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    Friday Night Tennis Roundup

    Vandy Women Power Past Belmont

    NASHVILLE – No. 17 Vanderbilt cruised to a 6-0 win over cross-town rival, Belmot, Friday afternoon at the Currey Tennis Center.
    The Commodores (6-4) bounced back from a tough loss last weekend at TCU to snap Belmont’s (3-3) two-match win streak.
    "We have a great relationship with Belmont and it benefited both teams to play today," Vanderbilt Head Coach Geoff Macdonald said. "Any match play is going to be better than any practice. We had an open date and it worked out perfectly."
    Frances Altick cruised to a straight sets victory in the No. 2 position. The freshman defeated Nikki Maciel, 6-0, 6-0. Just minutes after Altick clinched her win, Ashleigh Antal recorded a win at No. 1. Antal defeated Catherine Holliday, 6-0, 6-1, to win her seventh-straight match and improve to 12-4 overall this season.
    Courtney Colton got back on track with a win in the No. 4 spot over Carolyn Caire, 6-1, 6-1. Marie Casares made quick work of Fabiana Mersan, 6-0, 6-1.
    Playing in the No. 5 singles position, senior Megan Gornet won the first set against Natalia Nunes, 6-1, before making a furious comeback to claim the second set and the match, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6). In the second set, Gornet led 5-4 before Natalia Nunes rallied to take a 6-5 lead. Gornett broke Nunes' serve to send the set to a tiebreaker. Gornet led 3-1 in the tiebreaker before falling behind 3-6. However, Gornet was able to take the set and the match by winning the next five points of the tiebreaker.
    Maggie Leavell faced off against Sandra Kancheva in No. 6 singles. The Memphis, Tenn., native won her first career dual match, 6-4, 6-1.
    "I was very happy for a couple of our players who don't get to play as much, but got to play a full singles match today," Macdonald said. "The other players I thought took care of business nicely. There is something in tennis called match toughness where if you haven't been playing matches, you can be hitting the ball great in practice, but it is just different. Situations come up in matches that you aren't faced with in practice."
    Vanderbilt will conclude its non-conference schedule on Feb. 27 when the Commodores host Memphis at the Currey Tennis Center.

    Auburn Men Fall to Clemson

    AUBURN - The No. 21 Auburn men's tennis team fell to No. 51 Clemson, 5-2, Friday afternoon at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
    "We knew they were a really good team," Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. "They have had a couple of quality wins. We knew what we were up against. I thought they were match tougher than us today. Clearly we were too soft in certain spots. We have to look in the mirror, and we have to get better."
    In doubles, the nation's No. 1 duo of Andreas Mies and Daniel Cochrane moved to 16-1 on the year (9-0 in dual play) with an 8-3 victory over Clemson's Yannick Maden and Zach Rigsby. The Tigers won the doubles point after Lucas Lopasso and Dennis Lengsfeld outlasted Austin Ansari and Ayrton Wibowo 9-7 on court two. Clemson's Hunter Harrington and Gerardo Meza defeated Lukas Ollert and Joseph Van Dooren, 8-6, on court three.
    In singles, Rigsby defeated Lopasso on court five, 6-2, 6-0, to even the match at 1-1. Auburn regained the lead at 2-1 when Lengsfeld eased past Ayrton Wibowo, 6-2, 6-0 on court four. Clemson would again tie the match after a victory on court three when Meza upset No. 120 Lukas Ollert, 6-4, 6-1.
    On court one, No. 83 Yannick Maden defeated No. 106 Andreas Mies, 6-3, 6-2, before Clemson clinched the match on court six as Ansari beat Van Dooren in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Clemson also won the final match of the day on court two, as Hunter Harrington edged out Dan Cochrane, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
    The Tigers return to action on Sunday against No. 66 Georgia Tech at 1 p.m. at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. Admission is free.

