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    SEC Women's Tennis Notebook

    The eighth-seeded Alabama women’s tennis team ended its 2012 season in the second round of the NCAA Championship, falling to Georgia Tech, 4-3, in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide defeated Army 4-0 in the first round before dropping the match to the Yellow Jackets to end its season with an 18-5 overall record. Despite the team season having finished, the Tide will be represented in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships as junior Alexa Guarachi and sophomore Mary Anne Macfarlane were two of 64 selected into the singles field, while Guarachi and senior Courtney McLane made up one of 32 duos chosen for the doubles draw.
    The No. 33 Razorback women’s tennis team fell 4-0 to No. 43 Long Beach State in the NCAA Tournament first round Friday 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. Junior Claudine Paulson and sophomore Laurie Gingras did earn their ninth doubles victory of the year and it was their fourth win over a ranked opponent, but it would be the only match on the day that Arkansas came out on top. 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.
    No. 69 Auburn came up short 4-3 to No. 20 Tennessee in the first round of the 2012 SEC Women’s Tennis Championship. The loss dropped the Tigers to 8-13 on the year.  Jackie Kasler and Olivia Bennett picked up key wins over the Lady Vols. The victories improved Kasler to 20-12 on the season and Bennett to 12-3 on the year. 
    Florida will face Michigan in the NCAA Round of 16 on Thursday, May 17 in Athens, Ga., beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Florida is 2-0 all-time against Michigan, taking the 5-2 decision on Feb. 12, 2010 in the ITA National Team Indoor Round of 16 and the 5-0 victory on May 15, 1997, in the NCAA Round of 16. The Gators improved to 13-1 all-time in NCAA Round of 32 matches and will be making their 29th overall appearance in the Round of 16, including their eighth straight trip. UF has won 18 consecutive matches entering the Round of 16, where the team sports a 25-3 all-time mark. Senior Joanna Mather finished her home career with 54-0 team record. UF's caps home slate winning its 107th consecutive match, while posting its 22nd undefeated home record. The NCAA Round of 32 victory was program win No. 898 for Florida. Lauren Embree & Mather won their 22nd consecutive doubles match and improve to 51-7 all-time. The 22-match run it tied for the fourth-longest in program history.
    Sixth-ranked Georgia (23-4) advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 with wins over College of Charleston and Clemson this past weekend in Athens. The Bulldogs blanked the Cougars 4-0 and then edged the Tigers 4-3. After building a 3-0 advantage over Clemson, the Tigers fought back to tie the match. Sophomore Maho Kowase provided the clinching win for the Bulldogs in dramatic fashion. She trailed 6-0,5-2 and then stormed back to win 0-6,7-5,6-1 at No. 3. Up next, Georgia faces No. 11 seed Texas Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Georgia had a pair of ITA Regional Award winners in Chelsey Gullickson and Lauren Herring. Gullickson was selected as the ITA Southeast Region Senior of the Year while Herring was named the ITA Southeast Region Rookie of the Year. Gullickson, ranked seventh nationally, is 33-8 this year in singles and 30-11 in doubles. Herring is 29-8 in singles and ranked No. 70. She is 27-12 in doubles.
    The University of Kentucky women's tennis team traveled to Oxford, Miss. for the SEC Championship held at Ole Miss. The 11th-seeded Wildcats faced 6th-seeded South Carolina in the first round of the tournament. In doubles play, the 82nd-ranked team of Jessica Stiles and Caitlin McGraw took on No. 37 Dijana Stojic and Jaklin Alawi in a highly competitive match. The two mounted a late comeback to hold off Stojic and Alawi from taking match-point on multiple occasions, holding the score at 7-6. Ultimately, Stojic and Alawi were able to barely edge out Stiles and McGraw to take the 8-6 win and the doubles point. In singles play, multiply Wildcats found strength in their second set. Unfortunately, the late surges were not enough to grab the singles wins. South Carolina secured its win as the No. 4 and No. 5 matches ended simultaneously to give the Gamecocks a 5-0 victory.
