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    SEC Tennis Report - Saturday

    Vanderbilt Downs Minnesota

    ATHENS, Ga. – The 39th-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores defeated the No. 34 Minnesota Golden Gophers, 5-0 in the consolation match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend (Georgia Regional) at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility.
     
    With the win, Vanderbilt (2-2) snaps a two-match losing streak, while Minnesota dropped to 1-2 on the season.
     
    The Commodores started the day on a positive note, as they won the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead heading into singles play. Gonzales Austin and Suresh Eswaran defeated Mathieu Froment and Brendan Ruddock in the No. 2 position, 8-5. The Vandy duo is now 3-1 this spring. The win also clinched the doubles point for Vanderbilt.
     
    In the No. 3 spot, Jeff Offerdahl and Rhys Johnson registered a win over Eric Frueh and Jack Hamburg, 8-6. Offerdahl and Johnson went 2-0 over the two days in doubles.
     
    Ryan Lipman and Marc van der Merwe fell in the No. 1 match to Juan Pablo Ramirez and Leandro Toledo, 8-5.
     
    Johnson then began singles play with a win over Minnesota’s Ruben Weber in the No. 3 spot, 6-2, 6-4. The win made Johnson 2-0 in singles action over the weekend.
     
    No. 20 Austin then gave the Commodores a 3-0 lead after his win in the No. 2 position. Austin defeated Ramirez, 6-1, 6-4, to move his overall singles record to 12-4 on the season.
     
    In the No. 1 singles match, No. 17 Lipman sealed the victory for Vanderbilt with his win over No. 63 (Leandro) Toledo, 7-6, 6-4. Lipman had to battle back in the first set as he was down two games early on in the match.
     
    After dropping the first set, 3-6, van der Merwe bounced back to win the next two sets, 6-1, 6-3, to win the No. 4 position match versus the Gophers’ Hamburg.
     
    The Commodores return home for a dual match versus Middle Tennessee State on Feb. 1, at the Currey Tennis Center. 



    Florida Kicks Off Weekend With Sweep of St. John's

    The Florida men’s tennis team earned its second-straight 7-0 victory on Saturday, defeating St. John’s in the first round of the 2013 ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex.
     
    With the win, the Gators improved to 3-0 on the season and advance to Sunday’s Championship match at 1 p.m. with a chance to earn a berth in the ITA National Indoors next month in Seattle. Florida will face the winner of the UNC-Wilmington and South Alabama match, scheduled to be played Saturday afternoon at Linder Stadium.
     
    “Tomorrow we know we’re going to be pushed with whatever team wins [this afternoon], South Alabama or UNCW,” said head coach Bryan Shelton. “We’ve got to be ready. We know it’s coming. We’re not going to just coast through the whole season.”
     
    Florida won the doubles point for the third time in three matches, winning at the No. 1 and 2 positions. On court one, the duo of Billy Federhofer and Gordon Watson jumped out to a 7-0 lead before winning 8-1 against SJU’s Vasko Mladenov and Hugo Morth, who ranked 52nd in the nation entering the match.
     
    “We played well today,” said Federhofer. “We didn’t do anything special, but everything was really solid. Playing with Gordon’s fun because he loves doubles and he’s really aggressive at the net … we complement each other pretty well.”
     
    Stephane Piro and Bob van Overbeek, playing at No. 2 doubles, beat the Red Storm’s Valentin Mihai and Mike Lampa, 8-3. The Gator pair earned a break at 5-3 and won the final four games of the set to clinch the doubles point.
     
    At No. 3 doubles, Florent Diep and Luke Johnson led SJU’s Mark Mozer and Michael-John Every, 5-4, when play was halted.
     
    “I was impressed with how well St. John’s came out in the doubles,” said Coach Shelton. “I thought they came out and were firing right away from the very first point. I was also impressed with our guys, when they came with some pressure we didn’t back down. We played extremely well at No. 1 doubles, just very solid. Billy and Gordon made very few unforced errors and executed at the net and made good choices.
     
    “Steph and Bob were able to gather themselves midway through the proset and reeled off four games in a row to get that point. That was great.”
     
    In singles, Florida got an early point as Mladenov had to retire due to injury against Diep, who led 4-0 at No. 1 singles. Johnson, playing on court six, won 6-2, 6-0 over Every to push the Gators lead to 3-0.
     
    At No. 5 singles, Federhofer won the first set, 6-2, over Mozer and cruised in the second set, 6-0, to clinch the team victory for Florida.
     
    “I think we all competed really hard today and we got it done,” said Federhofer. “We saw a lot of positives today, but we also saw a lot of things we can do better tomorrow, so hopefully we’ll be able to execute that tomorrow.
     