    No. 4 UF Drops No. 18 Clemson

    The fourth-ranked University of Florida women’s tennis team earned a hard-fought 6-1 victory against 18th-ranked Clemson on Friday at Linder Stadium at the Ring Tennis Complex, where the Gators extended their overall home winning streak to 111 matches.
    “This Clemson team is really good, every bit as good as North Carolina and Duke,” said UF head coach Roland Thornqvist, whose Gator squad played both of those other ACC programs last weekend. “They gave us everything we could handle.”
    Florida’s home streak is the longest active winning streak by any women’s team in any sport in NCAA Division I competition. Only the Ohio State men’s tennis team sports a longer active home win streak, as the Buckeyes carry a 156 home win streak into Saturday’s match against Notre Dame.
    On Sunday, the Gator’s home win streak will be put to its toughest test in years as national rival Stanford makes its first regular-season visit to Gainesville since March 24, 1993, and challenges Florida beginning at 11 a.m.
    Florida (5-1) won the doubles point and Clemson evened the team scoring when Liz Jeukeng defeated Sofie Oyen (Belgium), 6-2, 6-1, on court two.
    The Gators then collected wins on the singles courts from Brianna Morgan, Danielle Collins, Alexandra Cercone, Olivia Janowicz and Lauren Embree to secure the team victory.
    “I thought we were spectacular in singles because Clemson is really, really talented,” Thornqvist said. “We had to use our head and play smart, play good defense in some spots. I was really proud of how we came out playing in singles because this is a really good Clemson team.”
    Freshman Brianna Morgan (Beverly Hills, Calif.) quickly put Florida back in the lead after she earned a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Romy Kolzer. There were five breaks in the first set and Morgan emerged with a 4-2 lead and held for a 5-2 advantage. She then broke again to win the first set and carried that momentum into the second where she won the first three games before Kolzer finally held. The two competitors traded breaks in the sixth and seventh games before Morgan captured one final break to close out the match and improve to 5-0 in dual match action while giving Florida the 2-1 advantage.
    Fellow Gator rookie Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) then gave Florida a 3-1 lead with her 6-1, 6-4 win versus Ani Miao on court five. Collins enjoyed a quick first set before Miao began to fight back, taking a 2-0 to start the second. Collins then broke and got the frame back on-serve after holding and the set remained a battle until Collins finally broke again in the ninth game and served out for the one hour and 26-minute victory.
    “I told Danielle after the match that sometimes first-year students have a tough time changing momentum,” said Thornqvist about the freshman, who had dropped her last two singles matches entering Friday. “Sometimes when the snowball is rolling the wrong way, they have a tough time changing the momentum. She lost her doubles match today, but she did her job on the singles court today. She was steady, hit the corners when she had to and played defense when she needed to.”
    Junior Alexandra Cercone (Seminole, Fla.) provided the clinching victory as she earned a hard-fought 7-6 (4), 6-4 decision that lasted two hours and two minutes against Beatirce Gumulya on court three. The win against No. 57th-ranked Tiger was the highest-ranked foe Cercone has defeated this season and she needed to fight back for the victory. After the pair traded breaks to begin the match, the next three games were on-serve until Gumulya earned a break in the sixth game that sparked a run five consecutive before Cercone held in the 10th game and earned a break for the 6-5 lead. Gumulya, however, broke right back and forced a tiebreak that was just as tight as the set itself. With Cercone finishing up two serves with a 4-3 lead, she won both of Gumulya’s next two serves for the 6-3 lead and closed out the first set two points later.
