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    SEC Men's Tennis Notebook

    The Alabama men’s tennis team split its matches last week between UAB and Samford, defeating the Blazers 5-2 and falling to the Bulldogs, 4-3, moving the Crimson Tide to 7-2 on the season. In the first match against UAB, the doubles point came down to a court one tiebreaker, which eventually went in the Blazers’ favor, 8-7(3). Alabama would rebound, however, by winning five of the six singles matches. After winning the first three on courts five, one, and two, sophomore Philippe Tsangarides earned the winning point for the Tide when he defeated Chris Helliar, 6-3, 7-6(4), from court four. In the evening match against Samford, Alabama picked up the doubles point, winning on courts one and three. The Tide kept the momentum going in singles when senior Harris Barnard defeated his opponent on court six, 6-2, 6-3, to give Alabama a 2-0 lead. The Bulldogs then bounced back by winning the next four matches on courts five, one, two, and four to pick up the victory. The men next play at Clemson on Friday, Feb. 15. Matches are set to start at 1:30 p.m. CT.

    The No. 51 University of Arkansas men's tennis team split its matches this weekend falling to Oregon while defeating No. 63 New Mexico. The Razorback move to 8-2 for the 2013 season. Junior Mike Nott remains undefeated in singles play with six solid victories. Sophomore Victor Hoang clinched the match for the Hogs over New Mexico. Arkansas is back in action this weekend when No. 17 Tulsa comes to Fayetteville for a Friday evening match at 5 p.m. The Hogs will also host a doubleheader with UMKC and Oral Roberts on Sunday.  

    The Auburn Tigers (7-1) wrapped up a five-match road swing over the weekend with a pair of wins in Fresno, Calif. No. 22 Auburn downed No. 66 San Diego State on Saturday and host Fresno State on Sunday by identical 6-1 scores. The Tigers remain unbeaten in doubles play this year, claiming the doubles point in all eight matches, led by No. 2-ranked Andreas Mies and Daniel Cochrane (8-0). In singles, junior Dennis Lengsfeld was a key to Auburn’s success this week as he moved up to the No. 3 spot and earned a pair of wins. Auburn will have this week off from competition and will return to action next week with two matches at home. The Tigers host Clemson on Friday, Feb. 22, and Georgia Tech on Sunday, Feb. 24.

    The Gators earned a 5-2 win at Florida State last weekend to remain undefeated on the season. Next up is a trip to Seattle for the 2013 ITA National Indoors, which begins Friday. Stephane Piro and Gordon Watson are both 8-0 in the spring season. Florida's next home match is February 23 against Baylor.

    The No. 6 Georgia men's tennis team rebounded from a lost doubles point, winning five of six first sets in singles en route to a commanding 5-2 win over 65th-ranked Georgia Tech Friday afternoon at the brand new Ken Byers Tennis Complex in Atlanta. With the win the Bulldogs improved to 4-1 on the season, dropping their in-state rival to 2-4. Georgia is now 59-9 all-time against the Yellow Jackets, good for its highest win total against any opponent in history. The win also avenged the Bulldogs' 4-3 loss to Tech in Atlanta in 2011, a setback that at the time snapped a 24-match winning streak for UGA in the rivalry series. The Bulldogs suffered the loss of the doubles point before freshman Ben Wagland posted a quick 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 3 to even the score, and Georgia never looked back. Sophomore Nathan Pasha's win at No. 1 singles was his team-leading 18th of the season. The squad will head to participate in the 2013 ITA National Team Indoor Championships this week, set for Feb. 15-18 at the Nordstrom Tennis Center and Seattle Tennis Club in Seattle, Wash. Georgia last won the indoor championship in 2007 and has reached the finals seven times.

    The Kentucky men's tennis team climbed to No. 7 in this weeks ITA rankings, after starting out the season 6-0. The Wildcats dropped their first match of 2013 in a back-and-forth affair 4-3 on Saturday night at No. 19 Illinois. In the loss, No. 94 Anthony Rossi upped his record to 6-1 on court one singles with a 6-4, 6-4 win, while Charles Minc improved to 4-0 on the season with a 6-3, 6-3 win on court five. The Wildcats won the doubles point for the seventh time in seven tries with wins on courts two and three. The final match in doubles was decided in a tiebreaker as Grant Roberts and Rossi were trailing 7-5 at one point in the match before roaring back to force the tiebreak. UK returns home Tuesday to face No. 29 Notre Dame and Eastern Kentucky before heading to Seattle for the ITA National Indoor Championships.

    LSU's matches on Sunday, February 10 against Rice and Prairie View were rained out.  LSU will now host Rice on Thursday, February 14 at 1 pm.  The Prairie View match has not been rescheduled at this time.