    “That was my first [clinching match] this year. I love doing that, but I just want the team to win. It’s nice that I was fortunate enough to be able to, but as long as we win I don’t care who wins.”
     
    The Gators got two more points from van Overbeek and Piro who finished a minute apart, who won at No. 2 and 3 singles, respectively. Van Overbeek beat Mihai, 6-3, 6-2, while Piro beat Lampa, 6-2, 6-2. Gordon Watson completed the shutout with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Morth on court four.
     
    “I liked the way St. John’s came to the net and attacked and forced us to defend a little bit,” said Coach Shelton. “That’s good for our guys to see some different styles of play. I thought we did a good job of just staying tough out there mentally.”



    Auburn Downs Indiana

    STARKVILLE, Miss. - Auburn's 21st-ranked men's tennis team continued its unbeaten start to the season, knocking off No. 23 Indiana by a 6-1 score Saturday in the ITA Kick-Off at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
     
    The Tigers (4-0) continued their unbeaten start to the season in doubles play and claimed five of six singles matches, with four matches going the full three sets and two decided in second-set tiebreakers. Indiana fell to 1-3 on the season.
     
    "Overall, I thought we competed well," Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. "I thought we did a good job in doubles on courts one and two, getting on top early. Then in singles we got off to a good start, we won four first sets. But Indiana pushed back hard, they really pushed us and tested us. I thought we stepped up as a team, which was good to see this early in the year."
     
    Auburn will face 11th-ranked and tournament host Mississippi State at 1 p.m. Sunday with a trip to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on the line. It will not count as a conference match, but the stakes are still high. Live stats will be available through HailState.com. State defeated LSU in Saturday's second match.
     
    "We'll have to play well tomorrow," Shore said. "Mississippi State has beaten us several times in a row and we're playing on their home court. But on the other hand, we've got some guys that have some experience that have been through this before. Hopefully that will shine through tomorrow."
     
    Auburn got on the board first with a pair of doubles wins. Junior Dennis Lengsfeld and senior Lucas Lopasso earned an 8-2 win over IU's Daniel Bednarczyk and Sam Monette at the No. 2 position. The nation's second-ranked duo of junior Daniel Cochrane and senior Andreas Mies followed suit soon thereafter with an 8-3 win at the No. 1 spot over Isade Juneau and Josh MacTaggart.
     
    Cochrane got the Tigers' first singles point at the No. 2 position with a straight-sets win over Juneau, 6-1, 7-6 (4). Sophomore Lukas Ollert made it 3-0 Tigers with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win on court three over Monette, and Lengsfeld clinched the match for Auburn with a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-1 win over Dimitrije Tasic at the No. 4 spot.
     
    Mies pushed the Auburn lead to 5-0 with a 7-6 (7), 2-6, 6-3 win over MacTaggart at No. 1 singles, and Lopasso finished off a straight-set win over Bednarczyk, 6-4, 7-6 (5) to make it 6-0. Freshman Joseph Van Dooren was unable to finish off the sweep, falling in three sets at the No. 6 singles spot to Indiana's Elliott Yee, 5-7, 7-5, 4-6.



    South Carolina Suffers Loss to Michigan State

    LEXINGTON, Ky. - No. 40 South Carolina dropped a tough 4-3 decision to No. 47 Michigan State in a match that went down to the wire. The Gamecocks (4-2) won the doubles point for the second straight day, but, with an injury-altered lineup, could not match up with the Spartans (4-2). Junior Chip Cox and senior Harry Menzies posted the singles victories for South Carolina.

    The Gamecocks jumped out to early leads in two of the three doubles matches, but the Spartans would change the outcome of one of them late. In the No. 1 match, Cox and Tsvetan Mihov broke serve to open their match against Aaron Pfister and Drew Lied and never looked back en route to an 8-4 victory. Kyle Koch and Menzies also scored an early service break in the No. 2 match, but Ben Barnette and Thiago Pinheiro trailed by a break three games into their No. 3 match with John Patrick Mullane and Denis Bogatov. Midway through both matches, though, the tide had turned. After going up 5-2, Koch and Menzies were back on serve two games later. Tied 6-6, the Spartan tandem of Gijs Linders and Harry Jadun surged ahead with a break before holding serve to close out the 8-6 victory. Fortunately for the Gamecocks, the No. 3 match had a similar turn as Barnette and Pinheiro were back on serve at 4-3 and scored a second break for a 5-3 lead that they held for an 8-5 victory to give South Carolina a 1-0 lead in the match.

    Singles opened with the Gamecocks breaking serve early in two of the four matches on court. Koch wasted little time jumping on Linders' serve for a 2-1 lead in the No. 3 match, and Mihov held a 4-2 edge midway into his first set against Pfister in the top spot. Cox was on serve early in his No. 2 matchup with Lied, but Pinheiro trailed early in his No. 4 contest with Mullane.