    Three of the first four games in the second set were breaks and it was Cercone who came out on top and held for the 4-1 lead. Both held on their next two service games and Cercone had five match-points in Gumulya’s serve in the eighth game, but the Tiger fought each of them off before finally holding and forcing Cercone to serve out for the win. Gumulya was able to break Cercone and went to the baseline serving down, 5-4, and trying to get the set back on-serve, but Cercone jumped out to double-match point and earned the victory on her sixth overall match point of the evening as she won her seventh consecutive dual match singles contest.
    “This is the most confidence I’ve ever had in Alex,” Thornqvist shared. “Even in matches when she’s not striking the ball as well as she wants to, she still finds a way to put it where it needs to be and finds a way to close out sets. That tells you what kind of quality player and competitor she is.”
    The two remaining matches on court continued to play out and Gator junior Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) defeated Tirsten Dewar, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in two hours and nine minutes and improved to 20-5 overall this season.
    Senior Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) staged one of her patented three-set rallies, as she was trailing 5-3 in the third set against Yana Koroleva and battled back for the 6-1, 1-6, 7-6 (2) win that lasted two hours and 25 minutes to extend her dual match singles win streak to 22.
    “Yana was spectacular today,” Thornqvist said. “That was big time tennis. In the third set, we had to make sure we had good depth because Yana likes to change direction of the ball and we needed to make sure that when she did it, she was behind the baseline. Once Lauren calmed down and started to do a better job of that, she got some better looks and chances for breaks. It was a fabulous match.”
    The doubles matches on courts one and two finished at nearly the same moment, with Clemson’s Beatrice Gumulya and Tirsten Dewar completing their 8-4 win on court two against Danielle Collins and Olivia Janowicz just one shot before Florida’s Lauren Embree and Sofie Oyen knocked off Yana Koroleva and Romy Kolzer, 8-4, leaving court three to decide the important doubles point.
    As both of those matches came to an end, Florida’s Alexandra Cercone and Brianna Morgan were receiving with a 7-4 lead against Ani Miao and Liz Jeukeng. Game 12 featured three match-points for the Gators and six game points for the Tigers, who held serve after 21 minutes and forced Morgan to serve for the match. The Gators needed to fight off one break point before finally capturing the 8-5 win in one hour and 21 minutes and the doubles point for the 1-0 lead in the team scoring.
    “We did not do a very good job body-language wise in doubles; somehow we won the doubles point anyway,” Thornqvist said. “That’s something we addressed in the locker room between doubles and singles. We have to do a much better job and have much more life to us in doubles. We’re actually pretty good in playing, but we’re not helping our own momentum right now. If we have a big crowd on Sunday, I’m hoping that we can do a better job of using them than we did today.”
    Clemson (3-3) plays Stanford on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in Gainesville.
    Florida returns to the court and plays host to No. 13 Stanford on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. at Linder Stadium at the Ring Tennis Complex, where admission to all regular-season matches is free.
    The USTA’s debut of “College MatchDay” will be in Gainesville for Sunday’s match.
    The College MatchDay series will highlight a number of premier men’s and women’s college tennis team matches each season, organizing activities and local outreach surrounding the host team’s campus. Additionally, Ken Thomas will broadcast each College MatchDay on
    The USTA is giving out hats to the first 200 kids in attendance, while the UAA will be providing free “BEAT STANFORD” t-shirts to the first 500 fans. Prior to the match, kids can participate in the Kid’s Korner for poster making, coloring, meet Alberta and receive Gator head tattoos from the Dazzlers. There also will be a post-match meet and greet with the Gator team.