    Ole Miss
    Ole Miss dropped a close 4-2 match to No. 10 Mississippi State last Thursday in the 16th annual River Hills Mississippi Cup.  State built a 3-0 lead, before sophomore William Kallberg erased seven match points to win his match at No. 3 singles and keep the Rebels chances alive.  With the win, Kallberg improved to 14-4 overall and 3-0 at No. 3 singles.  Freshman Stefan Lindmark earned his first dual match win in straight sets at No. 5 singles.    The Rebels will travel to play Portland Wednesday before heading to Seattle for the ITA National Team Indoor.  This will mark the Rebels’ 18th appearance in the National Team Indoor Final 16 and first since 2010.  The last time this event was held in Seattle, the Rebels reached the semifinals.

    Mississippi State
    After a weekend off, No. 10 Mississippi State returned to action with three matches before heading to Seattle, Wash., for the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. State began by defeating in-state rival Ole Miss Thursday in the River Hills Cup. With the 4-2 victory, clinched when MSU freshman Jordan Angus defeated UM’s Johan Backstrom 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, the Bulldogs have now defeated Ole Miss four straight times and have won the River Hills Cup for a second consecutive year. Led by the stellar performances from junior and 81st-ranked Malte Stropp, State finished the week by defeating No. 53 South Alabama 5-1 and Tennessee Tech 5-0 in a Sunday doubleheader.  With the wins, MSU improved to 7-0 on the season, the program’s best start since 1998, when the Bulldogs started 7-0 and went on to reach the NCAA Semifinals.

    South Carolina
    South Carolina split a pair of matches against ACC schools last weekend. Head coach Josh Goffi's young team took the difficult lesson it learned in seeing No. 36 Wake Forest rally for a 5-2 win on Friday to overcome early deficits to battle to a 4-3 win over No. 34 NC State on Sunday. Junior Tsvetan Mihov anchored the top of the lineup with a pair of wins, and sophomore Thiago Pinheiro swept his matches as well. Against NC State, the last two matches on court were both within a handful of points of going the Wolfpack's way, but the Pinheiro and sophomore Andrew Adams fought back to forced third sets, which they went on to win to deliver the team's seventh victory of the season. South Carolina enjoys a 10-day break in between matches before facing the final week before SEC action begins.

    The Vols (11-1) wrapped up their final road trip before the ITA National Team Indoor Championships with a 4-1 loss to Duke and a 4-3 victory over Wake Forest. Brandon Fickey provided the Vols with an unbeaten weekend to extend his winning streak in both singles and doubles to 10 matches. He earned his first career top-25 victory, beating No. 14 Michael Redlicki, and also provided the Vols' clinching point against Wake Forest, coming from a break down in the third to beat Jon Ho 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Ninth-ranked Mikelis Libietis will head into National Indoors on an 8-match winning streak, and fellow sophomore Hunter Reese has won 12 consecutive. The Vols have qualified for the National Indoor field for five consecutive seasons.

    Texas A&M
    #15 Texas A&M improves to 7-0 after defeating No. 56 Rice, 6-1, on Thursday and No. 4 Ohio State, 4-3, on Sunday. Of the seven wins, the last five have come against ranked opponents (#10 Stanford, #27 San Diego, #67 TCU, #56 Rice, #4 Ohio State). The Aggies are off to their best start since the 1994 team started 19-0. The win over Ohio State marks the highest ranked opponent the Aggies have defeated since knocking off Baylor, 4-3, on April 12, 2006. The Aggies hit the road again this weekend as they travel to Seattle to compete in the ITA National Indoor championships. Freshmen Harry Adams has clinched three of the five matches against ranked opponents (#10 Stanford, #27 San Diego, #4 Ohio State). Texas A&M is a combined 34-5 in singles and 16-1 in doubles.

    Vanderbilt went 1-1 over the weekend in Chicago versus ranked foes in No. 33 Northwestern and No. 47 Harvard. The 40th-ranked Commodores defeated Northwestern Friday, Feb. 8, 4-3. Vanderbilt was able to capitalize early in the match with wins in No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to take a 1-0 lead. The Commodores were then able to register wins in No. 2, No. 5 and No. 6 singles to win the match. No. 17 Ryan Lipman defeated No. 108 Raleigh Smith to lead the way. In the weekend finale versus Harvard it was the Crimson who took control early. Harvard won the doubles point and singles matches in the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 positions to win the match, 4-3. Lipman recorded his fifth-straight win for Vanderbilt and freshman Kris Yee won his sixth-straight match. Vanderbilt returns home for a double-header versus Memphis and Lipscomb Friday, Feb. 15 at the Currey Tennis Center.