    Linders was the first Spartan to rally, getting back on serve at 2-2 against Koch, and Pfister made his move on Mihov to get to 4-4. Both Gamecocks carried on to the final game, but their Spartan opponents broke serve on both courts to win their first sets 6-4. Meanwhile, Cox pushed past Lied for a 4-3 lead that he carried to a 6-4 first-set victory.

    Pinheiro dropped the first set to Mullane 6-4 and struggled to find rhythm on his serve in the second, eventually falling 6-1 as the Spartans leveled the match a 1-1. Pfister played a solid second set against Mihov, and the Spartans' to player gave his team the edge with a 6-3 second-set win. Like Pinheiro, Koch fell behind early in his second set with Linders, and a 6-1 score put the Spartans within a point of a winning the match.

    For the Gamecocks, Cox continued to grind it out against Lied, and his relentless pressure got South Carolina back on the board as he won his second set 6-4.

    The final two matches to take the court would decide the outcome. Menzies started first and quickly delivered a 6-2 first-set win over Bogatov before opening a tighter second set. In the No. 6 match, Barnette battled Will Davis in a tight first set that went the Spartans' way 6-4.

    Menzies persevered in the second set, riding a single service break to a 6-4 victory to knot the match at 3-3, leaving the outcome to the No. 6 contest. Davis carried the momentum of his first-set win to jump out to a quick lead in the second and finished off the victory with a 6-2 decision.

    South Carolina is back in action on Sat., Feb. 2, with a doubleheader against #60 Georgia Tech and Wofford at the USC Field House.




    Ole Miss Sweps NC State

    OXFORD, Miss. -- The No. 13 ranked Ole Miss men’s tennis team punched its ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Final 16 with a dominating 4-0 win over NC State in the final round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend here Saturday afternoon at the Gillom Sports Center.
     
    With the win, the Rebels (2-0) earned their 18th trip to the National Team Indoor Final 16 and first since 2010.  This marked the third time for Ole Miss to host the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, and Saturday there was never any doubt the Rebels were ready to grab a Sweet Sixteen spot from the first serve to the last point.
     
    The Rebels quickly went ahead in all three doubles matches and never looked back.  The All-American tandem of Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen powered their way to an 8-3 win at No. 1 doubles against NC State’s Sean Weber and Dave Thomson.  Stefan Lindmark and Johan Backstrom clinched the point, downing State’s Robbie Mudge and Thomas Wiegel 8-3 at No. 3.
     
    In Friday’s first round win against Columbia, the Rebels needed three sets from both Scholtz and Lutjen in their 4-1 win, but Saturday both players showed why they are two of the best in the nation, dominating in two sets to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead.  
     
    Lutjen, ranked No. 5 in the nation, was first off the court taking out Thomson 6-1, 6-2 on court two.  Moments after, Scholtz, currently ranked No. 33, finished off Austin Powell 6-2, 6-3 at the top spot to make it 3-0.  
     
    Rebel fans could sense the outcome was near, and just as Backstrom and Lindmark were getting ready to go on court, sophomore William Kallberg ended the matter with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Mudge at No. 3 singles.



    Mississippi State Notches Win Over LSU

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – There was no place like home as the No. 11 Mississippi State men’s tennis squad (3-0) opened up home play at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre Saturday with a 7-0 shutout victory against No. 25 LSU in their opening match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend.
     
    With the victory, the Bulldogs will face the No. 21 Auburn Tigers Sunday at 1 p.m. The winner will advance to Seattle, Wash., to compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships February 15-18.
     
    The No. 25 LSU Tigers will face the No. 23 Indiana Hoosiers in the consolation match Sunday, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
     
    The Bulldogs grabbed the doubles point for the third consecutive match this season, led by a powerful performance from the Bulldogs’ No. 28 duo of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp. The nationally-ranked tandem defeated LSU’s No. 33 pair of Chris Simpson and Stefan Szacinski with ease, 8-0, at the No. 1 position.
     
    The doubles clinching point came when State’s doubles team of Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson defeated LSU’s Roger Anderson and Tam Trinh 8-5 at No. 2.
     
    On court three, the Bulldog freshmen pair of Romain Bogaerts and Pedro Dumont were close to clinching as well, leading the Tiger duo of Boris Arias and Olivier Borsos 7-4 when play was suspended after the clinching victory. 
     
    In singles, the MSU young guns took charge from the start, with the three match-clinching points coming Bulldog true freshmen.
     
    State’s No. 25 Bogaerts was the first singles match to go final, with the Huppaye, Belgium, native defeating LSU’s Olivier Borsos 6-1, 6-2 easily at the top spot in the lineup.
     
