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    SEC Men's Tennis Notebook

    Alabama
    The Alabama men’s tennis team bounced back after a 4-3 loss to Wake Forest on Saturday to pick up wins against New Mexico, 4-1, and Penn State, 4-3, on Sunday to move to 4-1 on the season. Senior Jarryd Botha won all three of his singles matches at the No. 1 spot, as did junior Daniil Proskura on court three, to move them to 5-0 overall. Freshman Becker O’Shaughnessey came up big for the Crimson Tide, battling through cramps to pull out a three-set victory to help Alabama edge out the Nittany Lions. The men next travel to Flushing, N.Y. to take on Cornell and Harvard on Friday, Feb. 1.  The matches will start at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT, respectively.

    Arkansas
    The No. 55 University of Arkansas men's tennis team split matches this weekend at the ITA Kickoff in Charlottesville, Va., moving its record to 3-1 for the 2013 season. Arkansas opened the tournament with a 4-2 victory over No. 62 Georgia State on Friday evening. The Hogs fought hard on Saturday, but just couldn't upset the No. 1 team in the country. Virginia defeated Arkansas 6-1. Mike Nott was the lone Razorback to score a point for the Hogs when he defeated Julen Uriguen in an intense three-set match.  Arkansas will open its 2013 home season on Wednesday playing host to No. 75 UAB at 3 p.m. in the Dills Indoor Tennis Center.

    Auburn
    The 21st-ranked Auburn Tigers (4-1) got the 2013 season off to a strong start with four wins in their first five matches. Auburn opened with three home wins over Jacksonville State (7-0), Mercer (7-0) and Troy (6-1) before heading to Starkville, Miss., where they defeated No. 23 Indiana (6-1) and then fought No. 11 Mississippi State to the final point before falling 4-3 in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Auburn has won the doubles point in all five matches so far and has an overall record of 13-1 in doubles. The nation’s No. 2 team of Andreas Mies and Daniel Cochrane remains unbeaten in doubles at 5-0, while sophomore Lukas Ollert (5-0) and senior Lucas Lopasso (4-0) are undefeated in singles as well. The Tigers will have one contest this week as they travel to UAB for a 1 p.m. match Saturday, Feb. 2.

    Florida
    Florida has gotten off to a 4-0 start under new head coach Bryan Shelton. They opened with a 5-2 win over in-state rival Miami, and followed with back-to-back, 7-0 wins over UCF and St. John’s. In their last outing, the Gators beat UNC-Wilmington, 4-2, to clinch a berth at the ITA National Indoors next month. Junior Stephane Piro and freshman Gordon Watson have paced the Gators with perfect records this spring. Piro, who just became eligible in January, is 6-0 this spring, with three wins in dual matches. Watson has also won six matches in a row, dating back to the Three Oaks Shootout in early January.

    Georgia
    The Georgia men's tennis team started its dual match season with a pair of wins over the weekend, defeating Vanderbilt 4-3 Friday and VCU 5-1 Saturday at the ITA Kickoff in Athens. The victories gave the Bulldogs a place in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships next month in Seattle, marking the 10th straight season the Bulldogs have reached the elite field of 16 that will play for a national championship. In the pair of season-opening wins, Georgia's senior and No. 8-ranked KU Singh as well as freshman Ben Wagland each went 2-0 in singles on the weekend, while Georgia's doubles teams of Wagland and Hernus Pieters - No. 5 nationally - as well as the team of Singh and Nathan Pasha each went undefeated. The Bulldogs are next in action this Thursday as they welcome border rival Clemson to the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility for a 4 p.m. meeting.

    Kentucky
    Kentucky went 3-0 this week, capturing its first road win of the season at No. 22 Indiana and winning the Lexington Regional of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend with wins over No. 47 Michigan State (4-2) and No. 17 Texas (4-1) in the final. Kentucky is now 5-0 on the season with three wins over teams in the top 50 of the ITA Rankings. Junior Tom Jomby and senior Anthony Rossi, who play No. 1 and No. 2 singles are a combined 9-0 on the season.

    LSU
    LSU lost to No. 11 Mississippi State 7-0 on Saturday in Starkville, Miss. in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Classic and defeated No. 23 Indiana the following day in the consolation match. LSU will face South Florida in Baton Rouge, La. on Sunday at 12 p.m. CT.

