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    SEC Women's Tennis Notebook

    The ninth-ranked Alabama women’s tennis team won both of its matches over the weekend against TCU and SMU, improving to 4-0 on the season. After dropping the doubles point against TCU, the women cruised to a victory over the Horned Frogs where they won all four of the singles matches that finished in two sets. Sophomore Emily Zabor dominated her match, dropping only one game in the 6-0, 6-1 victory. The women then travelled to Dallas where they earned another victory against the Mustangs of SMU. Although the match was decided by a lopsided 6-1 score in the Tide’s favor, many of the matches were competitive. Senior Alexa Guarachi had to come back from dropping her first set to earn herself a victory 4-6, 6-3, 10-7. The women eventually pulled away thanks to victories on court five and six from Zabor and freshman Natalia Maynetto, who won their matches 6-1, 6-1 and 6-4, 6-0, respectively. The women will next travel to Charlottesville, Va. to play in the ITA National Indoor Team Championships beginning on Friday, Feb. 8.

    The No. 37 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team dropped a tough battle with No. 24 Yale, falling to the Bulldogs 4-3 in New Haven, Conn. The loss dropped their record to 4-2. Arkansas won the doubles point, and Sarah McLean and Yang Pang earned singles victories. Pang defeated No. 90 Madeleine Hamilton, her fourth win over a ranked opponent this season. Claudine Paulson and Segou Jonker continued their stellar play at the No. 1 doubles spot, improving their dual record to 5-0. The Razorback freshman class is a combined 18-8 in singles and 19-12 in doubles, including a 6-3 singles and 10-3 doubles record from three new spring additions.

    No. 68 Auburn won a pair of matches over the weekend opening its home 2013 dual match season at the Yarbrough Tennis Center to move to 3-1. The Tigers won 7-0 against Georgia Southern at noon on Sunday, and then came back in the evening to beat Alabama A&M 7-0. Eight players posted singles wins on the weekend. Maria Cardenas Conti,  Plamena Kurteva and Ashley Kitchens each picked up two singles wins and two doubles wins for a perfect 4-0 weekend. The duo of Jackie Kasler and Emily Flickinger continued their spring success with an 8-2 win over Georgia Southern  to move to a team-high 3-0 dual match record for the season. The freshman twosome of Pleun Burgmans and Michala Kucharova clinched the doubles point with an 8-2 victory. Cardenas Conti kicked off singles on court five with a 6-1, 6-0 win. Fellow freshman Burgmans continued her success from doubles winning 6-1, 6-1, at the top spot. Senior Paulina Schippers clinched the match for the Tigers with a decisive 6-1, 6-1 victory. Against Alabama A&M, Kucharova and Kurteva started off the night on court three with an 8-0 win. The tandem of Cardenas Conti and Schippers clinched the doubles point winning 8-0 on court one. Kitchen started off singles with a dominate 6-0, 6-0 win to move to a team-high record of 16-4.  Cardenas Conti maintained the momentum with a 6-0, 6-0 victory of her own. Pfeifler clinched the match winning 6-1, 6-1. Auburn will return to action Saturday, Feb. 9, with a doubleheader home match against Georgia State at 12 p.m. CT and Samford at 6 p.m. at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.

    Florida launched its 41st season of varsity competition winning three matches in five days last week, sweeping all three, including the 7-0 victory against No. 15 Baylor. The Gators have a week off from the courts before traveling to face a pair of top-10 opponents. UF will battle No. 3 Duke on Feb. 17 in Durham, N.C., before playing at No. 8 North Carolina on Feb. 18 in Raleigh. Thanks to their three season-opening wins the Gators extended their overall home winning streak to 110, which is the longest active home win streak of any NCAA Division I women’s team in any sport. UF also won its 115 straight regular-season match at home. Overall, the Gator’s win streak is 25 dating back to last season. Senior Lauren Embree became the 14th different Gator to win 100 career doubles matches, as she did so to clinch the doubles point against Baylor. She then won her 99th career singles match. If she reaches the 100-win plateau in both singles and doubles, Embree would become only the eighth Gator to do so in a career.

    Sixth-ranked Georgia overcame No.19 Clemson on the road this past Saturday (Feb. 2) by a score of 5-2.  The Bulldogs improved their lead in the all-time series to 25-19. Eighth-ranked Lauren Herring remains the team leader in singles victories at 23-2 while 18th-ranked Maho Kowase is 21-5 and 54th-ranked Kate Fuller is 16-3.  Freshman Mia King remains undefeated in her early singles career at 5-0.  Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia also remain undefeated as a tandem posting a 3-0 record at #1 doubles.  Next week, Georgia will travel to Charlottesville, Va. for the ITA National Indoor Team Championships.  