    MSU’s Angus then took down LSU’s Chris Simpson in straight-sets 6-3, 6-4 at No. 4, followed shortly by the match-clinching 6-0, 6-3 victory from MSU’s Stefan Vinti against the Tigers’ Mark Bowtell on court 5.
     
    Following Vinti’s victory that sealed the match’s fate, the No. 81 junior Stropp took down LSU’s Simpson 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2. Shortly after, senior James Chaudry defeated LSU’s Szacinski 6-1, 6-3 on court 3.
     
    In the final singles match of the day at No. 6, State’s rookie Dumont battled through a tough three-set match to defeat Anderson of LSU 7-6(4), 1-6, 1-0(4).
     
    “Going in I thought the match was going to be tougher than it was, but the guys did really well and pulled out a big win,” head coach Per Nilsson said. 
     
    For more information on Mississippi State men’s tennis, follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (www.twitter.com/mstatemt) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mstatemt).



    Georgia Earns National Indoor Bid

    ATHENS, Ga. --- The sixth-ranked Georgia men's tennis team punched its ticket to next month's ITA National Team Indoor Championships with Saturday's 5-1 win over VCU at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility, completing a perfect 2-0 weekend for the Bulldogs at the ITA Kickoff.
     
    Winners of each of the 15 regional sites advance to the Team Indoor held Feb. 15-18 in Seattle, hosted by Washington University.
     
    Today's win pushed Georgia to 2-0 on the early season, while VCU falls to 5-1.
     
    "We were pushed, we were challenged today," said head coach Manuel Diaz. "We played a very good match against a quality opponent - VCU is a very deep team. Our guys at No. 2 and 4 were in positions to win in the second set and didn't get it, but we pulled it out. Our guys are young, and we're going to get better as the season goes along. I think everybody played well this weekend. We are excited to be going back to National Indoors and to be playing in that very competitive field for a national championship."
     
    The Bulldogs won the doubles point for the second day in a row to take the early 1-0 lead on VCU. First off was the team of Ben Wagland and Hernus Pieters - the nation's fifth-ranked doubles team - who posted an 8-3 win over the Rams' Alexis Huegas and Dylan McCloskey at the No. 1 spot. VCU evened it with an 8-6 win for 36th-ranked Alejandro Argente and Jaime Vasquez over Georgia's Eric Diaz and Garrett Brasseaux at No. 3. The deciding win came for UGA's No. 2 duo of Nathan Pasha and KU Singh, who collected an 8-6 win over Max Wennakoski and Michael Voscek to clinch the point.
     
    In singles, Georgia took a 2-0 lead when 16th-ranked Pieters cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Claes Goransson at No. 3, while No. 8 Singh rallied from a first-set loss to claim a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 win over No. 67 Huegas at No. 1.
     
    It was the freshman Wagland who would provide the clincher, as he responded from a loss in the second set to defeat Argente, 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-1 at No. 4 singles to seal the win for Georgia. VCU then got its lone win at No. 2, as 45th-ranked Wennakoski took down No. 19 Pasha 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 to make it 4-1. The Bulldogs picked up their final win of the day with a win at No. 5 for Brasseaux, going 6-4, 7-5 over Voscek. The final match at No. 6 between freshman Nick Wood and VCU's Vasquez was suspended with Wood leading 6-2, 2-1.
     
    Georgia reached today's regional final match with yesterday's 4-3 win over Vanderbilt. This morning, the Commodores posted a 7-0 sweep of Minnesota in the weekend's consolation match.
     
    Georgia has reached the National Indoor every year since its inception in 1973 except for 2003, and has won the event twice (2006, '07). Last season the Bulldogs made the semifinals, where they fell to the eventual national champion Southern Cal.
     
    The Bulldogs are next in action this Thursday, Jan. 31, hosting Clemson at 4 p.m. Live scoring and the Georgia Tennis Live Chat will be available on Georgiadogs.com.



    Lady Vols Fall at Nebraska

    LINCOLN, Neb. - In its first dual match of the 2013 spring season, the University of Tennessee women's tennis team dropped a tough 4-3 decision to host team No. 17 Nebraska in its season opener at the ITA Kickoff.
     
    "We fought hard today, said co-head coach Mike Patrick. "Nebraska has some fast indoor courts, jumped us a little bit in doubles. We got back in the singles and competed in every spot but just came up a whisper short."
     
    The Lady Vols began the afternoon falling in doubles competition to the Huskers. Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely, ranked 12th in the nation, dropped just their fourth doubles match of the year and first in 2013 falling 8-3 to the Nebraska duo of Mary Weatherholt and Patricia Veresova at No. 1 doubles.
     
