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    SEC Tennis Report: Sunday

    Florida Women Win Thriller Over Stanford

    With over 1,000 fans on hand to start and through one weather delay and change of venue, the 4th-ranked Florida women’s tennis team defeated 13th-ranked Stanford, 4-2 at the Ring Tennis Complex Sunday afternoon.
     
    The match, which was part of the first ever USTA College Match Day, brought to the courts a sold-out, standing room only crowd of 1,033, which was the 2nd-largest in program history and saw a great come from behind victory for the Gators (6-1) in handing Stanford (4-2) its second loss of the year.
     
    The win also extends Florida’s overall home winning streak to 112 straight matches and 117 regular-season home matches.
     
    “We talked beforehand that we kind of knew it was going to be the classic Stanford-Florida battle,” Florida head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “It was going to be a lot of points, long games, long sets, grueling and we knew that if we could make it that, that was going to give us the best chance to win, and I think after losing the doubles point where Stanford played well, we were a little tentative maybe. I think we regrouped really well and found a nice rhythm in singles to make points long, and obviously we had some spectacular play at two because the kid at two (Kristie Ahn) for Stanford is world-class. That kid has played center court U.S. Open, and so for Sofie (Oyen) to get off the court quick, for Olivia (Janowicz) to get off quick, that really set the tone for us, but it’s a team of warriors. We work hard, we run and at the end of the matches, you have to be able to use your legs when it’s hard to hit the corners. Today was a great example of that.”
     
    Stanford took the air out of the raucous crowd early after winning the doubles point with wins at the top two courts, but Florida was able to stay at their opponent’s heels all day, winning on two of the first three singles courts to go final. With three singles matches remaining and either team only needing two more points, all matches were sent to a deciding third set; that was when Florida’s freshman Brianna Morgan (Beverly Hills, Calif.) and junior Alexandra Cercone (Seminole, Fla.) took over and won it for the Gators.
     
    After dropping the first set to Stanford’s Krista Hardebeck, who is ranked 10th in the nation, 6-4, Cercone battled back to win the final two sets, 6-4, 6-3. The match, which was finishing up over three hours after it began because of a rain delay and a move of location into the brand-new indoor facility, saw multiple deuce points and long rallies. With the fans that did make it indoors, Cercone was able to dig down and give UF its third team point of the day. The win also keeps Cercone perfect on the year in singles at 4-0.
     
    “Roland came into the locker room and asked us if we wanted to go inside,” Cercone said.  So he and the Stanford coach could deliberate on what they wanted to do. We told him that we wouldn’t be upset if we went indoors because we’ve had experience practicing in there and Stanford hasn’t, so we figured maybe that could be like a one-up.”
     
    After Cercone’s win at court three, senior Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) and Morgan were involved in the only two matches left and both were in deciding third sets. Embree’s match with Nicole Gibbs was featuring long games and long points, while Morgan’s match was moving much faster as she neared the clinching sixth game-winner.
     
    Morgan had an early advantage after winning the first frame, 6-4, but was taken to a third set after dropping the second, 6-3 to the Cardinal’s Stacy Tan. With the match tied at 2-all, it seemed as if whoever broke the first serve would have the upper hand. Sure enough, Morgan was able to break Tan’s serve for a 3-2 lead and then hold in the next game to move ahead 4-2. Tan did return the favor to hold her serve in the next game to pull within 4-3, but Morgan stayed ahead and then broke Tan one more time after a couple of deuce points to give Florida the 4-2 win. The final line for Morgan and Tan’s match ended up 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in favor of Morgan.
     
    “I think definitely after the first set and in the first game of the third set, I mentally wasn’t there,” Morgan said. And so in the third set I tried really forget about everything that had happened and kind of hitting the reset button mentally. That was what helped me.”
     
    “That was some serious tennis,” Thornqvist said. “Two great athletes that both hit the ball world class, and it says a lot about an athlete, I think, to have the lead, lose the lead and then act like nothing happened and then be able to break for us to win this match.”
     
    Not to be overlooked, the Gators were able to get quick wins from juniors Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belguim) and Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) at courts two and six, which allowed UF to make up the ground lost in doubles play. Janowicz was the first off the court after defeating Lindsey Kostas, 6-2, 6-2, for her sixth win of the year. Barely eight minutes later, Oyen was off the court also after dispatching Kristie Ahn, 6-2, 6-2, to move to 5-2 in singles this year.
     