    Ole Miss
    Ole Miss dominated the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Oxford, downing Columbia 4-1 and NC State 4-0 to advance to the National Team Indoor Finals for the 18th time and first since 2010.  The Rebels have hosted this event three times now and have won all three times they hosted.  In the final against NC State, the Rebels did not drop a set in any of the matches. The Rebels one-two punch of All-Americans Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen went a combined 4-0 in singles and doubles to lead the Rebels.  Lutjen improved to a team-leading 18-4 overall.  Scholtz improved to 10-2 overall.  The two improved to 20-4 in dual matches, 10-3 at No. 1 since teaming up last year.  Sophomore William Kallberg clinched the win over NC State improving his record to 13-4 overall and 2-0 at No. 3.  The Rebels improved to 137-18 at home since 2000.  Ole Miss is one of six SEC teams to advance to the finals.  The Rebels received the Chancellor’s Cup at last week’s men’s basketball game against Tennessee, as the men’s varsity team with the highest cumulative grade point average.  It marks the 10th consecutive year for them to earn the cup.

    Mississippi State
    The No. 11 Bulldogs remained undefeated and advanced to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship for the first time since 1999 after an impressive weekend of play. The Bulldogs opened ITA Kickoff play Saturday with a dominating 7-0 victory against the No. 25 LSU Tigers, setting up a Sunday thriller against the No. 21 Auburn Tigers. The match rested on a battle between MSU freshman No. 25 Romain Bogaerts and AU senior No. 74 Andreas Mies. Coming down to a tiebreaker in the second set, Bogaerts would fight off three set points by Mies to win 7-5, 7-6(6) and clinch a 4-3 MSU victory.

    South Carolina
    South Carolina opened the season 4-2 after sweeping both of its home doubleheaders and suffering a pair of losses at ITA Kickoff Weekend in Lexington, Ky. Doubles has been the Gamecocks' strength so far this season, winning the match's first point in all six outings. With a short roster and an injury high in the lineup, South Carolina has battled in singles, though. Juniors Tsvetan Mihov and Chip Cox are each 4-2 this spring manning the top two spots, respectively, in the order. The pair have combined on a perfect 4-0 record in doubles action in the No. 1 slot as well. Senior Harry Menzies is enjoying his best season as a Gamecock, boasting a perfect 4-0 mark playing mostly in the No. 5 spot in the order. Teaming with sophomore Kyle Koch, Menzies is 4-1 in the No. 2 doubles spot as well.

    Tennessee
    The Tennessee Volunteers (9-0) booked their ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships for the fifth consecutive year. The Vols qualified through the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Champaign, Ill., knocking off No. 16 Illinois 4-0 and No. 18 North Carolina 4-1. The Vols set a program record with eight consecutive shutouts to start the year. Sophomore Hunter Reese, playing No. 2, increased his singles winning streak to a career-best 11 matches with a win over No. 58 Nelson Vick. He and Brandon Fickey have also won 10 consecutive matches together in doubles. The Vols head back to Illinois for another match on Saturday.

    Texas A&M
    Texas A&M improves to 4-0 after defeating No. 10 Stanford, 4-0 and No. 27 San Diego, 7-0.  The Aggies advance to the ITA National Indoor Championships for the third straight season.  It also marks the third consecutive season Texas A&M has started 4-0. The Aggies hit the road again this weekend as they travel to Fort Worth to take on No. 67 TCU on Saturday.  Texas A&M features the No. 6 ranked doubles team in freshmen Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant. Other ranked players for the Aggies include sophomores No. 87 Jordan Szabo and No. 103 Jeremy Efferding.

    Vanderbilt
    Vanderbilt competed in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Athens, Ga., Jan. 25-26. The Commodores fell to No. 6 Georgia, 4-3, in the first match, but rebounded to win the consolation match over No. 34 Minnesota, 7-0. Freshman Rhys Johnson went a combined 4-0 in singles and doubles during the ITA Kick-Off. Johnson defeated Georgia's No. 16 Hernus Pieters in two sets, 6-3, 6-3, and Minnesota's Ruben Weber, 6-2, 6-4. Gonzales Austin went 2-0 in singles competition with wins over No. 19 Nathan Pasha (Georgia) and Juan Pablo Ramirez (Minnesota). Vanderbilt returns home to host Middle Tennessee State on Feb. 1.