
Pluskota dominated her first set against Ana Bara, 6-0, but it was her doubles partner that took care of business first.
After dropping her initial game, Szekely won 12 of the next 14 games to give the Lady Vols a 2-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-2 decision over Olga Terteac.
"It was obviously really good to get a win, but it was a really hard match," Szekely said. "It's always hard to come back and compete after having three or four weeks off. It was really good and it was a team effort today."
Matching a season best, Szekely won her fifth consecutive match and sixth in seven tries.
Shortly thereafter, Pluskota used a 6-0, 6-3 victory to put the Lady Vols in winning position. Winning for the fifth time in her last six matches, Pluskota is now 4-1 all-time in NCAA Team Tournament play.
"It's great to have a good win today going into tomorrow," Pluskota said. "It took everyone out there working together to get the team win and that's the most important thing right now."
With Boren and Grace winning tiebreakers to capture their first sets, it was Williams who would bring home the win for the Lady Vols.
After struggling through a season of injuries, it was a 6-4, 6-3 win to elevate Tennessee to the second round that proved to be the cure.
Williams fell behind 3-1 in the second set, before registering the next five games to clinch the win for Tennessee.
"I've definitely been playing a lot better lately," Williams said. "It's just great to actually compete again, fight hard, fight for the team and get a good win for the team."
Tennessee is now 27-12 all-time at the regional site of the NCAA Tournament and looks to advance to the Round of 16 for the 10th time in program history Saturday.
"We're going to have to come out and compete like demons tomorrow," Patrick said. "We did a great job today and I'm proud of them, but it's not over. We have to come out tomorrow and give them everything we have."
Rebel Netters Down Southern U. To Open NCAA Play
OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss women’s tennis team downed Southern University 4-0 here Friday afternoon at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center/Galtney Courts in their NCAA Championship opener. The Rebels advance to the second round to face Rice Saturday not before 3 p.m.
“It was good to get a match in, because I think the first couple of minutes there was a little rust from not playing a match in nearly three weeks. It’s not always easy when you’re the favorite, and I thought we handled that well.”
Earlier in the day, Rice rallied to upset No. 18 ranked Illinois 4-3 to earn their first ever win in the NCAA Championship. The Illini won the doubles point and quickly went up in several singles matches before seeing Rice come back. One of the matches Rice was able to turn around came at court two, where Dominique Harmath rallied to beat Illinois’ Michelle Kopinski to set up her teammate Kim Anicete’s match-clinching win on court five.
Following that match high energy match, the Rebels took to the courts and wasted little time securing the doubles point with 8-1 wins at No. 2 and 3 doubles.
In singles, the Rebels jumped out quickly and never looked back. Sophomore Vivian Vlaar didn’t drop a game to her opponent, Southern’s Camara Davis, at No. 6 singles. Seniors Abby Guthrie and Kristi Boxx followed up with straight sets wins for the final 4-0 score. Guthrie downed Morgan Taylor 6-0, 6-2 on court five and then Boxx finished off Carlista Mohammed 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1.
Beyers watched some of the earlier match before the Rebels took to the courts, and says his team will have to be ready to battle.
“It was a great match this morning. They’re obviously a very good team. They battled hard and came back in the match to win it. It will be a tough battle, a great match tomorrow.”
UF Women’s Tennis Blanks South Carolina State in NCAA First Round, 4-0
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The second-seeded University of Florida women’s tennis team overwhelmed South Carolina State, 4-0, in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships held at Linder Stadium at the Ring Tennis Complex on Friday.
The Gators (22-1), who improved to 14-0 all-time in NCAA Round of 64 matches, set the tone from the start of doubles play where Florida won 24 of the 25 games played, posting scores of 8-1, 8-0 and 8-0 to earn the 1-0 lead in the team scoring 31 minutes into the match.
South Carolina State (19-1), which has lost to Florida 4-0 in the NCAA first round each of the last three years, came out stronger on the singles courts, but the Gators proved to be too much, as senior Joanna Mather (Duluth, Ga.) won her 15th consecutive singles match and collected the 101st victory of her career with a 6-0, 6-0 decision against Victoria Khatcei on court three. The win also was Mather’s team-leading 30th of the year. Mather has helped the Gators to a 53-0 all-time home record at the Ring Tennis Complex, where Florida has won 106 consecutive matches.