    The Gators next match will be their first Southeastern Conference match of the year as they will travel to Columbia, Missouri to take on the Tigers on March 1, starting at 6 p.m. In that same weekend, they will head down to College Station, Texas to face Texas A&M on March 3. The match between the Aggies and Gators is set to begin at 1 p.m.



    Arkansas Rallies to Topple Tulsa

    FAYETTEVILLE  - The University of Arkansas women's tennis team rallied late, and snapped a losing streak in exciting fashion. Sophomore Sarah McLean and freshman Brittany Huxley led the comeback, with McLean first evening the match, and then Huxley won a three-set match with all eyes on her court to clinch the victory. Arkansas also got singles wins from Kimberley - Ann Surin and Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez, and evened their record to 5-5 on the season. 
     
    "I'm obviously pleased with the win," Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty said. "Tulsa is a class program and our matches are typically extremely close. The best part of today was our overall, top to bottom, willingness to compete correctly."
     
    In doubles, the team's split the first two matches. Arkansas got ahead first, as the freshman duo of Yang Pang and Brittany Huxley defeated Tulsa's Sant'Anna and Kuricova 8-5.  Tulsa quickly answered, as the No. 12 pair in the nation of Vickers and Enrique defeated Sarah McLean and Kimberley - Ann Surin 8-4. The doubles point came down to a tiebreak at No. 2 doubles, but Claudine Paulson / Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez fell to Farley and Saartienen 9-8 (5). 
     
    In singles, Kimberley - Ann Surin got Arkansas off to a good start. Surin defeated Tulsa's Maria Sant'Anna 6-2, 6-2 to even the match at one-all. Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez was next to finish, and the freshman won her second match of the weekend to put the Razorbacks in the lead. Belmar Hernandez earned the victory with a 6-4, 6-3 decision over Saana Saarteinen.
     
    Senior Claudine Paulson dropped her match at No. 2 singles, falling 6-3, 6-3 to Isaura Enrique. Freshman Yang Pang also fell at No. 1 singles 6-2, 6-3, putting Tulsa ahead 3-2. 
     
    Sophomore Sarah McLean evened the match back up win a strong victory for the Razorbacks. McLean defeated Farley 7-5, 7-5, tying the match at 3-3. The decision came down to freshman Brittany Huxley on court 6. With the match hinging on her result, Huxley persevered, winning 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.  
     
    "We have a lot of youth out there," Hegarty said. "I'm very pleased to see us developing quickly."
     
    Arkansas is back in action at home next weekend. The Razorbacks will host Kentucky Friday at 12 p.m. and face Vanderbilt Sunday at 12 p.m. 



    No. 11 Mississippi State Staves Off MTSU

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – In the sunny weather at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre Sunday, No. 11 Mississippi State men’s tennis (10-2) closed out 2013 non-conference play in dramatic fashion with a thrilling 4-3 victory against No. 47 Middle Tennessee (8-3). With the win, State moved to 17-2 all-time against the Blue Raiders, 14-1 at home.
     
    The win also gave MSU its first 5-0 start at home since 2004, when the Bulldogs started 5-0 as well at the Pitts Tennis Centre.
    Middle Tennessee grabbed the early advantage, taking the doubles point with wins on courts one and three. State’s No. 13 duo of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp dropped an 8-4 decision to Middle Tennessee’s Ben Davis and Victor Cornea on court one. However, State fired back with an 8-6 victory from Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson against MT’s Yannick Born and Marlon Brand.
     
    Court three set the scene for the deciding match, with a battle between MSU’s Romain Bogaerts, and Pedro Dumont and MT’s David Fox and Christoph Lang. The two sides battled back and forth throughout the match, eventually coming to a tiebreaker, with the Blue Raider duo coming out victorious 8-7(5).
    State would need four victories in singles to defeat their opponents from Murfreesboro, Tenn., and those wins would not come without a big fight from Middle Tennessee. 
     