    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 at Michigan’s Varsity Tennis Center on Friday. 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, reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009. LSU’s 15 Tournament appearances over the last 18 years is the most of any SEC West school during that period.
    Ole Miss
    Ole Miss hosted the NCAA first and second rounds for the first time since 1999 and downed Southern University 4-0, before dropping a 4-2 decision to Rice in the second round.  The Rebels finished the season 18-9, the most wins for the program since 1999.  The season is not quite over for seniors Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie, as they will compete in the NCAA Individual Championships in Athens, Ga.  Boxx is seeded 9-16 in singles, and she and Guthrie are seeded 5-8 in doubles.  This will be Boxx' fourth straight year in both singles and doubles. 
    Mississippi State

    In the first round of SEC postseason play, the Lady Bulldogs of Mississippi State fell 4-0 to the No. 23 ranked Commodores of Vanderbilt. Vandy began with a win on doubles court three due to an MSU default. MSU dropped the doubles point after Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran fell 8-5 to VU’s Mira/Wu on court one. Going into singles with a 3-0 lead, Vanderbilt clinched the match after Perper fell 6-1 in the first set on court one and was then forced to retire due to an injury.
    South Carolina
    The No. 30 South Carolina women's tennis team ended its 2012 season in the NCAA Tournament second round with a 4-0 loss to No. 3 Duke. The Gamecocks defeated No. 32 TCU in their first match by a 4-1 score in the second NCAA meeting between the two schools in three years. South Carolina won the doubles point in the match and then used victories on courts three, five and six to secure the win. Sophomore Katerina Popova won the clinching match in three sets at No. 5 singles. She ended the season as the team leader in dual match victories with a 16-7 record. Junior Jaklin Alawi led the team in overall singles wins with a 25-9 mark. The top doubles record belonged to Alawi and Josefin Andersson with both compiling 22 wins individually. Popova also topped the 20-win plateau in doubles with 21 and sophomore Katerina Popova had 21. Popova had 22 in singles to finish second behind Alawi and senior Anya Morgina also reached the mark with an even 20. The Gamecocks have made the NCAA Tournament 18 times in a row, tied for the 11th longest active streak in the nation. They have won at least one match in the tournament in 16 of those 18 appearances.
    Tennessee advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the 16th time in 17 years with a 4-0 shutout over VCU before falling to regional host Virginia, 4-1, to wrap up the season with a 15-13 overall team record. However, matching a program record the Lady Vols are set to have three participants in the NCAA Singles Tournament with Brynn Boren, Natalie Pluskota and Kata Szekely all receiving nods. Pluskota and Szekely will also represent Tennessee in the doubles tournament and will open with a 15-1 overall record together. Szekely was the lone Lady Vol to win both of her matches in singles last weekend, improving her winning streak to a career-best six to lead the team with 25 total wins.
    The No. 27 Vanderbilt women's tennis team saw its season come to a close after making a second round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Commodores opened their 18th consecutive NCAA bid with a 4-1 win over San Diego. The Commodores won the doubles point after a 90 minute battle. Ashleigh Antal and Marie Casares opened doubles with an 8-5 win, before Jackie Wu and Lauren Mira rallied from a 7-6 deficit to win 9-8 (7-5) and clinch the doubles point. At singles, the Commodores got wins from Mira at number two and Radeva and number five, followed by USD getting their lone point of the match over Gornet at singles. Then Antal picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win at number four singles to clinch the match. The Commodores then had to face the tournaments fifth overall seed on it's own court and dropped a 4-1 decision to USC. The highlights came at number two doubles, where Antal and Casares knocked of the 42nd-ranked doubles pair in the nation, 8-6, and number three singles, where Casares topped the nation's 26th-ranked player, 6-2, 6-3. The Commodores finished the season 17-10. Senior Jackie Wu will conclude her career at the NCAA Singles Tournament, May 23-28, in Athens, Ga. She'll enter the tournament ranked 42nd in the nation.