    No. 41 Caitlyn Williams and Joanna Henderson also fell at No. 2 doubles by a score of 8-5 as the Huskers earned the first point of the match and headed into singles with a 1-0 advantage.
     
    Nebraska added to their lead when Mimi Fotopoulos retired her singles match early in the second set. But Tiffany Tavares cut the lead in half after downing Maike Zeppernick 6-4, 6-2 at No. 6 singles.
     
    No. 23 Brynn Boren battled back after dropping the first set 6-3 to rebound with a 6-3 win of her own in the second set. But Weatherholt came away the victory to give Nebraska a 3-1 edge.
     
    Joanna Henderson, who also went to three sets, came away with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 win while No. 25 Kata Szekely used a second set tiebreak win to give her a 6-4, 7-6 win and tie everything up at 3-all.
     
    The match came down to No. 3 singles, where Caitlyn Williams took part in her second-straight three-set match. Williams earned a 6-4 win in the first set, falling by the same score in the second. Williams fell behind 4-2 in the third set and just could not overcome the deficit giving Nebraska the fourth, and winning point.
     
    "We look forward to play Georgia Tech tomorrow," said Patrick. "They had the same ending as us today. There are four very even teams here at this ITA Kickoff Regional."
     
    Tennessee will look to rebound Sunday against No. 22 Georgia Tech who fell to Notre Dame by a 4-3 score. 



    Texas A&M Knocks Off Stanford in Palo Alto

    PALO ALTO, Calif. -After a delayed start, freshmen Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant captured three of four points to help the No. 26 Texas A&M men's tennis team upset No. 10 and host school Stanford, 4-0. The Aggies advance to the championship match against No. 27 San Diego tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. (CT) at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif.. Texas A&M improves to 3-0 on the year while Stanford falls to 1-1.
     
    "The guys really competed very well tonight," said Texas A&M Head Coach Steve Denton. "We had a delay due to weather but they came out ready to play. This is an exciting win for this young team, but we have to regroup and get ready to play another excellent team in San Diego tomorrow for the right to go to Seattle. That was our goal when we left Aggieland was to get to Seattle and that takes winning two matches."
     
    Texas A&M claimed the doubles point with wins from the tandems of Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant as well as sophomore Jackson Withrow and junior Junior Ore. The No. 6 ranked duo of Adams and Vinsant, playing from the No. 2 position, defeated Denis Lin and Daniel Ho, 8-5, to improve to 3-0 on the spring and 14-4 overall. Withrow and Ore, playing from the No. 1 spot, rallied by winning five consecutive games to defeat John Morrissey and Matt Kandath, 8-6, to clinch the point and improve their record to 2-0 on the young season.
     
    "We were down a break at the No. 1 doubles late and were able to come back and take the doubles point and with a young team a fast start is crucial. I thought we needed a little cushion," said Denton.
     
    In singles, Jackson Withrow wasted no time in claiming the first point by defeating Robert Stineman 6-0, 6-1. Shortly after, Shane Vinsant pushed the Aggie lead to 3-0 after downing Maciek Romanowicz 6-4, 6-3. Finally, Harrison Adams clinched the match in dramatic fashion by overwhelming Nolan Paige, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).
     
    "We talked about the importance of taking the first sets in singles and we won five of the first sets.
     
    Jackson (Withrow) played the best that we have seen him play against a quality opponent in Stineman and then to have our two freshmen step up and play well was very encouraging. Shane (Vinsant) was able to get a straight sets win and then Harry (Harrison Adams) was able to clinch the match with a great battle in the second set winning the tiebreaker."



    Texas A&M Women Defeat North Texas

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 13th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team defeated No. 54 North Texas, 4-1, in both team’s season opener and in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend today at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
     
    The Aggies advance to the championship match Sunday to take on No. 30 Arizona with an invitation to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships at stake. The start time of the match has been changed to 12:30 p.m. The Wildcats defeated No. 41 Minnesota, 4-2, in other first-round action earlier in the day. The Gophers and Mean Green will meet in the consolation match Sunday at 10 a.m.
     
    Texas A&M won the first doubles match to be completed as the seventh-ranked duo of Stefani Hristov and Cristina Stancu won four of the last five games to pull away from a 4-4 tie and defeat Kseniya Bardabush and Franziska Sprinkmeyer, 8-5, at the No. 1 line. 
     
    It would be the only doubles victory for the Aggies as North Texas’ Valentina Starkova and Barbora Vykydalova overcame a 4-1 deficit to defeat A&M’s Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Ines Deheza, 8-6, at the No. 2 position. The Mean Green then clinched the point to take a 1-0 lead as Dane Jobert and Ilona Serchenko pulled away from a 5-5 tie and defeated A&M’s Wen Sun and Nazari Urbina, 8-5, at No. 3.
     