    State would grab its first win on court three, as senior James Chaudry took down MT’s Lang in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 to level the overall score at 1-1. Following suit was MSU’s No. 43 Stropp at the two spot, as he defeated Middle Tennessee’s Cornea 6-1, 6-3 to give MSU the lead. State would add one more to the cause soon after, as the rookie Angus (the freshman upped his dual record to 11-0) would claim a 6-3, 6-1 victory on court four against MT’s Born, putting the Bulldogs one away from victory.
     
    However, the Blue Raiders would storm back to tie it up with victories on courts five and six. MT’s Ettore Zito claimed a 6-2, 6-2 victory against State’s Stefan Vinti at the No. 5 position, while Fox of Middle Tennessee won 6-1, 6-4 against MSU’s White at the No. 6 spot.
     
    With the score equalized at 3-3, the match came down to court one, in a battle of ranked opponents, No. 19 Bogaerts of MSU and the Blue Raiders’ No. 98 Davis. While other matches were still in progress and the team match still in doubt, Bogaerts found himself down 5-4 in the first set after being broken by Davis. The Bulldog freshman proceeded to ignite the Pitts Tennis Centre crowd by winning three-straight games to take the first set 7-5, including rallying from 40-0 down in the final game to break and take the set.
     
    With the first set in the books for Bogaerts, the Huppaye, Belgium, native cruised in the second, taking the match 7-5, 6-1 to clinch the overall victory for the Bulldogs.
     
    State will now head into Southeastern Conference play next weekend, as the Bulldogs hit the road to the state of Alabama. MSU will take on the No. 21 Auburn Tigers Friday, Mar. 1, and close out the two game road swing at Alabama, taking on the Crimson Tide Sunday, Mar. 3.
     
    “We’re heading into SEC play next after getting two good wins this past weekend against two very tough teams,” head coach Per Nilsson said. “Now we have a lot of work to do this week to prepare for conference play.”
     
    For more information on Mississippi State men’s tennis, follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (www.twitter.com/mstatemt) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mstatemt).



    Auburn Bounces Back With 6-1 Win Over Georgia Tech

    AUBURN - The 21st- ranked Auburn men's tennis team closed out non-conference play on a high note Sunday afternoon with a 6-1 win over No. 66 Georgia Tech at the City of Auburn/Auburn University Yarbrough Tennis Center.
     
    The Tigers (8-2) earned their second-straight win over the Yellow Jackets (4-5) and bounced back from a tough loss to Clemson on Friday.
     
    "We came back and did what we had to do today," Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. "The nice thing for us is that we lost at the No. 1 doubles and were able to still win the doubles point. We feel like we're getting stronger down the line in doubles at two and three, and you have to have that. But we're not where we need to be, and we're running out of time. Conference starts Friday, and it's going to get tougher. We have to be mentally tougher from top to bottom in the lineup, and we've got a week to get ready. But we have a lot of work to do."
     
    In a battle of two of the nation's top three doubles teams, Auburn's No. 1-ranked tandem of senior Andreas Mies and junior Daniel Cochrane lost for the first time this spring, dropping an 8-3 decision to the third-ranked Georgia Tech team of Vikram Hundal and Juan Spir.
     
    But the No. 2 and No. 3 Auburn doubles teams came through to keep Auburn 10-for-10 on winning the doubles point this year. Dennis Lengsfeld and Lucas Lopasso rolled to an 8-2 win over Juan Melian and Nathan Rakitt, and Lukas Ollert and Joseph Van Dooren clinched the point by defeating Colin Edwards and Eduardo Segura, 8-5.
     
    The Tigers got back on track in singles play as well. Ollert, ranked 120th in the ITA singles rankings, downed Hundal in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, to give Auburn a 2-0 lead. And Lengsfeld made it a 2-for-2 weekend with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Rakitt at the No. 4 spot. Lopasso would then clinch the match for Auburn with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Segura at the fifth singles position. Van Dooren made it 5-0 Tigers with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Anish Sharma at the No. 6 singles position.
     
    Georgia Tech got on the board as Melian defeated Cochrane at the No. 2 spot, 6-4, 7-5. And Mies, ranked 106th nationally in singles, fought for an upset win over No. 63 Spir at the top singles spot, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 1-0 (7).
     
    Southeastern Conference play begins next weekend with a pair of home matches for the Tigers. Auburn will host No. 11 Mississippi State at 2 p.m. Friday and finish off a four-match homestand against No. 10 Ole Miss at 1 p.m. Sunday.
     


