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    SEC Women's Tennis Notebook

    The Alabama women’s tennis team defeated the Washington Huskies last weekend by a 5-2 count, moving the Crimson Tide to 7-1 on the season. Alabama took an early lead after clinching the doubles point on court three thanks to the freshman duo of Maya Jansen and Natalia Maynetto. The team then cruised to the victory in singles as senior Antonia Foehse, junior Mary Anne Macfarlane, Jansen and Maynetto each won on their respective courts. The Tide remains home this week as it gears up for a top-25 matchup with Texas Tech on Friday. First serve is slated for 5 p.m. CT.

    The No. 37 Arkansas women's tennis team dropped another tight match on the road, falling 4-3 to No. 42 Oklahoma. The Razorbacks got singles wins from senior Claudine Paulson, sophomore Sarah McLean, and freshman Brittany Huxley, and a doubles victory from the duo of McLean and freshman Kimberley - Ann Surin. Paulson is the leading singles player on the spring season, with a record of 7-1. The Razorback freshman class is a combined 19-11 in singles and 22-13 in doubles, including a 6-4 singles and 10-5 doubles record from three new spring additions. Arkansas returns home this weekend for their first two home matches of the season, on Friday against Ohio State and Sunday against Tulsa.

    Auburn hosts Texas Tech on Feb. 21 and then Tulane and UAB on Feb. 23.

    In its only match last week, second-ranked Florida competed on the road for the first time this season and dropped its first dual match, falling to fourth-ranked Duke, 4-0, in Durham, N.C. The loss halted the Gator’s overall win streak at 25, dating back to last year when the team lost 5-2 at Stanford on Feb. 12, 2012. That also was the last time Florida dropped the doubles point, which it did on Sunday, as Duke captured wins on courts three and two, with the clincher decided in a tiebreak. The Gators will need to regroup quickly, as they play at No. 1 North Carolina on Monday in Raleigh at 2 p.m. Florida is 8-7 all-time against No. 1-ranked teams. The most recent meeting was on May 22, 2012, when the second-ranked Gators knocked off top-ranked UCLA, 4-0, in the final of the 2012 NCAA Championships. Florida then returns home and hosts Clemson on Friday before entertaining Stanford on Sunday. The USTA announced that it will spotlight men’s and women’s college tennis with its new “College MatchDay” series beginning this season and the first College MatchDay will feature Florida hosting Stanford on Sunday, Feb. 24, in Gainesville, Fla. Additionally, Ken Thomas will broadcast each College MatchDay on Lauren Embree is on pace to become the 24th Gator to win 100 career singles matches, entering Monday’s match with 99 career wins. If she reaches the 100-win plateau in both singles and doubles, Embree would become only the eighth Gator to do so.

    Sixth-ranked Georgia went 2-1, advancing to the semifinals at the ITA National Indoor Team Championships in Charlottesville, Va.  In the round of 16 (Feb. 8), the Bulldogs defeated 11th-ranked Texas by a score of 4-2.  In the Quarterfinals (Feb. 9), Georgia beat seventh-ranked California 4-1.  In the Semifinals (Feb. 10), Georgia lost to the second-ranked UCLA Bruins 4-1. Eighth-ranked Lauren Herring remains the team leader in singles victories at 23-3 while 18th-ranked Maho Kowase is 22-6 and 54th-ranked Kate Fuller is 16-4.   Georgia will return home to square off with Georgia Tech on Saturday, Feb. 23.

    The Kentucky women's tennis notched two wins over the course of the week, defeating No. 54 Ohio State 4-3 on the road on Tuesday before taking down No. 55 Indiana 4-3 on Sunday. Senior Jessica Stiles and freshman Nadia Ravita led the Wildcats in the top two singles spots, with each sweeping their two matches in straight sets. Ravita and junior Caitlin McGraw recorded two doubles wins in the No. 1 slot, fending off Kara Cecil and Noelle Malley of Ohio State 8-7 (7-3) and Sophie Garre and Leslie Hureau of Indiana 8-6. Sophomore Stephanie Fox clinched the win for Kentucky over Indiana, defeating Shannon Murdy in straight sets to break the 3-3 tie and give the Wildcats a 4-3 win.

    The Lady Tigers (5-3) had a split week of competition, facing a 4-3 loss at UC Irvine Monday before returning to their home courts Saturday for a 6-1 victory over McNeese State University. The doubles team of Mary Jeremiah and Ariel Morton is on a six-match winning streak and has won the last five in the top position. Freshman Ella Taylor made her dual match doubles competition debut against UC Irvine with partner Kaitlin Burns, and the pair is undefeated. Both Morton and Taylor also went 2-0 for the week in singles, and senior Ebie Wilson notched her third double-bagel victory this season against McNeese.