    “Certainly losing the doubles point to North Texas would count for an inauspicious start to the season for us at one level,” A&M second year head coach Howard Joffe said. “At another level, you’ve got to give North Texas kids all the credit. They played with no pressure and they took calculated, good risks. I definitely think our group had plenty of chances, but we were perhaps tentative and timid while the North Texas kids executed and played very, very well. 
     
    “Obviously the doubles point was a very difficult start. That said, one of the things I have to recognize as the coach is that we do have five new people on the team, two who have been here a weekend. So figuring out the best doubles combinations is realistically going to take some time. I was certainly disappointed for our kids but not disappointed in them in the doubles.”
     
    The North Texas lead was short lived as Hristov, a freshman from Romania, raced to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Joubert at No. 6 singles to put the Aggies on the board. 
     
    “With Hristov, every box was checked: attitude, movement, execution, viciousness,” Joffe said. “Just in the context of the match, it was nice to not be down 1-0 for very long with Hristov winning points so quickly.”
     
    Sanchez-Quintanar, whose No. 3 singles ranking is the highest in Texas A&M history, gave the Aggies the lead after completing a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Bardabush at the No. 1 line. Stancu then quickly put A&M ahead, 3-1, winning eight consecutive games en route to a 6-0, 6-4 win over Vykydalova at No. 2.
     
    Deheza, a freshman who joined the team earlier this month, secured the Aggies’ winning point in her A&M dual match debut, defeating Serchenko, 6-2, 6-2, at the No. 5 line. Sun held a 6-2, 4-1 lead over Sprinkmeyer at No. 4 and Urbina held a 5-2 second-set lead after dropping the first set, 6-3, against Starkova when the matches were stopped following Deheza’s match, which secured the Aggies’ 4-1 victory.
     
    “Of course the question gets asked of what sort of group character do we have when we lose the doubles point at home,” Joffe said. “Certainly we came back as vicious and nasty as one could expect. Ines Deheza clinched the match for us for her first match as a freshman. It was great to see her out playing well and fighting hard and coping with the pressure. Also Cristina Stancu played particularly well at No. 2 against a good player.”
     
    The Aggies, who won their 14th consecutive meeting against the Mean Green to improve to 14-2 in the all-time series, now aim for a victory over Arizona to earn their first trip to the National Team Indoor Championships since the ITA Kick-Off Weekend began five years ago. The Wildcats own a 3-0 record in the all-time series against the Aggies, including a 5-2 victory in the most recent meeting on March 1, 2002, in College Station. 
     
    “Arizona definitely will present challenges for us, but I think today’s match will have a little bit of a settling influence on us,” Joffe added. “It was our first dual match, and I think our kids are very, very excited for the opportunity to compete for the big prize, which is to get to go to the National Indoors. I expect it to be hotly contested. I expect it to be difficult, but I also expect our girls to acquit themselves even better than they did today.”
     
    Free live video and scoring of the Arizona-Texas A&M match and live scoring only of the North Texas-Minnesota match will be available at AggieAthletics.com. Fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieWTEN or on Facebook.



    Alabama Falls to Wake Forest On The Road

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The men’s tennis team (2-1) dropped a 4-3 decision to Wake Forest (4-0) and was edged out in the doubles point against New Mexico at the Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center on Saturday. The Crimson Tide will play the singles portion of its match against the Lobos on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. CT and will follow that up with a dual match against Penn State at Noon CT.
     
    In doubles action against the Demon Deacons, Alabama fell by a pair of 8-5 decisions on courts one and three. First to finish was the matchup at the No. 3 spot, where senior Danny Kreyman and freshman Sam Bloom topped Tide junior Carlos Taborga and sophomore Philippe Tsangarides. On court one, seniors David Hopkins and Amogh Prabhakar secured the point with the win over Alabama senior Jarryd Botha and freshman Becker O’Shaughnessey.
     
    The top four positions would take the courts first in singles, where Wake Forest won three of the four first sets. The Demon Deacons made it a 2-0 lead in the match as freshman Jon Ho posted a 6-3, 6-3 decision over sophomore David Vieyra. Prabhakar, ranked 59th in the nation in singles, followed that up with a 7-5, 7-6(6) victory over O’Shaughnessey on court two. From there, the Tide would win the next two matches, with 79th-ranked Botha bouncing back from a first-set loss to win, 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 over Hopkins on court one while Proskura tacked on a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 victory over No. 90 Kreyman on court three. The match would be decided on court six as Bloom held on to beat Taborga, 6-2, 6-3. Tsangarides gave Alabama its third point in the match, beating junior Adam Lee, 6-3, 4-6, 10-4, on court five.
     