    Vanderbilt Wins Two on Sunday

    NASHVILLE – No. 33 Vanderbilt ran its win streak to four after defeating the 30th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers, 5-2, and the Belmont Bruins, 4-0, Sunday afternoon at the Currey Tennis Center.
     
    With the two wins on the day, Vanderbilt is now 9-3 on the season. The loss for Indiana (6-6) snapped a five-match win streak, while Belmont dropped to 1-4 with the loss. Vanderbilt is now 3-0 this season versus teams from the Big 10 Conference.
     
    Indiana struck early by winning the doubles point on courts one and three. Ryan Lipman and Marc van der Merwe were defeated by Sam Monette and Isade Juneau, 8-5. Dimitrije Tasic and Chris Essick then clinched the point with a win over Jeff Offerdahl and Anton Kovrigin, 8-5.
     
    Lipman was able to bounce back in singles to win at the No. 1 position in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. The win for the redshirt junior tied the match, 1-1. Just minutes later, van der Merwe picked up his ninth win of the season after defeating Tasic, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
     
    Kris Yee recorded his ninth-straight win with his victory over Daniel Bednarczyk. After dropping a tough first set, 7-6(1), Yee was able to bounce back to dominate the second and third sets, 6-0, 6-3.
     
    In the No. 3 position, Josh MacTaggart defeated Offerdahl, 6-7(3), 6-0, 6-2, to bring the score to 3-2. Hanging onto a slight 3-2 lead, Gonzales Austin came through with a hard-fought three-set win over Monette, 2-6, 7-6(3), 7-5, to clinch the win for Vanderbilt. After missing the last two matches due to illness, Austin was able to return to the court and help deliver a huge win for the Commodores.
     
    Looking to pull the Sunday sweep, Vanderbilt faced off with Belmont in the second match of the doubleheader. The Commodores won the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead into singles. Offerdahl and Johnson made quick work at No. 3 over Navarro Veys and Bruno Silva, 8-2, while Austin and Suresh Eswaran defeated Henrique Norbiato and Fernando Mussolini, 8-4.
     
    In singles action, the Commodores received wins at Nos. 1, 4 and 5 to clinch the match, 4-0. Austin won a tough first set over Renato Antun, 7-5, before breezing through the second set, 6-1. Johnson (vs. Veys) and Yee (vs. Silva) each overpowered their opponents en route to wins, 6-0, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-2, respectively. 
     
    Vanderbilt hosts No. 24 LSU (March 1) and No. 52 Arkansas (March 3) to kick off SEC play next weekend at the Currey Tennis Center. The match versus LSU begins at 2 p.m., while the Arkansas match begins at 12 p.m.



    LSU Picks Up Win Over Wright State

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 24 LSU men's tennis team (5-2) ended their first double-header of the season with a 6-1 victory over Wright State (6-6) at the Varsity Tennis Center.
     
    "It was a good day to see where we want to get to," LSU head coach Jeff Brown said. "It was also good to build a little confidence."
     
    LSU quickly won the doubles point to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead over the Raiders.
     
    On court three, Olivier Borsos and Boris Arias defeated Wright State's Ricardo Pineda and Evan Neuman 8-2. LSU's Roger Anderson and Tam Trinh clinched the doubles point for the Tigers on court one with an 8-5 win over Jamison Clark and Hayden Joblin. The match on court two between LSU's #35 Chris Simpson and Stefan Szacinski and Wright State's Lauri Makikalli and Michal Lyzwa was left unfinished with the Tigers leading 6-4.
     
    LSU took advantage of their momentum from doubles and dominated the singles matches.
     
    On court six, LSU's Arias defeated Myles Harris of Wright State 6-1, 6-1 to push the Tigers' lead to 2-0. The lead was extended to 3-0 by LSU's Borsos on court three when he bested the Raiders' Pineda 6-4, 6-2.
     
    LSU freshman Harrison Kennedy came through with a win on court five over Wright State's Clark 7-5, 6-2 to clinch the match. This is Kennedy's second match clincher in just his third match of the season.
     