Florida plays Washington State (19-6) in the NCAA Second Round on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Cougars defeated Florida State, 4-3, to advance to the second round for the second time in program history and the first time since 2001. Saturday will be the first meeting between the Gators and Cougars.
Junior Caroline Hitimana (Waterloo, Belgium) gave Florida a 3-0 lead after she tallied her third double-bagel win of the season and captured her team-leading 17th straight singles victory.
Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) polished off the opening round win with a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Laura Bosneag on court four, where the Bulldog junior held serve on her first trip to the baseline before the Gator sophomore won the final 11 games to clinch the team victory.
“I thought we played very well,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “I thought we played very well in doubles, made a lot of first serves, played aggressively when we needed to, made pretty much every single return. If you make serves and returns and approach when you’re supposed to you’re going to be successful a majority of the time when you play doubles. I thought we continued that good play in singles too. I was very happy from start to finish today. We got it done fairly quickly. We’re going to hydrate and rest and then look forward to tomorrow.”
Included among the wins was the doubles victory by the Gator tandem of Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) and Mather, which earned its 21st consecutive decision, a run tied for the fourth longest in program history.
Razorbacks ousted in NCAA first round
LOS ANGELES – The No. 33 Razorback women’s tennis team fell 4-0 to No. 43 Long Beach State in the NCAA Tournament first round Sunday in Los Angeles. Arkansas ends the season with a 12-14 record, which was capped by a fifth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and sixth appearance in the last seven years.
In the match with the 49ers, doubles play was about as close as the Razorbacks had seen all year. With every match decided by two games or less, the first team point came down to the wire. Unfortunately, Long Beach State came back from a loss at number one doubles to win the final two matches for the first team point. They then took that momentum into singles and won three straight matches at courts one, two and six to earn the first round victory over Arkansas.
“I’d like to congratulate Long Beach State on advancing to the round of 32,” Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty said. “They deserved to win and we wish them luck tomorrow. We played a very good doubles point and definitely should have been up 1-0 going into singles. That really hurt us and although we regrouped well it was a big point to let slip away. Have to give a lot of credit to our players who battled extremely hard all season and put themselves in many great situations.”
Doubles play was as much as a back and forth battle that had been seen all season. Arkansas and Long Beach State nearly held serve in every game on all three courts. With every broken serve here, there was another broken serve there to counter it. The battle at the top court was one of the most entertaining of the day as sophomore Laurie Gingras and junior Claudine Paulson fought hard for a 9-7 victory over 84th-ranked Laura Bernard and Rachel Manasse. The win for Paulson and Gingras was their ninth of the year and fourth over a ranked opponent. It also put Arkansas in the driver’s seat to possibly take the doubles point for the early lead.
However, LBSU was able to break serve late in the match at court two and then held that lead for an 8-6 victory leaving court three as the decider of where the first team point was going to go. Much like court one, both teams at court three could not get more than a one game lead. Arkansas freshman Catherine Parenteau and senior Kate Lukomskaya actually had a solid chance to win after going up 8-7, but LBSU’s Sarah Cantlay and Julie Luzar tied it up at 8-all and then burned through the tiebreaker, 7-0, for the 9-8(0) win and the doubles point for Long Beach State.
The Razorbacks had a tough time trying to comeback in singles from that tough doubles loss. It seems like Arkansas had some life when Paulson won her first set, 6-1, over Bernard at court three along with Lukomskaya’s first frame win of 7-5 over Cantlay at court four. However, LBSU went on to win first sets at courts one, two, five and six and then completed straight set wins at courts one, two and six for the 4-0 team win. The remaining three courts were suspended when the fourth team point was won.
Friday’s match was also the final match in Razorback red for seniors Stephanie Roy, Emily Carbone and Kate Lukomskaya. Combined, all three seniors accounted for nearly half of the Razorbacks’ singles wins totals. Roy finished with 13 singles wins this year and five conference victories. Lukomskaya completed a 14 win season with three SEC wins. Finally, Carbone had 11 wins for the team and was going up against some of the best players in the nation each and every week as the No. 1 or No. 2 player for Arkansas. Carbone was the only player on the team to face over 10 ranked opponents including today’s match against No. 102 Anais Dallara.
With Friday’s match, the 2012 spring season is complete for the Razorback women’s tennis team. It will now head into the offseason and get ready for another season and hopefully a sixth straight run to the NCAA Tournament.