    Ole Miss
    Ole Miss went 1-1 last week, dropping a 6-1 match to No. 36 Oklahoma State and defeating No. 39 Washington 6-1 to improve to 2-3 on the season.  The Oklahoma State match was much closer than the final score indicated with four of the matches going three sets.   Against Washington, the Rebels won the doubles point and then picked up straight set wins on courts two, three and four.  Freshman Mai El Kamash clinched her first match as a Rebel on Sunday.  Caroline Rohde-Moe improved to 18-7 overall and 4-1 at No. 1 singles.  Rohde-Moe and Marija Milutinovic made their debut in the rankings last week at No. 39.  They won both their matches to improve to 11-5 overall, 5-0 in dual matches, 3-0 at No. 1.  The Rebels continue a seven-match homestand this weekend hosting No. 16 Virginia Saturday at Noon.

    Mississippi State
    Mississippi State travels to Minnesota on Feb. 22 and plays Wisconsin on Feb. 23.

    The Mizzou tennis team is 4-1. 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. 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 30th-ranked South Carolina women's tennis team posted a 1-1 record last week playing a pair of teams from Virginia. The Gamecocks upended No. 49 VCU by a 4-2 score but suffered a 4-3 setback at No. 47 William & Mary the next day. Junior Katerina Popova had a productive weekend for the Gamecocks, going undefeated playing No. 2 singles as well as No. 2 doubles. She has the team's best dual match singles record at 4-1 this spring. Freshman Ximena Siles Luna also had a strong weekend in the singles lineup winning both of her matches at No. 4 singles in three sets. Her win at VCU clinched the 4-2 victory for Carolina, and she leads the team in overall singles wins this year with a 15-5 record. The Gamecocks travel to Furman for a 5 p.m. match-up on Wednesday and then host a doubleheader against College of Charleston and Charleston Southern on Saturday.

    The No. 25 University of Tennessee women’s tennis team came away with its first two wins of the 2013 spring season last weekend defeating Indiana 4-3 Friday night followed by a 6-1 thrashing of Ohio State on Sunday afternoon.  On Friday, the Lady Vols came from behind to defeat Indiana in a close 4-3 match that was sealed by a three-set, comeback victory for sophomore Joanna Henderson. Tennessee rolled to the easy 6-1 win over Ohio State Sunday, earning the doubles point for just the second time in 2013 and winning five of the six singles. Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely earned their 24th and 25th doubles wins of the season (.862 win percentage) and has won five straight and eight of their last nine matches. The wins gave Szekely her 86th and 87th career doubles wins, just one away from 12th all-time in the UT record book. Szekely also hit the 20-win plateau in singles play as she went undefeated on the weekend. The team will have the weekend off before they return to the courts to open SEC play against Georgia on March 2 at Noon in Knoxville.

    Texas A&M
    Texas A&M, whose No. 11 national ranking is the second highest in school history, posted its third consecutive win against a Top 15 opponent and improved to 5-1 following a hard-fought 4-3 victory at No. 13 Michigan in A&M’s only match last week. Freshman Stefania Hristov improved to 5-0 at No. 6 singles and clinched the decisive point against the Wolverines, overcoming a 4-2 deficit in the third set to win 7-5. A&M had won the crucial doubles point against Michigan as Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Wen Sun upset 34th-ranked Sarah Lee and Ronit Yurovsky, 8-5, at the No. 2 line and Aggie twins Ines and Paula Deheza won their third consecutive match with a 9-7 victory at No. 3 to clinch the point. The Aggies will not play again until Monday, Feb. 25 when they host Sam Houston State. The match is the first of four matches over a seven-day span, which includes the Aggies’ inaugural SEC match on March 1 against South Carolina.

    No. 17 Vanderbilt came up just short in its quest of sweeping two road matches in the Lone Star State over the weekend. One day (Saturday) after topping No. 18 Baylor, 5-2, Vanderbilt ended its two-match Texas road trip with a 4-3 loss at No. 34 TCU on Sunday. At Baylor, Vanderbilt won the doubles point and then Ashleigh Antal’s win in No. 6 singles helped set the tone en route to a 5-2 win over the Bears. After losing the doubles point at TCU, the Commodores stormed back to win three-straight singles matches to take a 3-1 lead. However, the Horned Frogs would win matches at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 to win the match, 4-3. Vanderbilt will conclude its non-conference schedule on Feb. 27 when the Commodores host Memphis at the Currey Tennis Center.