    LSU's Trinh lost to Wright State's Makikalli 3-6, 1-6 on court one to give the Raiders their first and only point of the afternoon. Mark Bowtell extended the Tigers' lead to 5-1 on court four when he bested Lyzwa 7-5, 6-3. Immediately after Bowtell's win, LSU's Simpson finished off the day with a 7-5, 6-3 victory on court two against Wright State's Joblin.
     
    The Tigers are on the road again this weekend for their SEC opener at Vanderbilt on Friday, March 1 at 2 p.m. CT.
     
    For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access on the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men's team on Twitter @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.



    LSU Falls to Ohio State

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 24 LSU men's tennis team (4-2) dropped the first match of their double-header against No. 4 Ohio State (12-2) at the Varsity Tennis Center 7-0.
     
    The Buckeyes got off to a fast start during doubles. On court two, LSU's No. 35 duo of Chris Simpson and Stefan Szacinski lost to Ohio State's Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen 5-8. Ohio State clinched the doubles point on court 2 when Blaz Rola and Kevin Metka bested LSU's pair of Olivier Borsos and Boris Arias 8-6 to give Ohio State a 1-0 lead. Doubles matches were wrapped up on court one with the No. 36 duo of Peter Kobelt and Conner Smith of Ohio State defeated LSU's Roger Anderson and Tam Trinh 8-5.
     
    The Buckeyes extended their lead early in the singles matches, as they won the first set in all six matches. Ohio State's Constantin Christ extended the lead to 2-0 on court six when he defeated LSU's Boris Arias 6-1, 6-0. Shortly after on court five, the Buckeyes' No. 37 Chris Diaz beat the Tigers' Harrison Kennedy 6-1, 6-0.
     
    No. 62 Rola clinched the match for Ohio State on court two, defeating LSU's Trinh 6-0, 6-1, earning a decisive 4-0 lead. On court four, No. 30 Smith pushed Ohio State's lead even further to 5-0 when he defeated LSU's Szacinski 6-2, 6-0. Borsos was bested by the Buckeyes' McCarthy on court two 0-6, 1-6. Singles matches were wrapped up on court one when No. 2 Kobelt defeated LSU's Simpson 7-6, 6-4.
     
    LSU's second match of their double-header will be against Wright State at 4 p.m. CT.
     
    For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access on the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men's team on Twitter @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.



    South Carolina Falls in Richmond

    RICHMOND, Va. - No. 48 South Carolina suffered a 5-2 loss at No. 34 VCU Sunday afternoon at Thalhimer Tennis Center. The Rams struck first with the doubles point and kept the pressure on with an early singles victory. For the Gamecocks (9-4), Chip Cox and Thiago Pinheiro posted singles victories at the Nos. 3 and 4 positions, respectively.
     
    "It was a well fought match on the road," South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. "VCU was ready from the start and took advantage in the doubles points. We didn't shut the door when we had chances, and they did. That is the difference in matches against good teams and something we are still learning to do."
     
    In doubles, the Gamecocks' top duo of Cox and Tsvetan Mihov faced No. 37 Alexis Heugas and Dylan McCloskey at the top of the lineup. The ranked duo struck first with an 8-4 win over the Gamecock tandem. The Rams also boast the nation's 38th-ranked doubles team of Alejandro Argente and Jaime Vazquez, who knocked off Ben Barnette and Thiago Pinheiro 8-6 in the No. 3 doubles match to put VCU up 1-0.
     
    Heugas carried the momentum into singles where he faced Gamecock sophomore Andrew Adams in the No. 2 spot in the order. The nation's 93rd-ranked singles player scored a 6-1, 6-3 victory for a 2-0 Ram advantage. Pinheiro powered past Michal Voscek 6-2, 6-4 in the No. 4 match to get the Gamecocks on the board, but No. 14 Max Wennakoski scored a late service break in the second set to post a 6-3, 7-5 win over Mihov at the top of the lineup, bringing the Rams within a point of the victory. 
     
    Cox staved off that effort with a three-set win over Claes Goransson 6-1, 2-6, 6-3, but the Rams were up a set and a break in both of the remaining matches. Vazquez clinched the Rams' victory with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Harry Menzies in the No. 6 matchup. Argente closed out the match with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Kyle Koch.
     
    South Carolina is back at Carolina Tennis Center this weekend, beginning on Fri., March 1, against No. 14 Texas A&M in the first SEC match of the season. On Sunday, the Gamecocks will take on in-state rival No. 51 Clemson at 1 p.m.