    All three of the Tide’s doubles matches against New Mexico went into tiebreakers and would end up finishing with identical scores of 8-7(4). Alabama took the early edge as Taborga and Tsangarides topped Lobo junior Mads Hegelund and freshman Andrew Van der Vyver. From there, however, New Mexico would win both remaining decisions to take the point.
     
    For more information on the men’s tennis team, like the Tide on Facebook by searching for AlabamaMTN and follow the team on Twitter @AlabamaMTN.



    Auburn Downs Indiana

    STARKVILLE, Miss. - Auburn's 21st-ranked men's tennis team continued its unbeaten start to the season, knocking off No. 23 Indiana by a 6-1 score Saturday in the ITA Kick-Off at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
     
    The Tigers (4-0) continued their unbeaten start to the season in doubles play and claimed five of six singles matches, with four matches going the full three sets and two decided in second-set tiebreakers. Indiana fell to 1-3 on the season.
     
    "Overall, I thought we competed well," Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. "I thought we did a good job in doubles on courts one and two, getting on top early. Then in singles we got off to a good start, we won four first sets. But Indiana pushed back hard, they really pushed us and tested us. I thought we stepped up as a team, which was good to see this early in the year."
     
    Auburn will face 11th-ranked and tournament host Mississippi State at 1 p.m. Sunday with a trip to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on the line. It will not count as a conference match, but the stakes are still high. Live stats will be available through HailState.com. State defeated LSU in Saturday's second match.
     
    "We'll have to play well tomorrow," Shore said. "Mississippi State has beaten us several times in a row and we're playing on their home court. But on the other hand, we've got some guys that have some experience that have been through this before. Hopefully that will shine through tomorrow."
     
    Auburn got on the board first with a pair of doubles wins. Junior Dennis Lengsfeld and senior Lucas Lopasso earned an 8-2 win over IU's Daniel Bednarczyk and Sam Monette at the No. 2 position. The nation's second-ranked duo of junior Daniel Cochrane and senior Andreas Mies followed suit soon thereafter with an 8-3 win at the No. 1 spot over Isade Juneau and Josh MacTaggart.
     
    Cochrane got the Tigers' first singles point at the No. 2 position with a straight-sets win over Juneau, 6-1, 7-6 (4). Sophomore Lukas Ollert made it 3-0 Tigers with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win on court three over Monette, and Lengsfeld clinched the match for Auburn with a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-1 win over Dimitrije Tasic at the No. 4 spot.
     
    Mies pushed the Auburn lead to 5-0 with a 7-6 (7), 2-6, 6-3 win over MacTaggart at No. 1 singles, and Lopasso finished off a straight-set win over Bednarczyk, 6-4, 7-6 (5) to make it 6-0. Freshman Joseph Van Dooren was unable to finish off the sweep, falling in three sets at the No. 6 singles spot to Indiana's Elliott Yee, 5-7, 7-5, 4-6.



    Auburn Women Fall to UNC

    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Auburn duo Jackie Kasler and Emily Flickinger secured a ranked doubles win, but No. 68 Auburn women’s tennis fell to host No. 8 North Carolina 4-0 in the opening round of the 2013 ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
     
    “North Carolina is a good team,” Auburn women’s tennis head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “Had we been more aggressive in doubles and stuck to our gameplan, we had a good chance to get that point. Pleun played excellent and had we played out the matches, she had a great opportunity to get a win. She played a very high level of tennis today.
     
    “We are excited to get back out on the courts tomorrow against DePaul.”
     
    In doubles, the tandem of junior Kasler and sophomoreFlickinger scored a big ranked win over No. 58 Lauren McHale and Tessa Lyons, 8-4.
     
    However, the Tigers came up short and UNC took the doubles point beating out the duos of Pleun Burgmans and Michala Kucharova, 3-8, as well as Paulina Schippers and Jen Pfeifler, 4-8. UNC then secured the match victory with individual wins on court Nos. 3, 5 and 6.
     
    In singles action, Burgmans took the first set, 6-3 against No. 11 Gina Suarez-Malaguti at the No. 1 position, and was leading 4-3 in the second set before match play concluded.
     
    Despite the match being unfinished, Kasler led #21 Whitney Kay 4-3 in the second set.
     
    Auburn will face off against No. 65 DePaul in the consolation match Sunday, Jan. 27 at 9 a.m. ET. For the latest on Auburn women’s tennis, follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AUwomenstennis.



    South Carolina Slips Past Mizzou

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior Josefin Andersson from the No. 31 South Carolina women's tennis team clinched the team's 4-3 win over No. 53 Missouri (1-1) on Saturday in the opening round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich. Carolina (3-0) will next face host and No. 16 Michigan (1-0) on Sunday at 2 p.m. for a chance to reach the ITA National Team Indoor Championship played over Feb. 10-13 in Charlottesville, Va.
     