    The Kentucky women’s tennis went 1-1 over the course of the week, knocking off Marshall 5-2 on Friday before falling to No. 48 Penn State 4-3 on Sunday. Freshman Nadia Ravita continued her successful start to her collegiate career, improving to 4-0 in singles play with a 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 win over Dominika Zaprazna of Marshall to clinch the match for Kentucky. On Sunday, Ravita convincingly knocked off No. 27 Petra Januskova of Penn State 6-3, 6-1. Sophomore Stephanie Fox earned two more singles wins over the weekend, defeating Kara Kucin of Marshall 6-1, 6-3 and Katherine Whiteaway of Penn State 6-1, 6-1.

    The Lady Tigers (3-0) faced SMU (1-2) Saturday at home and came back from early Mustang success to take the match 4-3. Freshman Ella Taylor finished first in singles and put LSU on the board when she scored a quick 6-2, 6-1 victory on court three. The team went 3-0 in third set wins, as junior Ariel Morton, freshman Caroline Hudson and senior Ebie Wilson (in that order) notched the final points of competition and clinched the match. Morton was 2-0 for the day, also winning her doubles match in the No. 1 position with her partner, sophomore Mary Jeremiah.

    Ole Miss
    Ole Miss is off until next week when they continue a seven-match homestand  on Feb. 15 hosting Oklahoma State followed by Washington on Feb. 17.  Junior Caroline Rohde-Moe owns a team-leading 17-6 overall record, 3-0 at No. 1 singles.   Sophomore Julia Jones is 11-8 overall, 2-1 in dual matches.   Academic honors continue to pour in for the Rebels, as four-year letterwinner Gabby Rangel was one of six former Ole Miss student-athletes to receive a 1A FAR Award for Academic Excellence during the 2011-12 year.  Recipients must have maintained a 3.80 GPA and played for at least two years.   Former All-American and current student assistant Abby Guthrie is representing her native country, New Zealand in Fed Cup this week.  The Kiwis are in Astana, Kazakhstan for the Asia/Oceania Zone Group II matches, which began Feb. 4 and continue through Feb. 10.

    Mississippi State
    MSU host New Orleans on Friday.

    The Mizzou tennis team improved to 4-1 after going 2-0 mark last weekend. The Tigers picked up a pair of 4-3 victories over Akron and Princeton in Akron, Ohio, on Feb. 1 and 2. Senior Maria Christensen, junior Cierra Gaytan-Leach and sophomore Alex Clark all went 2-0 in singles action over the weekend. Gaytan-Leach is now 7-0 at No. 1 singles on the spring season, including a 5-0 mark in dual matches. Mizzou is idle until Wednesday, Feb. 20, when the team hosts UMKC at the Green Tennis Center at 5 p.m. CT.

    South Carolina
    The No. 30 South Carolina women's tennis team won the doubles point against No. 19 Clemson at Hoke Sloan Tennis Center in Clemson, S.C., but the Tigers managed to take the contest 6-1. It was the Gamecocks' lone match of the week and dropped their record to 3-2 on the season. Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova won their match at No. 1 doubles to improve to 4-1 this spring at the position, while Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova also moved to 4-1 on court two. Alawi and Kanakova are currently ranked No. 46 in the nation and are 13-6 overall for 2012-13. South Carolina returns to the courts Feb. 16 when it takes on No. 47 VCU in Richmond, Va., followed by No. 53 William & Mary the next day in Williamsburg, Va.

    The Lady Vols took on two top-20 teams this weekend on the road and fell in both by close 4-3 scores. The Lady Vols began their weekend at Michigan, Friday, jumping out to an early lead, but wins by at Nos. 1-4 singles gave the Wolverines the edge and victory. Tennessee headed to South Bend, Ind. for a meeting with Notre Dame on Sunday where the doubles point became the deciding factor in the 4-3 loss.

    Texas A&M
    Texas A&M joins SEC foes Georgia, Alabama and Vanderbilt at the 16-team ITA National Team Indoor Championship beginning Friday in Charlottesville, Va. The 13th-ranked Aggies (2-0) have not played since defeating both North Texas and Arizona in the season-opening ITA Kick-Off Weekend, Jan. 26-27. In singles, Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, ranked a school-record No. 3, is 2-0, along with Cristina Stancu and Stefania Hristov, last week’s SEC Freshman of the Week. Hristov and Stancu also are 2-0 in doubles and ranked an A&M all-time high No. 7 in the nation. Nazari Urbina is 10th in the A&M records with 86 career singles victories.

    Vanderbilt recorded two wins over top-25 teams in No. 14 Northwestern and No. 22 Georgia Tech. With the two wins, Vanderbilt is 4-0 on the season and all four wins coming over top 30 teams in the country. The Commodores defeated Northwestern, 4-2 Thursday, Jan. 31. After dropping the doubles point, Vandy fought back to win four of the six singles matches. Vanderbilt then traveled to Georgia Tech (Feb. 2) where the Commodores won, 6-1. Vanderbilt won the doubles point and then proceeded to win five of the six singles matches. Junior Lauren Mira has been playing her best tennis, as she recorded wins over the 67th (Kate Turvy) and 39th-ranked (Elizabeth Kilborn) players in the country last weekend.