    Texas A&M Drops Match to Oklahoma

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 14 Texas A&M men's tennis team couldn't overcome a sluggish start as it dropped its match against former Big 12 rival and eighth ranked Oklahoma, 5-2. The Aggies had no answer early as their rivals from across the Red River claimed the first set in singles on five-of-six courts. Texas A&M falls to 8-4 on the season while the Sooners improve to 8-2.
     
    "We knew it was going to be a difficult match for us coming in," men's head coach Steve Denton said. "We knew winning the doubles was going to be crucial for us to have success today. Winning four singles matches against them definitely made us fight an uphill battle. I feel good about this team. The guys fought and we're getting better."
     
    The Aggies came very close to claiming the doubles point, but a late surge from the Sooners at the No. 2 and No. 3 lines would prove to be the deciding factor in the match. The No. 40 duo of Jackson Withrow and Junior Ore fell to Guillermo Alcorta and Axel Alvarez-Llamas, 8-6, at the No. 2 line giving OU the first doubles match. Seconds later, Peerakit Siributwong and Lawrence Formentera downed Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo, 8-6, at the No. 3 slot to push Oklahoma ahead, 1-0. The matchup of top-20 tandems in seventh ranked Harry Adams and Shane Vinsant against 19th ranked Costin Paval and Dane Webb ended in an unfinished draw at 6-6.
     
    Oklahoma took the momentum from winning the doubles point into singles, only dropping the first set at the No. 3 singles line. No. 65 Alcorta proved to be too much for Efferding, winning in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, at the No. 2 line, giving the Sooners a 2-0 lead. Oklahoma wasted no time in expanding that lead to 3-0 when Siributwong downed Szabo, 6-2, 6-4, at the No. 6 line. The Sooners clinched the match on the No. 5 court when Leonard Stakhovsky upset 100th ranked Jackson Withrow, 6-4, 6-3. The match concluded when 19th ranked Paval downed Ore at the No. 1 line, 6-4, 6-2.
     
    The Aggie freshmen came on strong toward the end of the match, but it was too-little-too-late for Texas A&M. No. 67 Vinsant dropped his first set, 1-6, before rallying back to defeat Alvarez-Llamas, 6-1, 6-0, to get the Aggies on the board and 124th ranked Adams upset No. 119 Webb, 6-4, 6-4, from the No. 3 line to narrow the margin of defeat, 4-2.
     
    "Losing the first set 1-6, he did a great job of problem-solving out there," Denton said on Vinsant rallying to win in the third set. "He served well in the second and third set, which I thought was key. He was able to get off to a quick start in the second set to turn the momentum around and was able to roll that into the third set. It was a great effort from Harry and him. Shane has a lot of firepower and when he's on, he's on. He did a great job of getting a point on the board for us."
     
    "This was a great match for us as we get ready to begin SEC play," Denton said as the team gets ready to begin its inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference. "We're definitely battle tested. We've faced a lot of good teams. It should help us as we move into the conference."
     
    Texas A&M travels to South Carolina on Friday to begin SEC play. To learn more about the Texas A&M men's tennis team, visit AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter.



    UGA Ends Weekend with Win Over Furman

    ATHENS-----The eighth-ranked Georgia men's tennis defeated Furman 6-1 Sunday afternoon in the first outdoor match of the season at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
     
    The Bulldogs (6-3) won both of the competed doubles matches, then won five of six singles matches, including four in straight sets.
     
    "I thought our guys played pretty well," said UGA coach Manuel Diaz. "Overall I thought we played solid doubles at all three spots. For the first match outdoors our guys played high-level tennis. Even though our timing wasn't always where it needed to be, our guys had a great attitude and worked hard through the peaks and valleys."
     
    The Bulldogs cruised in the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead. Garrett Brasseux and Nathan Pasha downed Joel Cook and Andrew Mellow, 8-1, at No. 1, then the clincher came at No. 3 where Will Oliver and Ben Wagland defeated Jacob Behal and Tyler Droll, 8-3. Eric Diaz and Marco Nunez led Matt Browne and Alex Christ, 7-3, at No. 2 when the match was suspended.
     
    In singles, No. 92 Wagland won 6-1, 6-1 over Christ at No. 2 to make it 2-0, then Furman's lone point came at No. 5 where Browne defeated Eric Diaz, 6-1, 6-3. Brasseaux cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Behal at No. 4, and the match clincher came at No. 3 where Smith topped Cook, 6-3, 6-1. It was the second clincher of the year for Smith.
     
    Georgia stretched its lead to 5-1 after Pasha beat Mellow at No. 1, 6-1, 6-3, and Nunez closed out the match at No. 6 with a 7-5, 6-4, 1-0(10-6) win over Droll.
     
    "It was a good for us to get used to these conditions outdoors," Wagland said. "I think everyone played well and overall it was a good match for us today."
     
    Georgia will be back in action at home Monday at 2:30 p.m. against East Tennessee State.



    Kentucky Beats Samford, Jacksonville State

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The sixth-ranked University of Kentucky men’s tennis team traveled to Birmingham, Ala., this weekend and collected two wins in a doubleheader with Samford University and Jacksonville State, both by a score of 5-1 ,to move to 12-2 on the season.
     
    In the opening match, Kentucky knocked off Samford 5-1 with wins on courts one, two, four, five and six to capure the four-point win in the match. Samford provided tough competition as the Bulldogs had already knocked off Alabama earlier in the season out of the Southeastern Conference.
     
    On court one, senior Anthony Rossi crept closer to his 100th-career win on Sunday as he knocked off Zac Dunkle of Samford on court one 7-6 (6), 7-5 to move to 11-1 on the season in the No. 1 position. The win for Rossi put him with 93 wins in his career, and just seven shy of 100 in his career in the Blue and White.
     
    On court two, freshman Beck Pennington stepped in and took a straight-sets 6-3, 6-3 win over Elliot Barnwell as the Kentucky native upped his 2013 singles record to 3-0 in dual matches. This was the first time in Pennington’s young career that he played in the No. 2 slot. 
     
    Charles Minc won yet again on court four for the Wildcats as he overcame a slow start to win 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the third and take the sixth win of the sophomore’s career. Minc with the win improved to 6-1 on the year in singles action, and picked up his first-ever win on court four.
     
    Freshman Juan Pablo Murra collected an easy one and one win on court five as he downed Austin Akers of Samford to give Kentucky one of its five points in the match. Murra was 1-1 on court five entering the match, and now sits at 2-1 with Sunday’s win over Akers.
     
    Reigning SEC Freshman of the Week Kevin Lai continued his undefeated season in singles play as the freshman from Taiwan knocked off Garrison Laduca 6-0, 6-1 on court six. With the win, Lai now stands at 3-0 in singles play on the 2013 season. 
    There were no doubles matches in the contest.
     
    In the second match of the day that pitted Kentucky against Jacksonville State, the Wildcats downed the Gamecocks 5-1 as well, to record their 12th win on the season, and move to 12-2 overall.
     
    Pennington got his first-ever career win on court No. 1 in NCAA dual match play as he knocked off Igor Santos 6-3, 7-5 to up his career record to 4-0 in the dual season. With Pennington getting the win on court one, No. 90 Rossi also capitalized and got a 6-2, 6-0 win on the second court to push his win total to 94 in his career, just six shy of 100.
     
    Alejandro Gomez got back to his usual winning ways on Sunday evening as he cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 win over Nenad Marcec of JSU on court three to pick up his fourth win of the young 2013 season. The win for Gomez was his 50th-career win, as his overall career record now sits at 50-23.
     
    In the four slot, Juan Pablo Murra capped off his stellar day, throwing up a double bagel in a 6-0, 6-0 win as the freshman from Mexico collected his fifth win in singles of the 2013 season.
     
    On court five, Kevin Lai was spectacular again as he moved to 4-0 in singles play, upping his win total with a straight-set 6-2, 6-2 win over Felipe Wenzel of the Gamecocks.
     
    Similar to the morning match, there was not any doubles action in the nightcap.
     
    Kentucky now sits at 12-2 overall on the season, and will now shift its focus to the rigors of SEC play this upcoming weekend. Kentucky welcomes No. 52 Arkansas to the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center on Friday, March 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET before the Wildcats will face off against LSU on Sunday afternoon.