    With the team scored tied at 3-all, Andersson held a one-set lead over Madison Rhyner at No. 6 singles, claiming it 7-5. The Gamecocks actually led the team score 3-1 before losing matches at the Nos. 1 and 4 positions to leave court six as the only match remaining. Andersson ended up winning the second by the same score as the first and improved to 2-0 this spring playing at the No. 6 slot.
     
    The Gamecocks built their 3-1 lead in singles with victories from Adriana Pereira at No. 5 singles and No. 96 Katerina Popova at No. 2 singles. Pereira won first over Alex Clark by a 6-3, 6-3 margin and Popova followed soon afterward with a 6-3, 6-1 decision over Rachel Stuhlmann. Pereira is the only Gamecock with a 3-0 singles mark this spring, while Popova is 2-0.
     
    The Tigers tied the match at one apiece after losing in doubles with a 6-1, 6-3 victory from Elisha Gabb at No. 3 singles against Dominika Kanakova. After Pereira and Popova's wins, Mizzou's No. 71 Cierra Gaytan-Leach came back to defeat No. 34 Jaklin Alawi 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 on court one and Maria Christensen upended South Carolina freshman Ximena Siles Luna at the No. 4 spot in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.
     
    The Gamecocks started the afternoon by claiming the doubles point for the third match in a row to open the season, winning once again on courts one and two. Mizzou struck first, however, scoring an 8-2 victory courtesy of Clark and Rhyner over Pereira and Siles Luna at the No. 3 position. The Gamecocks countered with Andersson and Popova's 8-3 triumph on court two versus Stuhlmann and Christensen.
     
    Alawi and Kanakova ultimately claimed the doubles point for Carolina with a closely contested match at No. 1. Alawi and Kanakova, ranked No. 46, pulled an 8-6 victory against No. 26-ranked Gaytan-Leach and Gabb to improve to 12-5 for the 2012-13 season, the best record for any Gamecock tandem.



    Arkansas Notches Record Win

    EVANSTON, Ill. - The University of Arkansas women's tennis team had a strong performance in their second match at the ITA Kickoff Weekend, defeating Washington  State 5-2. With the victory, Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty becomes the all-time leader in victories in Arkansas women's tennis history. 
     
    "First of all congratulations to our young squad for a very impressive performance today against a quality opponent," Hegarty said. "This victory I hope will propel our group forward in a very positive way as we gain experience against one of the nation's toughest schedules. 
     
    Arkansas opened the match with a win in doubles. The duos of Claudine Paulson and Segou Jonker (8-3) and Yang Pang and Brittany Huxley (8-1) each cruised to victories to clinch the doubles point. Kimberley - Ann Surin and Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez also had a large lead in their match at 7-2, which went unfinished when the point was clinched. 
     
    In singles Arkansas earned four victories to close out the Cougars. Sarah McLean earned the first victory in sinles, defeating Elizaveta Luzina easily for a 6-0, 6-2 win. Belmar Hernandez, Paulson, and Pang each followed with two set victories to seal the match. Belmar Hernandez defeated Koning 6-0, 7-5, Paulson knocked off Kankara 7-5, 7-6, and Pang earned a 6-4, 6-3 victory. 
     
    The win is the 125th victory of Hegarty's Arkansas career. He passes Kevin Platt in total wins, improving his career record to 125-100. Hegarty took over the squad in 2004 and turned around a program that was on a SEC-record losing streak. In returning the team to national prominence, Hegarty won two SEC West titles, made the only NCAA Quarterfinal in program history, and was named SEC Coach of the Year in 2008.  
     
    "I would be remiss on this occasion if I did not thank Bev Lewis who gave me this opportunity ten years ago and also Jeff Long and his entire staff that make it possible for us to compete at an elite level," Hegarty said. "There is no better athletic department in America and it is a privilege to represent the Razorbacks."
     
    The Razorbacks are back in action next Sunday at 12:00 p.m. when they hit the road to face Yale.



    Vols Punch Ticket to National Indoors

    URBANA, Ill. -- The 19th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers beat their second top-20 opponent in as many days to qualify for next month's ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
     
    The Vols won the doubles point and rolled in singles Saturday to beat No. 18 North Carolina 4-1 at the Atkins Tennis Center to win their four-team section of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
     
    After winning the doubles point, senior Edward Jones and sophomore Brandon Fickey won within seconds of each other in straight sets to put the Vols ahead 3-0. Sophomore Hunter Reese clinched the victory by beating Nelson Vick 6-1, 6-4 on court 2.
     
    With the win, the Vols (9-0) advanced to the 16-team field at the ITA National Indoors in Seattle.