Alabama Women’s Tennis Advances to NCAA Second Round with 4-0 win over Army
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 8 seed Alabama women’s tennis team cruised to a 4-0 win over Army in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Championship on Friday at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 18-4 overall, while the Black Knights will end the season at 22-7.
“We really played authoritative, commanding tennis today,” said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. “We were well prepared for this tournament and have really picked up confidence as the season has gone on. We are playing our best tennis of the season right now, and that’s what you want to do.”
Alabama secured the doubles point in 35 minutes, picking up wins on courts one and three. The Tide’s 14th-ranked duo of Alexa Guarachi and Courtney McLane were first to finish, winning 8-1 over Della and Elle Taylor. The remaining two matches were both at 7-2 in favor of Alabama, but it would be Taylor Lindsey and Yasmine Ebada with the 8-2 victory against Margaret Iliev and Carly Riney to win the point on court three.
“We got off to a great start in doubles playing very aggressively,” said Mainz. “That was one of our big goals today.”
In singles, Alex Clay cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Iliev to put the Tide in front 2-0 overall. Shortly after, No. 52 Guarachi would put Alabama ahead 3-0 as she dominated Jamila Paul, posting a 6-0, 6-1 victory on court two. The match would end with a win for the Tide on court five as Antonia Foehse earned a 6-1, 6-1 decision over Della Taylor for the clincher.
“In singles, I thought we did equally as good a job getting out to a quick start,” added Mainz. “Alexa Guarachi had a banner day. She really got after it. I think the momentum from her doubles match really helped her get off to the great start in singles. Alex Clay played lights out. She is playing with a lot of confidence and has improved a lot over the course of the season. She is a gamer. Overall, I am proud of the team. I think we had a really good day.”
Alabama will now take on Georgia Tech in the second round of the tournament on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT.
No. 17 Auburn Outlasts Drake to Advance in NCAA Tournament
URBANA, Ill. – The 17th-ranked Auburn men’s tennis team battled 48th-ranked Drake for more than four hours Friday afternoon before finally claiming a 4-2 victory at the University of Illinois’ Kahn Outdoor Tennis Complex to advance to the second round of the 2012 NCAA Championship.
Auburn (18-9) won its first-round match in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive season and improved to 2-0 all-time against Drake (24-3). The Tigers will now face host and 16th-ranked Illinois in Saturday’s second-round match, which is slated for a 2 p.m. start.
“It was a tough match,” Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. “Drake came to play and had a lot of energy. Doubles came right down to the end. We hung in there and somehow got the doubles point. And they didn’t go away in singles. They showed they were a good team. I was impressed with them.
“We’ve got to come out better. The first round is always tough, not just because of the competition, but when you haven’t played a match in three weeks, that makes it tough. We’ve just got to come out better at the start tomorrow.”
The team match came down to a pair of three-set affairs at the No. 3 and No. 6 singles spot, and Auburn’s two competitors – sophomore Daniel Cochrane and freshman Lukas Ollert - appeared to have just a bit more in the tank than their Drake counterparts.
“I think the heat (may have been a factor), although it wasn’t that hot,” Shore said. “We’re kind of used to that. Our guys were hurting there at the end like their guys were. It was tough all the way around.”
The Tigers got on the board first after taking a hard-fought doubles point. Drake’s team of Robin Goodman and Jean Erasmus struck first on court two, breaking Auburn’s serve three times to take an 8-3 win over Dennis Lengsfeld and Lucas Lopasso. But just a few moments later, the Tigers’ team of Daniel Cochrane and Lukas Ollert posted an 8-3 win over Alen Salibasic and Cesar Bracho to even things up at a match apiece.
Court one saw a battle to the very last point. Auburn’s ninth-ranked team of Andreas Mies and Alex Stamchev went up a break early in the match, only to see Drake break back to make it 3-3. The Bulldogs’ team of James McKie and Anis Ghorbel would then take the advantage a few games later, breaking Stamchev’s serve to take a 5-4 lead. Auburn then evened things up with another break of their own to knot the match at 6-6; it would be 7-6 after the Tigers held on to win their service game after fighting off two break point opportunities for the Bulldogs. Drake would then jump out 40-love in the ensuing game, but the Tigers would claw their way back to deuce. A double-fault would give Auburn the advantage and a match-point opportunity, and Stamchev took advantage of a second serve to put away the clinching point.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead when 18th-ranked Mies made quick work of Ghorbel on court one, winning 6-3, 6-3. It was Mies’ 15th win in dual play this year and 27th overall in singles, moving him into a tie for 11th all-time in single-season singles victories at Auburn.
