Auburn Men Remain Undefeated
AUBURN - The Auburn men's tennis team fought the elements and a resilient Troy team for four hours Tuesday, emerging with a 6-1 victory on a chilly afternoon at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
The Tigers (3-0) wrapped up their season-opening three-match home stand with their 19th straight win over Troy in the all-time series that dates back to 1956.
"We knew they were going to be tougher," Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. "My hat's off to them; they pushed us. I thought they exposed some areas we're a little soft in right now, and we've got to get better. I'm really happy we got to play this match in these conditions like we're going to see this weekend. Collectively, as a team we realized we're going to have to get tougher. It served a purpose, but it also exposed some weaknesses."
The Auburn doubles teams remained unbeaten throughout the season's first three matches. Sophomore Lukas Ollert and freshman Joseph Van Dooren sprinted to an 8-1 victory over Anas Rouchdi and Daniel Bustamante at the No. 3 spot, and the nation's No. 2-ranked duo of senior Andreas Mies and junior Daniel Cochrane clinched the doubles point with an 8-3 victory over Sami Ghorbel and Andre Stabile. Junior Dennis Lengsfeld and senior Lucas Lopasso made it an Auburn sweep of doubles with an 8-5 win over Patrick Eichler and Mansingh Athare at the No. 2 position.
"I was happy with our doubles," Shore said. "Our doubles teams are looking really good right now. But we've got some work to do in singles."
Cochrane got Auburn on the board first from the No. 1 singles position with a win over Troy's Stabile, who retired with an injury midway through the second set with Cochrane leading 6-3, 3-1. Lengsfeld then won in straight sets over Bustamante, 6-2, 6-4, to give Auburn a 3-0 lead.
Despite dropping a 6-4 decision in the second set, senior Michael Wardell provided the clinching point at the No. 6 singles spot as he blanked Eichler in the first and third sets, posting a 6-0, 4-6, 6-0 win for his third victory of the season.
Lopasso fought off a strong effort from Athare at the No. 4 position, claiming a 7-5, 7-6 (4) win to make it 5-0 Tigers. But Troy would find its way onto the scoreboard at the No. 5 spot where Ghorbel downed Van Dooren in three sets, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. A three-hour battle between Ollert and Rouchdi would wrap up the match under the lights with Ollert emerging victorious with a come-from-behind, 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (2) win.
Auburn will head to Starkville, Miss., this Saturday and Sunday for the ITA Kick-Off Weekend and National Indoors qualifier. The Tigers will face No. 22 Indiana at 10 a.m. Saturday at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre, followed by a Sunday non-conference match against either Mississippi State or LSU.
Ole Miss Women Drop One at William & Mary
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The No. 19 ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team built a 3-0 lead on the road at William & Mary, but the veteran Tribe came back to snatch a 4-3 win from the young Rebels here Tuesday night in the season opener.
Ole Miss started one junior, two freshmen and three sophomores, one of which played in her first dual match. The Rebels won the doubles point and picked up wins at No. 6 and 1 singles to go ahead 3-0. But, the Tribe answered with four straight wins.
Ole Miss was one game away at No. 5 singles, as freshman Marija Milutinovic held a 5-3 in the third set against Tribe senior Anik Cepeda. Cepeda rallied to win it 7-5 and force the outcome to No. 2 singles, where sophomore Julia Jones dropped a tight match to W&M junior Jeltje Loomans. Jones won a first tiebreaker, but Loomans took the second set 6-3. At 4-4, Loomans won the final two games to clinch the match.
“Obviously it’s extremely disappointing to lose, but we have to give a lot of credit to William & Mary,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “They kept fighting even when they were down 3-0. We will be okay, we just have to learn from this and move on. We are a very talented, but extremely young team. When you are this young, these kinds of things can happen early in the season.”
The Rebels dominated at No. 2 and 3 doubles with 8-0 and 8-1 wins respectively, to secure the first point.
Sophomore Santa Shumilina won her first career dual match for the Rebels, downing Sydney Smith 6-3, 6-2 at No. 6 singles to make it 2-0. Junior Caroline Rohde-Moe, ranked No. 30 in the nation, gave the Rebels a 3-0 lead when she finished off Masha Belaya 7-5, 6-2 at the top spot.
Hope Johnson put the Tribe on the board with a 6-3, 6-3 win over sophomore Erin Stephens and then Leeza Nemchinov defeated freshman Mai El Kamash 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 to get William & Mary within one.