No. 10 Kentucky Topples No. 4 Ole Miss in Oxford
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After clinching the doubles point on courts two and three to take the early 1-0 lead in the match, the 10th-ranked University of Kentucky men’s tennis team dominated singles play, taking courts two, five and six en route to a 4-1 upset of No. 4 Ole Miss at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., on Friday afternoon.
“Today was a really great performance by everybody,” UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “This was a great effort coming off of a bad stretch last weekend where we didn’t play our best. I thought we really bounced back well with today’s effort. I am proud of the team for showing the heart I knew they had today against a top-5 team in the nation inside a very tough place to play with a tough crowd.”
With the win, Kentucky climbs to 15-4 overall on the year, and stays in the lead pack of the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division with a 3-1 mark inside league play. Ole Miss was the only remaining undefeated SEC team entering action on Friday, as the Rebels fall to 4-1 in SEC play.
Kentucky came out of the blocks blazing in the doubles point, as the Wildcats went up double break in all three matches to start off. On court three, senior Anthony Rossi and junior Grant Roberts were the first to clinch their match as they took an 8-4 win over the Rebel’s William Kallberg and Zach Wilder. Up 5-2 early in the match, the tandem collected a couple of key service holds down the stretch before closing out the match at 8-4. With the win, Rossi and Roberts escalated their season overall record to 8-3 overall with a 3-1 mark in SEC action.
On the second court, Alejandro Gomez and Ryuji Hirooka raced out to a 5-1 lead in the early going, before easily closing out the match after a couple of service exchanges 8-3. Gomez and Hirooka now are above the .500 thresholds as the duo moves to 7-6 on the year in doubles competition, and are now 2-1 in SEC play. The win was over the 40th-ranked doubles team in the country, Stefan Lindmark and Johan Backstrom of Ole Miss.
On court one, No. 23 Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai powered out to an early 5-2 lead on No. 6 Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen before the Rebels would work their way back into the match. Ole Miss would collect a hold followed by a break and then backed up their hold to eventually battle their way back to a 6-6 position with the match on serve. The Rebels tandem would hold to take the 7-6 lead on Jomby and Lai before the match was abandoned after UK clinched the point.
“The doubles point gave us a lot of momentum heading into singles play,” Kauffmann said. “But I really thought all of the boys were ready for singles play and we performed like a championship-caliber team today.”
In singles play, Kentucky and Ole Miss each took three of the six first sets, before Kentucky would take hold of the match, winning three of the five completed second sets.
The first match to finish was over rather quickly as No. 32 Tom Jomby made quick work of No. 13 Jonas Lutjen 6-1, 6-4 in just under an hour’s duration. Jomby took early control of the match, as Lutjen was only able to hold serve once in the opening set with Jomby breaking twice in the set. After the Frenchman took the opening set 6-1, he would win the final four games of the second set to close out the match 6-1, 6-4 and pick up his 11th win of the season, as he moved to 11-3 overall. Included in that 11-3 record is a 2-1 SEC record and he now has 55 career wins.
After Kentucky opened up a quick 2-0 lead overall, the Rebels would respond with their only point of the match as No. 69 William Kallberg outlasted a tough Charles Minc in two extremely tight sets 7-6, 7-5. Minc and Kallberg played back-and-forth tennis the entire match before the Rebel’s Kallberg broke at 6-5 in the second set to capture the win. Minc still has a solid record on the year, as he hoists a 7-5 mark in 2013 dual-match action.
Junior Grant Roberts expanded UK’s lead to 3-1 when he earned what would be one of two three-set matches that Kentucky would claim on the afternoon. Roberts dropped the opening set 6-4 on court five before battling back. Roberts was facing Johan Backstrom of Ole Miss, and Roberts blanked Backstrom 6-0 in the second set to force the decisive set. Roberts and Backstrom each held before Roberts broke at 3-2 to take the 4-2 lead, where he would back up his break to take the match 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 and give the Wildcats the 3-1 in the match. The Tates Creek High School alum upped his 2013 record to 9-3 overall, including a 1-1 SEC record.
The match was clinched on court six for the Wildcats as freshman Kevin Lai battled back from a one-set deficit to win in three sets and clinch the win. Lai dropped the opening set to Adrian Skogeng of Ole Miss 6-3. After that, the freshman from Taiwan would go on to win 12 of the final 18 games of the match en route to a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win. Lai was up 5-1 before Skogeng held serve in the second set to stay alive in the set at 5-2. Lai served out the set easily to force a third. In the final set, Lai picked up a break at 3-2 before Skogeng would battle back and break back at 4-3 for 4-4. Lai would then counter with a break at 4-4 to make it 5-4, and served it out at 40-30 to give the Wildcats the 4-1 win, and Lai with 6-4 win in the third. The win for Lai, one-time SEC Freshman of the Week, ups his 2013 dual-match record to 8-0 on the year and 1-0 in SEC action.
“You also have to give a lot of credit to Matt Emery,” Kauffmann said. “He did a really good job of working with Grant and Kevin on courts five and six which really turned out to be crucial in the match today.”
The matches were not played out after UK clinched.
On court one, No. 31 Anthony Rossi was on his way to a solid result against Ole Miss’ No. 14 Nik Scholtz. Rossi took a break in the closing parts of the set to collect a 7-5 win, as Rossi broke at 6-5 to collect the opening-set win. In the second set, Rossi and Scholtz were on serve at 4-5 before the match was clinched by UK.
In the only remaining court out on three, UK’s Alejandro Gomez was in tough battle with No. 99 Stefan Lindmark. Gomez broke early and held onto the lead for the duration of the opening set. Gomez was up 4-1 at one point and battled to protect it, as he took the opening set 6-4. In the second set, Gomez was broken at 4-4, as Lindmark had a chance to serve for the set a 5-4. Gomez battled and hung tough to break back at 5-5 before Lindmark outlasted Gomez in the tiebreaker. Gomez and Lindmark exchanged service holds before the match was called at 1-1 in the third.
With the win, Kentucky moves to 15-4 overall on the year and stays at 3-1 in SEC play. The win for the Wildcats marks UK’s second-consecutive win in Oxford after going some 20 years without a win against the Rebels in the Magnolia State.
The match at No. 4 Ole Miss marked Kentucky’s 14th match against teams that comprise the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s top-50 in the polls. UK now holds a 10-4 record against those teams, including an amazing 4-1 mark against teams in the top 10. Kentucky has defeated No. 4 Ole Miss (4-1), No. 5 Georgia (4-2), No. 7 Oklahoma (4-3), and No. 10 Mississippi State (4-0).
Kentucky will continue its Mississippi swing on Sunday afternoon as the Wildcats head south to Starkville to take on the Bulldogs at 1:00 p.m. ET. Mississippi State comes into the weekend with a ranking of 13th in the nation.
“We are right back in the race,” Kauffmann said. “There is a logjam at the top of the race with five or six really solid teams. We know we belong there and this win re-energizes us for the rest of the conference season.”
Tennessee Downs South Carolina in Return to Home Courts
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- In their first home match in nearly two months, the sixth-ranked Volunteers returned to Barksdale Stadium on Friday with a 4-1 victory South Carolina.
The Vols (15-5, 2-2 SEC) won the doubles point for the fourth match in a row and picked up straight-set singles from John Collins on court 6, Jarryd Chaplin on court 4 and Hunter Reese on court 2 to seal the win.
Being back at home did not mean the victory came easily. it was, after all, an SEC match. Four of the SEC teams are in the top 10, and 11 of them are in the top 35.
After the doubles point, South Carolina (11-6, 1-2) jumped out quickly in singles. The Gamecocks were up breaks on five of six courts early in the first sets before the Vols turned the momentum back on their side.
"We've been on the road for two months, and we've been really tenacious on the road," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "There was definitely an attitude about the team you could feel on the road. Then when you come here, you're in your own bed, you're in familiar surroundings, I think they felt too comfortable."
Ever since changing the doubles lineup three weeks ago, the Vols have not lost the doubles point.
Reese and Mikelis Libietis earned their third ranked victory since rejoining forces on court 1, beating 50th-ranked Tsvetan Mihov and Chip Cox 8-4. A minute later, Chaplin and Brandon Fickey won by the same score on court 3 to put the Vols up 1-0.
The Vols came out to a flat start in singles but eventually won four of the six first sets against South Carolina, and the pieces started falling into place.
Senior John Collins was the first off the court, beating Harry Menzies 6-2, 6-2 on court 6, good for the Vol's third consecutive win. Chaplin put the Vols ahead 3-0 by rallying in the tiebreaker to beat Chip Cox 6-1, 7-6 (4).
South Carolina's only win came on court 5, where Kyle Koch defeated Edward Jones 6-1, 6-4.
Reese delivered Tennessee's final point. After both players struggled holding serve early in the match, Reese found his rhythm to beat Andrew Adams 6-4, 6-1.
"The SEC is just tough," Winterbotham said. "There are no easy matches in the SEC. Every match is a battle."
With 15 wins this season, the Vols have already matched their 2012 win total.
The Vols host Florida on Sunday at 1 p.m. Admission is free.
Vanderbilt Rallies Past Mississippi State
STARKVILLE, Miss. – No. 23 Vanderbilt recorded a huge road win over 13th-ranked Mississippi State, 4-3, Friday afternoon at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
The Commodores (12-4, 3-1) bounced back from a tough loss at Texas A&M last Friday to hand Mississippi State (12-5, 2-3) its third-straight loss.
Vanderbilt started the match by winning the doubles point on courts two and three. The Commodores had lost the doubles point in two of the first three SEC matches.
Rhys Johnson and Jeff Offerdahl recorded the first win of the day by defeating Romain Bogaerts and Pedro Dumont, 8-4, at No. 3. The Vandy duo is now 7-1 in dual play and 2-1 in SEC competition. At No. 2, Gonzales Austin and Suresh Eswaran defeated Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson, 8-6, to clinch the doubles point.
Mississippi State stormed back by winning singles at positions Nos. 2, 3 and 4, to take a 3-1 lead.
Playing at No. 2, Mississippi State’s Malte Stropp defeated Austin in straight sets, 6-0, 7-6 (5). Jordan Angus took down Offerdahl, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 3, while James Chaudry defeated Marc van der Merwe, 6-1, 6-0 in the No. 4 position.
Ryan Lipman came through with a huge win in a match that featured two top 20 players at the top position in the lineup. Lipman, who is ranked 19th, defeated 18th-ranked (Romain) Bogaerts in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. The win makes Lipman 3-1 versus ranked opponents this season, while he improved his dual record to 14-1 overall and 4-0 in SEC play.
The win also upped Lipman’s win streak to 12-consecutive matches.
Kris Yee then tied the match at 3, with his win in the No. 5 spot over White, 6-2, 7-5. Yee now has a team-high 14-match win streak and a dual record of 15-1 and 4-0 in SEC action.
With the match tied at 3, it came down to a battle at the No. 6 position, and (Rhys) Johnson would deliver. The freshman won the first set over Stefan Vinti handily, 6-1, before Vinti came back to win set two, 6-4. It came down to the tiebreak in the third set to decide the match with Johnson coming out on top, 7-6(1).
The Commodores face fourth-ranked Ole Miss Sunday at 1 p.m. before returning home for a match against Georgia next Friday, March 22, at 2 p.m. before a road match at Tennessee Sunday, March 24, at 1 p.m.
No. 5 Georgia Takes Care of Florida
ATHENS-----The fifth-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team picked up a key SEC win Friday afternoon with a 4-0 shutout of rival Florida at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Bulldogs (11-4, 3-1 SEC) won their fifth straight match over the Gators and improved to 8-0 at home this season.
“I’m really happy with the way we played,” said UGA coach Manuel Diaz. “All three doubles were really close, and in the end we had to win a tiebreaker at No. 1 doubles to earn that point. I was really pleased with our composure there. It was a good performance by all our guys in singles. I’m really excited about our direction, and we control our own destiny in the conference race. We have to be ready to play each match. Our guys are really playing well, and we’re coming together as a team.”
Georgia edged the Gators (7-6, 1-2 SEC) in doubles to take the early lead. Florida won the first completed match at No. 2 as Gordon Watson and Billy Federhofer held off the 39th-ranked team of Nathan Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux, 8-5. Georgia then won at No. 3 where KU Singh and Austin Smith beat Florent Diep and Michael Alford, 8-6. The fifth-ranked tandem of Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland gave UGA a 1-0 lead when they outlasted the 57th-ranked duo of Stephane Piro and Bob van Overbeek, 9-8(2).
The Bulldogs won the first sets on five singles courts, including at No. 3 where No. 71 Ben Wagland cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Stephane Piro, and Austin Smith made it 3-0 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Alford at No. 4. Garrett Brasseaux then clinched his first match of the season at No. 6 with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Luke Johnson. It was Brasseaux’s first match clincher since the win over South Carolina in 2011 that gave Georgia the SEC regular season title.
Matches at Nos. 1, 2 and 5 were suspended, with the Bulldogs winning first sets on two of those courts.
“We knew coming in it would be tough,” Brasseaux said. “We knew we had to play well, so it was good to get the win quickly and get rested for Sunday.”
Georgia will be back in action on Sunday when South Carolina visits for a 1 p.m. match.
Mizzou Women Defeat Arkansas on the Road
FAYETTEVILLE - The University of Arkansas women's tennis team dropped its first ever conference meeting with Missouri, falling 5-2 at Billingsley Tennis Center. The loss dropped Arkansas to 6-9 (1-4 SEC), while Missouri improved to 7-5 (1-4 SEC).
"Today was such a tough match to lose," Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty said. "I thought our effort was extremely good. Credit to Missouri for winning those long three sets matches that were the difference in the end."
In doubles play, the duo of Kimberley-Ann Surin and Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez got Arkansas off to a strong start, recording a convincing 8-2 victory. Shortly after, Claudine Paulson and Sarah McLean were unable to complete a late rally, and fell to the Tigers' Gaytan-Leach/Clark 8-4. The doubles point came down to the duo of Yang Pang and Brittany Huxley at No. 2, who had a back-and-forth battle with MU's No. 68 Stuhlmann and Christensen. The match come down to a tiebreak, but Missouri took it 9-8 (7-4) and won the doubles point.
In singles, Missouri struck first, winning a matchup of ranked players at No. 1 singles. Arkansas' No. 68 Pang fell in straight sets to Missouri's No. 114 Cierra Gaytan-Leach 6-0, 6-4. The Tigers also won at No. 5, as Huxley fell 6-3, 6-4 to Alex Clark, and put Missouri ahead 3-0.
Arkansas' lone senior, Paulson got the Razorbacks first point of the day by winning her fifth straight conference singles match. Paulson won 6-3, 7-6 (3) over Rachel Stuhlmann to cut the Tigers lead to 3-1. After Paulson's victory, the other three matches all went to a third set.
The Tigers were able to persevere late in the match, earning the victory. Christensen clinched the victory at No. 3, defeating McLean 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. Surin also dropped her match shortly after, falling to Elisha Gabb 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.
The final match of the day was Belmar Hernandez, playing three sets at No. 6 singles. She earned a victory 7-6, 2-6, 6-3. Paulson and Belmar Hernandez recorded the two victories for Arkansas, and Coach Hegarty was especially impressed by the stellar play of Paulson.
"Claudine has been giving us a lot," Hegarty said. "She has had a really good career for us, and this has been an extra special season. She wants to end her career on a high note, and has been very committed to working hard. It's been amazing to watch."
The Razorbacks are back in action on Sunday, hosting another match at Billingsley Tennis Center. Arkansas will face No. 3 Texas A&M at 1 p.m.
Ole Miss Women Drop Kentucky for First SEC Win
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After coming close in three of their first four SEC matches, the Ole Miss women’s tennis team finally got one to go their way, as sophomore Julia Jones rallied to win a three-setter at No. 2 singles to clinch a 4-3 win for the Rebels at No. 38 Kentucky here Friday at the Boone Tennis Complex.
With the win, the Rebels (3-8, 1-4) earn their first SEC victory of the year. It marked the Rebels’ fourth SEC match to go 4-3 and their fifth overall.
When Kentucky (11-7, 2-3) finished off a three-setter at No. 5 singles to tie it up, Jones was already up comfortably in the third set against Jessica Stiles at No. 2 singles. After dropping a tough tiebreaker 7-6(5) to start the match, Jones won the second set 6-4 and then got up early in the third on her way to winning it 6-1 to clinch.