But Drake would not go quietly. The Bulldogs knotted the score at two apiece with wins on courts four and five. Drake’s Salibasic used a pair of early breaks to outlast Lopasso, 6-4, 6-4, at the fourth position to make it 2-1. And Lengsfeld dropped the first set of his match with Goodman, 6-0, before clawing back and forcing a second-set tiebreaker. He would eventually fall in the breaker, 7-5, and drop the match, 6-0, 7-6.
The Tigers retook the lead as Stamchev came back to earn a 6-4, 7-5 win over McKie after trailing 3-0 in the second set. Along with his win in doubles, the Auburn senior now has 211 career combined victories (107 doubles, 104 singles).
But the final two matches of the day would come down to a third set. With both Cochrane and Ollert grinding it out against their equally exhausted Drake opponents, Ollert was able to seal a victory first as he claimed a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 win over Ben Mullis on court six. Cochrane, who fought his way back from a 3-0 second-set deficit only to lose the set 6-4, was a game away from clinching on court three when play was suspended.
Kentucky Men’s Tennis Defeats Radford to Advance to NCAA Second Round
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Playing for the first time in 19 days, the sixth-ranked University of Kentucky men’s tennis team dusted off the rust from the long layover to earn a 4-0 win over Radford in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament on Friday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, Ky.
The win advances Kentucky (27-5) to the second round of the event for the fourth consecutive year. UK will face No. 26 Indiana (22-8) in the second round on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET at the Boone Tennis Center. IU advanced to the second round with a 4-2 win over No. 34 Louisville on Friday. UK and IU met once earlier this season with Kentucky posting a 7-0 victory in Lexington.
“We played Indiana earlier and it’s a completely different match (tomorrow),” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “The thing about those early season matchups is that you play them indoors so you’re playing on, now, a different surface. Most of the time you have completely different matchups than you have in February so even though you win early on, there are certainly no guarantees later in the year. I know Indiana has really improved throughout the season. I think they won 10 of their last 11 matches. They’re coming in here very confident tomorrow.”
UK’s win over Radford is its 12th win in the last 13 matches and its seventh consecutive at home. All told, Kentucky is an impressive 15-1 at home this season and 61-10 at home since the start of the 2009 season. This is Kentucky’s 23rd appearance in the NCAA Tournament, posting a 20-22 overall record in the event.
“Radford is a very good team,” Emery said. “These teams you get in the NCAAs, they come in and they’re very confident. They’ve won their conference tournament and they’re the underdogs so they’re going for things and swinging from the heels a little bit. We won three matches fairly comfortably but we really are going to have to do more if we want to beat Indiana and achieve our goals.”
The Wildcats started the match with Radford by winning the doubles point, moving its record this season to 20-0 when it wins doubles. Kentucky’s No. 3 duo of sophomores Tom Jomby and Alejandro Gomez started the action in doubles by taking down Joe Mills and Patrick O’Keefe 8-3 at court three. UK would then clinch the doubles point at court one with its top duo of senior Eric Quigley and sophomore Panav Jha, who are ranked seventh in the nation together. The UK tandem sealed the doubles point with an 8-5 victory over Nick Sayer and Thomas Dehaen at court one.
UK clinched the match with three straight-set singles wins from No. 3 Quigley, No. 22 Anthony Rossi and No. 111 Gomez. Quigley was the first to finish, taking down No. 120 Sayer 6-2, 6-1 at court one. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., is now 48-6 on the season and 25-1 in dual matches. The victory over the ranked Sayer was Quigley’s 17th over a ranked foe this season and his 11th consecutive. UK is 23-2 this season when Quigley wins a singles match.
Gomez gave Kentucky a 2-0 lead in the match with his impressive win at court five. The native of Cali, Colombia, dominated both the first and second sets for the Wildcats, defeating Mills 6-2, 6-1. Gomez is now 39-12 on the season and 19-8 in dual matches. The sophomore has won eight of his last nine matches, while UK is 19-1 when he wins in singles.
