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    SEC Tennis Report: January 20

    Vnderbilt Falls to Michigan State

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The 37th-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores fell to the No. 52 Michigan State Spartans, 6-1, on Sunday afternoon at the Currey Tennis Center.
    With the loss, Vanderbilt drops to 1-1 on the season, while the Spartans improved to 3-1 overall.
    The match opened with doubles play and Michigan State taking the point to lead, 1-0, going into singles. Gonzales Austin and Suresh Eswaran won a tough match (No. 2 spot) versus Michigan State’s Gijs Linders and Harry Jadun to deny a MSU sweep in doubles. Austin and Eswaran were down, 6-5, before battling back to take the match, 8-7(4).
    Playing in the No. 1 spot, Ryan Lipman and Marc van der Merwe fell to Drew Lied and Aaron Pfister, 8-5. Rhys Johnson and Anton Kovrigin fell to the Spartans’ Denis Bogatov and John Patrick Mullane, 8-3, in the No. 3 position.
    The match of the day occurred in the No. 1 singles position with Austin and Pfister competing in a three-set match that would see Pfister come out on top, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5).
    No. 17 Ryan Lipman recorded the Commodores only point on the day after his No. 2 position singles victory over Drew Lied, 6-2, 6-3.
    Johnson lost in a heated battle against John Patrick Mullane at the No. 4 spot, 6-3, 7-6(4). The two players grinded until the very end in the second set with Mullane coming out on top. In the No. 5 position, Yee fell to Bogativ in two sets, 7-6(2), 6-3.
    Kovrigin and van der Merwe each fell in three-set matches to the Spartans.
    The Commodores head back to Athens, Ga., for the second time already this season, as Vanderbilt will compete in the ITA National Kick-Off Weekend. The four-day event begins on Jan. 25 and ends Jan. 28.

    Mississippi State Dominates Texas Tech in Season Opener

    HOUSTON, Texas - There is no better way to start a season than with a win and the No. 11 Mississippi State (1-0) men's tennis team did just that, defeating No. 29 Texas Tech (0-1) 5-2 Sunday afternoon in a top 30 matchup.
    "We are really happy with our team's performance today, especially with four freshmen in our lineup and against a very talented and well-coached Texas Tech squad," coach Per Nilsson said.
    The Bulldogs wasted no time jumping out to an early lead, getting wins from their top two doubles squads.
    The No. 28 Bulldog duo of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp were down 3-2 early in their match, but a hold by Stropp followed by a break gave the tandem momentum, which they rode to an 8-5 victory against Red Raiders Gabriel Dias and Vitor Manzini.
    State's No. 2 team of Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson also fell down early at 3-1, but fought back against the Tech duo of Hugo Dojas and Felip Soares, earning a break to clinch the match and the doubles point 8-5.
    The MSU doubles squad of Pedro Dumont and Romain Bogaerts battled Texas Tech's Gabriel Wanderley and Francisco Zambon to a score of 5-5, where the match was suspended after White and Wilkinson clinched the doubles point for State.
    In singles play, the Bulldogs leaned on the play of several freshmen to lead the way to victory.
    State's Angus was the first to gain victory in singles, defeating Tech's Soares with ease 6-4, 6-1 for his first career victory in dual match play.
    The match-clinching points came in rapid succession from senior James Chaudry and Bogaerts. Chaudry had to fight to earn the first set, but cruised to victory in the second, defeating Tech's Dojas 7-5, 6-1 to give MSU its third point. Seconds later, Bogaerts, ranked 25th in the nation, earned his first career dual match win with ease, defeating TTU's Dias 6-4, 6-1 and officially clinching the team win for the Bulldogs.
    State's 81st-ranked Stropp then added to the Maroon and White's score, defeating Tech's Manzini in straight sets 6-4, 7-5.
    State freshman Stefan Vinti put together the most hard-fought match of the day, pushing Tech's Raphael Pfister to three sets after dropping the first set 6-1. However, Vinti could not hold on in the super tiebreaker, dropping his match 6-1, 6-7(4), 1-0(7). Freshman Dumont then dropped his match to TTU's Zambon 6-3, 6-0 for the final point of the day.
    The Maroon and White will return to action Monday when they wrap up their Houston road trip against the hosting No. 55 Rice Owls at 12 p.m. CT.
    For more information on Mississippi State men's tennis, follow the Bulldogs on Twitter ( and on Facebook (

    Texas A&M Concludes Tournament Play

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The 14th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team wrapped up the three-day Miami Spring Invite today at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. And although the Aggies dropped two of three doubles matches to No. 9 Miami and four of six singles matches against No. 28 Vanderbilt, A&M second-year head coach Howard Joffe was pleased with the team’s effort, as well as what the team gained by going up against top competition.
    “The tournament this weekend was very tough, and in that respect worth its weight in gold to us,” he said. "All our ladies gave a great effort, and we will profit from the strong competition as we prepare for our first dual next week"
    Senior Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and freshman Anna Mamalat were the only Aggies to get a victory in doubles, teaming to defeated Melissa Boliva and Clementina Riobueno of Miami, 8-7.
    In singles, No. 45 Cristina Stancu and Nazari Urbina picked up the only singles victories for the Aggies against Vanderbilt. Stancu defeated Ashleigh Antal, 6-3, 6-3, and Urbina knocked off 115th-ranked Frances Altick, 6-0, 6-2.
    Sanchez-Quintanar, Mamalat, Hristov and Wen all suffered straight-set losses against the Commodores. 
    The Aggies now look to the start of dual match play this weekend as they host No. 53 North Texas, No. 29 Arizona and No. 41 Minnesota in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. A&M takes on the Mean Green Saturday at 2 p.m. in the season opener. The Mean Green are coming off a season in which they won the Sun Belt Conference Championship and received an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship tournament in 2012.
    In the other opening round match, Minnesota will take on Arizona, which knocked out the Gophers in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Championships last May.
    Teams are guaranteed two matches, and the winners will meet on Sunday for the right to advance to the ITA Women’s National Team Indoors in February at the University of Virginia.
    Season and individual match tickets to all A&M home matches can be purchased online anytime at or during business hours at the Athletic Ticket Office located in The Zone at Kyle Field or by calling the ticket office at 1-888-99-AGGIE or 979-845-2311. Tickets also will be available for purchase on game days at the Mitchell Tennis Center beginning one hour before match time.

    Arkansas Dominates Doubleheader

    Omaha, Neb., - The No. 56 University of Arkansas men's tennis team opened its season strong shutting out Nebraska-Omaha and South Dakota State, Sunday afternoon.
    "I was very happy and pleased with our play today," Head Coach Robert Cox said. "We had a lot of new faces out on the courts and they really stepped up and played some quality tennis."
    The Razorbacks opened the day sweeping Nebraska-Omaha 7-0. All three doubles teams recorded a victory of 8-4 over the Mavericks.
    Throughout the first match Arkansas was in control with every singles match winning in straight sets. Seniors Mike Ward and Gregoire Lehmann got their senior seasons off on the right foot by taking their matches; Ward 6-1, 6-1 and Lehmann 6-2, 6-1.
    Three Razorbacks made their collegiate debut in dual match play. Freshmen Austin Robles, Christian Lee and redshirt junior Pete Thomason all recorded their first victories for Arkansas. Sophomore Victor Hoang had the closest match of the day taking down Eric McKnight 7-6, 6-3 at the No. 2 position.
    After a brief break, the Razorbacks continued domination on the courts taking the doubles point over the South Dakota State Jack Rabbits. Lehmann and Ward paired up for doubles winning 8-4 over Lowley and Thorpe. Thomason and Lee did not allow a point to Boglic and Moreira, winning 8-0. 
    "I was impressed with Mike and Gregoire's doubles performance today against South Dakota State," Coach Cox said. "They are our only two seniors and they are beginning to take a leadership role on the court."
    The Jack Rabbits put up a tough fight, but the Razorbacks once again won all six singles matches Thomason, the only match to go into three sets, came out on top in a thrilling third set tie breaker. Freshman Santiago Munoz got his first win in dual play as a Razorback taking down Henrique Pereira 6-2, 6-3.
    Arkansas will be back in action next weekend when it travels to Charlottesville, Va., to play in the ITA Kickoff. The Razorbacks will take on No. 63 Georgia State in the first match, followed by either No. 1 Virginia or No. 64 North Florida depending on the outcome of the first match. 
    "I am really excited for this team and can't wait to see what the future holds," Coach Cox said.

    Arkansas Women Earn Shutout Win Over Lamar

    HOUSTON, Texas - The No. 36 University of Arkansas women's tennis team earned its third victory of the season with a 7-0 victory over Lamar on Sunday. The Razorbacks completed the weekend with a 7-0 victory over the Cardinals and improved to 3-0 on the season. 
    Arkansas earned the doubles point by winning two of the three matches. The duos of Claudine Paulson / Segou Jonker and Brittany Huxley / Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez each defeated a Lamar duo to clinch the doubles point.  
    The Razorbacks completed their third straight match where they won all six singles matchups. Yang Pang and Sarah McLean got their first wins of the season in singles. Brittany Huxley, Claudine Paulson, and Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez all won all of their six matches on the weekend, going 3-0 in both singles and doubles. 
    "This was an encouraging weekend overall," head coach Michael Hegarty said. "Today we took some steps forward and the big thing is we gained confidence heading into the National Indoors next weekend.  All nine players won matches this weekend so we are firing on a lot of cylinders."
    The win is the 124th victory of Hegarty's Arkansas career. He is tied with Kevin Platt for the most wins in Arkansas women's tennis history, and he can set the record for most wins by an Arkansas women's tennis coach with one more victory. 
    The Razorbacks are back in action next weekend at the ITA Kickoff. The first match is against host Northwestern at 11 a.m. on Friday.