    LSU's Match Postponed Due to Rain

    BATON ROUGE - The No. 24 LSU men's tennis team's (4-1) match against No. 27 Texas Tech (5-3) has been postponed until further notice due to rain.
    The match was originally scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. CT on Friday but did not start play until 5:45 p.m. CT because of a rain delay. After starting the singles matches, the rain resumed shortly after 6 p.m. CT. After restarting play just before 7 p.m. CT, the rain came back at 7:18 p.m. CT.
    On court one, LSU's Chris Simpson leads Vitor Manzini 6-2, 2-1. On court two, LSU's Olivier Borsos trails Gabriel Dias 4-6. On court three, the Tigers' Tam Trinh is ahead of Hugo Dojas 6-3, 3-0. On court four, LSU's Roger Anderson trails Felipe Soares 2-6, 0-3. On court five, the Tigers' Mark Bowtell leads Francisco Zambon 6-3, 2-1. And finally on court six, LSU's Harrison Kennedy leads Raphael Pfister 6-2, 0-1.
    LSU is on the road this Sunday for a double-header in Columbus, Ohio, against No. 4 Ohio State at 12 p.m. CT followed by Wright State at 5 p.m. CT.
    For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access on the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men's tennis team on Twitter @lsutennis and on Facebook at

    South Carolina Trounces Tribe

    WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - No. 48 South Carolina swept William and Mary 7-0 in men's tennis action at McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center Friday night. It was the Gamecocks' (9-3) first road win of the season in their first true road match, winning every match in straight sets. Sophomore Thiago Pinheiro posted the clinching victory in the No. 4 singles match.
    "At every spot today, we came out ready to play," South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. "We got out to early leads and played disciplined and controlled tennis. It was exactly what we needed to see going into a tough match Sunday against a highly ranked VCU team."
    The Gamecocks were the early aggressors against the Tribe with the Nos. 1 and 2 doubles teams each winning four of their first five games. The No. 2 tandem of Kyle Koch and Harry Menzies kept the pressure on, cruising to an 8-1 win over John Banks and Scott Huang. The Tribe's top duo of Aaron Chaffee and Anton Andersson gutted out two games, but Chip Cox and Tsvetan Mihov closed the door with an 8-3 win to deliver the doubles point.
    In singles, Mihov and Menzies sprinted out of the gates, establishing quick 4-1 leads in their matches at the top and bottom of the lineup, respectively. The Gamecocks were ahead on the other four courts as well. By the time Menzies closed out his first set over Huang 6-1, Pinheiro and Kyle Koch were up a break in their matches as well. Koch claimed the first set over Banks 6-4 in the No. 5 match just ahead of Pinheiro wrapping up his 6-1 first set over Ben Hoogland. Cox and Andersson were in the tightest battle of the first sets, as Andersson's late push forced a tiebreak. 
    Mihov won his first set 6-2 over Chaffee in the No. 1 match and Andrew Adams made it a sweep with his first-set win over Adrian Vodislav in the No. 3 match. When Cox won his first-set tiebreak 7-6 (3), Mihov was already out to a 3-0 lead over Chaffee and Menzies was on the brink of winning his match over Huang.
    The No. 6 match wrapped up with Menzies winning the second set 6-2 to give the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead, and minutes later Koch finished out his 6-2 second set to make it 3-0. Mihov and Cox were both up a break on Courts 1 and 2. Pinheiro got a late service break to clinch the team victory with a 6-4 second-set win over Hoogland, and Cox was close on his heels with a 6-1 second set. Adams had surged ahead of Vodislav on Court 3 as well. Mihov's 6-3 second set finished just ahead of Adams' by the same score.
    The Gamecocks travel to Richmond to take on No. 34 VCU in a 1 p.m. match on Sun., Feb. 24. South Carolina is back at Carolina Tennis Center on Fri., March 1, hosting No. 14 Texas A&M in the first SEC match of the season.

    Texas A&M Rocks Tulsa

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M men's tennis team got back to its winning ways on Friday afternoon at the George P. Mitchell Center, downing No. 17 Tulsa, 5-2. Texas A&M improves to 8-3 on the season while the Golden Hurricanes fall to 5-5.
    "Overall I was pleased with the team win," men's tennis head coach Steve Denton said. "I thought this was going to be a really tricky match for us. Tulsa's a very good team. They've beaten some really good teams already this season. It was good for us to get that bad taste from Seattle out of our mouth and be able to play well as a team tonight and get this victory."
    Texas A&M took an early edge by claiming the critical doubles point. The sophomore duo of Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo quickly downed Japie De Klerk and Carlos Bautista, 8-2, from the No. 3 line to win the first match in doubles play. Seconds later, the seventh-ranked freshmen tandem of Harry Adams and Shane Vinsant bested Grant Ive and Tristan Jackson, 8-2, at the No. 2 slot to clinch the doubles point. Both pairs were dominant early, as Tulsa never came within two games of the Aggies.
    "We did a good job in the doubles," Denton who's in his seventh season at the realms of the team, said. "We were able to get on top of them and able to secure the doubles point. I was pleased with that.
    Adams, the 124th ranked singles player, wasted no time expanding A&M's lead to 2-0 when he ousted Alejandro Espejo, 6-2, 6-4, from the No. 3 line. After a vicious back-and-forth, Junior Ore was unable to upset No. 101 Clifford Marsland at the No. 1 line, putting Tulsa on the board, trailing 2-1. Jordan Szabo was in the zone as he rocked the Golden Hurricanes' Tristan Jackson, 6-3, 6-3, from the No. 5 slot. The Australia native never trailed in the match and won the first three games in each set. Behzad Minavi was a late addition to the singles rotation, but he looked ready for the part as he clinched the match by defeating Bautista in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 6 position. Tulsa earned its second point after the match had been decided. 54th ranked De Klerk withstood a late rally from Efferding to win 6-3, 6-4, at the No. 2 line. After exchanging sets, 6-3 and 4-6, No. 67 Vinsant outlasted Ive, winning the tiebreaker 10-7.
    "After we secured the doubles point, it got pretty complicated," Denton said. "The match was pretty close in a lot of spots. We were able to secure some first sets and keep the momentum. A lot of the singles matches were routine matches on both sides. The ones they were ahead, they continued to dominate and the ones that we were ahead, we were able to secure. I'm very glad we were able to get our momentum back."
    Texas A&M returns to action on Sunday against No. 8 Oklahoma. First serve is slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station. To learn more about the men's tennis team, visit and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter.