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    SEC Women's Tennis Notebook


    The eighth-ranked Alabama women’s tennis team picked up a tough win on Friday against No. 21 Texas Tech, 4-3, to improve to 8-1 on the season. The night got off to a rough start after the Tide dropped the doubles point, with the second-ranked ranked doubles team of Mary Anne Macfarlane and Alexa Guarachi dropping their first match of the year. However, the women would rebound by picking up four of the six singles matches to secure the victory. First to finish was junior Mary Anne Macfarlane, who wasted no time defeating No. 80 Samantha Adams, 6-1, 6-2. Next to finish was sophomore Emily Zabor on court five who, after being down 3-5 in the second set, won four straight games in the second set to win, 6-3, 7-5. Freshman Maya Jansen too, was down 3-5 in the second set before getting some much needed momentum to also earn a 6-3, 7-5 victory. The match finally came down to court four and it was up to senior Antonia Foehse to bring home the victory. After going up 4-2 in the third set, the senior dropped two straight games; however, Foehse then broke the next game and secured the win after serving for the match. The team now starts Southeastern Conference play on the road when it takes on Ole Miss in Oxford on Friday and Mississippi State in Starkville on Sunday.
    The Arkansas women's tennis team had their first two home matches of the spring season, and earned a split with a win over Tulsa. The Razorbacks were edged by Ohio State on Friday night, taking the doubles point for the seventh time in nine matches and then earning two singles wins. On Sunday, Arkansas completed a late comeback to upset Tulsa. After trailing 3-2 late in the match, the Razorbacks won the last two matches to win 4-3. Sophomore Sarah McLean evened the match at 3-3, and then freshman Brittany Huxley pulled out a thrilling three-set victory to give the Razorbacks the win. The squad is home for two more matches this weekend, hosting their first two conference foes. Arkansas faces Kentucky at 12 p.m. on Friday and Vanderbilt at 12 p.m. Sunday. 
    No. 59 Auburn won three matches this past week to move to 10-1 for the season. The Tigers defeated No. 21 Texas Tech 5-2, No. 56 Tulane 5-2 and shutout UAB 7-0. Additionally, the 10 victories equal the longest winning streak in school history, and it also marks the first time the No. 59 Tigers have reached 10 wins since 2009. Against Texas Tech, the Tigers sealed the doubles point with Plauen Burgmans and Plamena Kurteva dropping Samantha Adams and Kenna Kilgo, 8-4 … The duo of Paulina Schippers and Jen Pfeifler followed up with an 8-5 victory over Caroline Starck and Elizabeth Ullathorne to secure the point. The doubles loss by the 2012 Big XII champion Lady Raiders (6-2) marked their first loss in doubles competition in eight matches this season. It was the first time that Texas Tech had lost the doubles point in 21 matches. Against No. 56 Tulane, the Tigers picked up the doubles point with wins on courts two and three … Jackie Kasler and Flickinger defeated Jenny Hois and Emma Levy, 8-6 … Schippers and Pfeifler earned a victory over Caroline Magnusson and Caroline Thornton, 8-6 to secure.  In singles, Pfeifler clinched the match for Auburn on court five, defeating Birol, 6-3, 6-4. In the evening match, the Tigers posted a 7-0 victory over UAB.  In doubles, the No. 55 duo of Burgmans and Kurteva made quick work of Rachel Daniell and and Menanteau Moolman, 8-1, on court one. Pfeifler and Schippers clinched the doubles point on court two, also winning 8-1 over Sarah Witkowski and Caroline Fraught. Auburn clinched the match on court five as Ashley Kitchen defeated Simon, 6-0, 6-1. Auburn will return to action Friday, March 1 against Mississippi State at 3 a.m. CT. 
    Florida (6-1) launches its SEC schedule this weekend playing on the road at the two new members of the league. The Gators first face Missouri in Columbia on Friday before playing at 10th-ranked Texas A&M on Sunday. Florida is the preseason favorite to win its fourth consecutive SEC title, while the Aggies are the preseason pick to win the SEC Western Division crown. The fourth-ranked Gators capped a stellar home weekend with wins against No. 18 Clemson (6-1) and No. 13 Stanford (4-2). The two wins helped Florida extend its overall home win streak to 112 consecutive matches, the longest active home win streak of any NCAA Division I women’s team in any sport. The Gators also have won their last 117 regular-season home matches. A standing-room only crowd of 1,033 fans - the second-largest crowd in program history - cheered Florida to its 4-2 win against Stanford on Sunday when the USTA’s “College MatchDay” launched its new series.
    Fifth-ranked Georgia went 1-0 on the week, defeating 24th-ranked Georgia Tech on Saturday February 23 by a score of 4-3.  Georgia improves to 21-4 all-time versus Georgia Tech, including 10-1 in Athens. Eighth-ranked Lauren Herring remains the team leader in singles victories at 24-3 while 18th-ranked Maho Kowase is 22-7 and 96th-ranked Kate Fuller is 17-4.   The thirteenth-ranked duo of Fuller and Silvia Garcia remain undefeated on the year improving to 9-0, going 8-0 in dual play.  Georgia will start conference play on Saturday when they play the 26th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville, TN on March 2 at noon.
    The Kentucky women’s tennis team defeated the Miami RedHawks on Tuesday 5-2. The Wildcats opened the match by clinching the doubles point with wins in the No. 2 and 3 doubles spots. Freshman Nadia Ravita improved her record in the No. 1 singles slot to 7-1 with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Christiana Raymond. Senior Jessica Stiles and sophomore Stephanie Fox won their matches in straight sets, with Stiles winning the No. 2 singles match 6-4, 6-3 and Fox winning the No. 6 singles point 6-3, 6-1. Kentucky’s match with Kansas was cancelled due to travel arrangements. 
    The LSU Lady Tigers (7-3) swept both Nicholls State University (5-3) and Grambling State University (1-5) during Saturday’s double header and final non-SEC matches of the season after LSU fell 5-0 at No. 35 Rice University (6-4) on Wednesday. Freshman Ella Taylor tallied two double bagel victories Saturday, marking three for the season, and four other courts also posted 6-0, 6-0 wins against the Grambling Tigers. The doubles pair of Ebie Wilson and Keri Frankenberger is on a five match winning streak on court two, as the duo notched two 8-0 victories on Saturday. Mary Jeremiah and Ariel Morton faced their first top-spot loss against Rice, but recovered with two 8-0 triumphs during Saturday’s double header, advancing the pair to 7-1 in the No. 1 position.
    Ole Miss
    The Rebels dropped a 6-1 decision to No. 16 Virginia and sit at 2-4 with the start of Southeastern Conference play this weekend.  The Rebels will host SEC West rivals No. 8 Alabama and Auburn this weekend.  The Rebels have added a doubleheader against Southern Miss Sunday, March 31 at 9 and 12.
    Mississippi State
    The Lady Bulldog tennis squad split this weekend's competition 1-1, first falling in a closely contested Friday match against No. 65 ranked Minnesota before posting a 4-3 victory against the Lady Badgers of Wisconsin on Saturday. The MSU doubles pair of Naomi Tran and Alexandra Perper went undefeated on the weekend from the No. 1 position, notching an 8-4 win against Pintusava and Rincon-Otero of Minnesota and an 8-5 win against Hoch and Tripolskaya of Wisconsin. Another Lady Bulldog standout was freshman Sarai Flores claimed her fourth win of her debut season with a 6-1, 6-2 win against Helen Rabot of Wisconsin on court 6. The Lady Bulldogs will host Samford this Wednesday at 3 p.m. 
    The No. 55 Mizzou women's tennis team improved to 6-1 on the spring season as the team picked up 7-0 sweeps over UMKC (Feb. 20) and Stephen F. Austin (Feb. 23) last week. Junior Cierra Gaytan-Leach, ranked 82nd in the nation, improved her spring record to 9-0, including a 7-0 mark in dual matches at No. 1 singles. Senior Maria Christensen also boasts a 7-0 dual match record and is 8-1 in the spring. The Tigers open SEC action on Friday, March 1 when the team hosts No. 4 Florida at 5 p.m. CT at the Green Tennis Center. 
    South Carolina
    The No. 38 South Carolina women's tennis team posted a 3-0 record last week with wins against Furman, College of Charleston and Charleston Southern to finish the non-conference portion of its season with a 7-3 record. The Gamecocks open up SEC play on the road at No. 10 Texas A&M on Friday and then take on No. 55 Missouri on Sunday. South Carolina beat Mizzou earlier in the year in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich., by a 4-3 score in the first ever meeting between the two schools. Carolina has not played Texas A&M since 1995. The Gamecocks and Aggies played each other every year from 1988 to 1995 in a series the Gamecocks lead 7-1. 
    The Lady Vols had the weekend off in preparation for the upcoming SEC home opener against Georgia on Saturday, March 2 at Noon. The Lady Vols look to remain undefeated at home this season after going 2-0 against No. 54 Indiana and No. 55 Ohio State two weekends ago. 
    Texas A&M
    No. 10 Texas A&M enters the week ranked in the Top 10 for the first time since an all-time high No. 9 ranking on March 28, 2001. The Aggies are 5-1 following three consecutive victories against Top 15 opponents, but they have not played since defeating No. 13 Michigan, Feb. 16, in Ann Arbor. A&M was scheduled to host Sam Houston State on Monday but the match was canceled due to high winds. Next up is a showdown against former Big 12 Conference foe and 19th-ranked Baylor on Wednesday at the Mitchell Tennis Center. The match against the Bears marks the start of a three-match home stand for the Aggies, and it also will be the team’s final tune up before A&M embarks on its inaugural SEC season against No. 38 South Carolina on Friday. The Aggies close out their longest home stand of the season with a meeting against defending national and SEC-champion Florida on Sunday.
    No. 17 Vanderbilt cruised to a 6-0 win over cross-town rival, Belmont, Friday, Feb. 22, at the Currey Tennis Center. The Commodores (6-4) bounced back from a tough loss last weekend at TCU to snap Belmont’s two-match win streak. Frances Altick cruised to a straight sets victory in the No. 2 position over Nikki Maciel, 6-0, 6-0. Just minutes after Altick clinched her win, Ashleigh Antal recorded a win at No. 1, defeating Catherine Holliday, 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). 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. Vanderbilt will conclude its non-conference schedule on Feb. 27 when the Commodores host Memphis at the Currey Tennis Center.