    Kentucky Sweeps Season Openers

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky men’s tennis team began the 2013 season on Sunday afternoon with two 7-0 wins, as the Wildcats knocked off Northern Kentucky and Morehead State to improve to 2-0 on the season at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center in Lexington, Ky. The pair of wins are the first for head coach Cedric Kauffmann as the man in charge of the Wildcats.
    “I am happy with the way our freshman played today and the way we played as a team,” Kauffmann said after obtaining his first two wins as the head coach of the men’s tennis team. “I thought our focus and intensity was on the right track and we kept our head in the match for its entirety.”
    In the season-opening match, the Wildcats dismissed the Northern Kentucky Norse 7-0 after claiming every set of the match it its favor. Kentucky picked up the doubles point with two wins from of their top doubles teams. No. 35 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai won on court No. 1 with an 8-1 win, which was followed very quickly by a victorious duo of Anthony Rossi and Grant Roberts who won their match 8-0 to clinch the doubles point for Kentucky. Also in doubles action, Alejandro Gomez and freshman Beck Pennington came out victorious as they knocked off Balint Zsidai and Jody Mahinley of NKU 8-4.
    “I was really pleased with our doubles play,” Kauffmann said. “Doubles was something that we had been stressing in practice, so it was nice to see the players transfer that dedication and effort in practice to the match.”
    Singles were much of the same for the Wildcats, as UK did not drop a single set in all six matches played. The highlights of singles were Beck Pennington and Juan Pablo Murra for the Cats, as combined, they only lost two games in four sets. At No. 4 singles, Murra defeated Andre Correa of NKU 6-0, 6-1. Earning his first-career NCAA dual match win was Pennington who decisively won 6-1, 6-0 on court No. 6.
    Senior captain Anthony Rossi turned in a solid performance at the No. 1 position, claiming the match 6-1, 6-3. Rossi was one of four UK players to win in both singles and doubles in the opening match. Joining Rossi in that ring was Kevin Lai, Gomez and Pennington.
    Lai, a native of Taiwan, earned his first-career win as a Wildcat in straight sets as well, claiming a 7-6, 6-4 win on No. 2 singles versus Guillaume Berman of NKU.
    “I thought we did a really good job of jumping out from the opening ball,” UK assistant coach Matt Emery said.” We were ready to go from the start and we did a good job of keeping our intensity and focus throughout the whole match.”
    In the nightcap, Kentucky had more of the same effort and intensity as UK downed the Morehead State Eagles 7-0. 
    The Wildcats jumped out to the doubles point quickly, earning wins on courts one and three to clinch the point. Jomby and Lai yet again had a quality outing, solidifying their ranking as No. 35 in the nation winning their match over Ji Hoon Heo and Giovanni Samaha 8-0, as the UK doubles pair won 16 of the 17 games they played on Sunday in competition.
    Also earning wins in doubles was Gomez and Ryuji Hirooka, who took an 8-3 result from Hugo Almonte and Nathan Martin of Morehead. In addition, the 3-0 doubles sweep was capped by an 8-0 blanking by Panav Jha and Maks Gold who catapulted over Kevin Deligny and David Clifford of the Eagles for the win.
    In singles, Kentucky showed its versatility in its line-up as all 12 players on the roster recorded wins today. The Wildcats won the opening set in four of the six singles matches (Courts 1,2,3 and 4) by a scored of 6-0, as UK won the first 24 games of the match.
    Gaining wins for UK in singles over Morehead  on courts one through four were No. 94 Rossi (6-0, 6-1), No. 15 Jomby (6-0, 6-0), Gold (6-0, 6-1), Murra (6-0, 6-0).
    Capping off the night was Roberts and Hirooka who played No. 5 and No. 6 doubles respectfully. In the No. 5 slot, Roberts took the match over Giovanni Samaha of MSU 6-2, 6-3, while Hirooka took claim to a 6-0, 6-1 singles win over the Eagles Hugo Almonta.
    Kentucky will next face off against the No. 22 Indiana Hoosiers on Wednesday in Bloomington, Ind., for their first road match of the season. The match in Bloomington will start at 2:00 p.m. ET.
    “Our schedule now becomes a lot tougher,” Kauffmann said. “ We are excited to have the opportunity to go on the road in a tough environment and play a very good Indiana team that is ranked in the top-25.”