Rossi was the clinching point for Kentucky against the Highlanders, earning an impressive victory at No. 3 singles over Stijn Meulemans. After winning the first set 6-2, Rossi controlled the second set from the start, posting a 6-0 victory to claim the win and the match for Kentucky. The native of Marseille, France, is now 37-6 on the season and 22-4 in dual matches. Rossi has won seven consecutive matches that ended in a decision, including 11 of his last 12.
Three matches remained on court when Rossi clinched the match with UK taking first sets in two of the three. Senior No. 15 Alex Musialek had taken the first set over Igor Ogrizek 6-4 and was up a break 3-1 in the second set at court two. Sophomore Grant Roberts took the first set 6-4 over O’Keefe at court six, while O’Keefe had battled back to go up 4-0 in the second set. No. 80 Jomby had dropped the first set at court four to Dehaen 7-5, but was on serve in the second set 1-1.
“I think we really have to pick it up tomorrow if we’re going to be the team in the post season that we want to be,” Emery said. “We’ve been the team that we wanted to be all year. I didn’t see quite that same intensity today. That’s a concern. We want to get back to where we have that momentum and we feel like we’re out working the other teams and out competing the other teams.”
Admission to the UK-IU match tomorrow is $6 for adults and $4 for children/seniors. Fans that purchased an all-tournament pass Friday will be granted admission to the match on Saturday. Gates to the tennis complex will open at 1 p.m. ET. Parking is available in the R-3 surface lots surrounding the tennis facility. Fans can also park in Parking Structure 7 and are encouraged to purchase a $3 parking voucher at the ticket gate upon entering the facility. Cash only is accepted at the ticket gate.
Live scores from the Kentucky-Indiana match along with a live interactive blog for fans will be available online at UKathletics.com.
No. 9 State Tennis Advances To NCAA Second Round; Blanks Alcorn State 4-0
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State’s ninth-ranked men’s tennis crew (20-6) advanced to the Second Round of action in the 2012 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship with a 4-0 blanking of the Alcorn State Braves (10-10) Friday afternoon. The Bulldogs will face No. 25 Baylor (18-11) at a newly-scheduled time of 10 a.m. CT at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre on Mississippi State’s campus.
In the first match of the day, Baylor outlasted 31st-ranked Memphis, 4-2, moving them into the Second Round of action in Starkville.
“We are really excited to have made it to the Second Round today,” head coach Per Nilsson said. “Baylor is going to be a tough opponent so we will really have to work hard.”
State’s 20th win marked the seventh time in school history the Bulldogs have posted at least 20 wins in a season and the first since 1998’s NCAA Semifinal squad went 21-5.
In doubles play between MSU and ASU, the Bulldogs never looked back as they took courts 2 and 3 in less than 45 minutes. In the No. 2 spot for MSU was the 47th-ranked pair of Louis Cant and Malte Stropp where they allowed just eight total points in their 8-0 downing of Alcorn State’s Garry Amor and Vitali Vasileuski.
Clinching the doubles point in the same fashion for the Bulldogs was the Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson tandem. Squaring off with Alexandr Lidzar and Max Tkachenko, the MSU duo quickly downed its Brave foe 8-0 in the third spot, giving State a 1-0 lead headed to singles action.
At that point, the remaining match on court 1 was abandoned as MSU’s 25th-ranked duo of George Coupland and Artem Ilyushin was at 3-3 with Alcorn State’s Ernesto Santillan and Weinfried Weinbeer.
In singles, the Bulldog sophomore White was the first to finish for MSU as he downed Alcorn State’s Amor 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 5 position. With the blanking, White did not drop a single game in singles and doubles during Friday’s match.
Quickly following was MSU’s 50th-ranked senior Cant as he breezed through his ASU foe, Lidzar, 6-2, 6-0 in the fourth spot, extending the Bulldog lead to 3-0.
The match clincher came from Bulldog Wilkinson in the No. 6 position. Taking an easy 6-3 first set, Wilkinson plowed through the second earning a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the Braves’ Tkachenko and clinching the match 4-0 for MSU.
With the match-clincher, all matches in play were suspended with the Bulldogs leading on all courts. In the top spot for MSU was 13th-ranked Ilyushin where he held a commanding 6-1, 5-1 lead over ASU’s Santillan. Battling on court 2 for the Bulldogs was the 88th-ranked Chaudry who was breezing with a 6-1, 2-1 lead on Weinbeer. Also holding a lead for State was No. 56 Coupland on court 3 with a 6-3, 1-0 lead over Vasileuski of Alcorn State.