The Rebels won the doubles and then also picked up wins from Erin Stephens at No. 4 singles and freshman Mai El Kamash at No. 3 singles.
“We played really well in doubles, got off to great starts. We were able to get some early leads and two quick wins,” head coach Mark Beyers said. In singles it was a battle all the way. Julia was able to come back and win 6-4 in the third. Erin was huge to win the second set tiebreak. Mai took care of business at three. We need to do a better job of capitalizing on leads. We’ve struggled with that this year. If we can do that, we have a chance to beat anybody. On the road it’s not an easy place to play, so we are definitely happy to get a 4-3 win.”
As coach Beyers said, the match began with the Rebels getting off to a early lead in doubles. The coaches switched up the teams to try and get something going after losing three straight doubles points. Vief Vlaar and Mai El Kamash downed Khristina Blajkevitch and Jessica Stiles 8-2 on court three and then Caroline Rohde-Moe and Marija Milutinovic dominated Caitlin McGraw and Nadia Ravita 8-1 at No. 1 to clinch the point.
Kentucky tied it up when Stephanie Fox handed Vlaar a 6-3, 6-2 loss at No. 6 singles, but the Rebels regained the lead as El Kamash downed Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff 6-1, 6-4 at No. 3 singles.
In a battle between two nationally ranked players at No. 1 singles, 38th-ranked Ravita came into the match with an impressive 13-2 record. She topped 39th-ranked Rohde-Moe 7-5, 6-1 to even the overall match at 2.
Erin Stephens gave the Rebels a 3-2 lead, winning a huge second-set tiebreak to defeat McGraw 6-4, 7-6(5).
Kentucky’s Kirsten Lewis held off Rebel freshman Milutinovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 to square the match and set up the final outcome on court two. Milutinovic could have given the Rebels the win earlier leading 4-2 and 30-0 in the third, but Lewis rallied.
The Rebels will travel to Nashville Sunday to face No. 13 Vanderbilt at 1 p.m. The Rebels won both meetings last year in Oxford during the regular season and again in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals.
Follow the Rebels on Twitter, @OleMissWTennis and on Facebook at OleMissWTennis.
No. 4 Gators Earn 4-1 Win Over UGA Women
The University of Florida women’s tennis team improved its remarkable home record against Southeastern Conference teams to 180-1 all-time after Friday evening’s hard-fought 4-1 victory against No. 12 Georgia at Linder Stadium at the Ring Tennis Complex.
The fourth-ranked Gators, who have won their last 72 matches at the Ring Tennis Complex versus league opponents, also extended their overall home win streak to 114, the longest active home winning streak by any NCAA Division I women’s team in any sport.
The victory didn’t come easy for Florida (10-2, 3-1 SEC), which dropped the doubles point for the fifth time this season, as Georgia (10-2, 3-1 SEC) took the quick 1-0 lead in the team scoring.
“This was a tremendous win. We showed a lot of character playing the Florida Way of getting things done,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “I thought we were resilient in singles. We had high ball tolerance, we were fit and we moved well.
“Georgia is really good in doubles,” Thornqvist continued. “We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do personnel-wise. I’m starting to see some improvement. We’re getting better in the service box and we’ll watch the film on this. Little things here and there are we can get better. We knew doubles was going to be challenging against Georgia and we talked about that before the match. We showed great resiliency today.”
The Gators won the first set on five of the six courts and seemed to have the early momentum.
Senior Caroline Hitimana gave Florida its first point of the dual match, as she earned a 6-3, 6-1 win against Mia King on court six in 68 minutes. Hitimana, who was dominate throughout, raced out to a 4-0 lead and was never really threated, as she won the last seven games to capture her 29th consecutive dual match singles victory.
Junior Olivia Janowicz provided the Gators with a 2-1 lead in the dual match after she downed Makenzie Craft, 6-4, 6-3 on court five and improved to 23-6 on the singles court this year. Janowicz found herself receiving down 4-2 in the first set before digging deep and winning the four straight games to earn the first set. The second set was on serve through six games before Janowciz got the first break of the frame for the 4-3 lead. She then held for a 5-3 advantage and fought off three game-points to capitalize on her first match-point, one hour and 28 minutes into singles play.
“Caroline getting off the court quick really helped to tie the score at 1-all and then not long afterwards having Olivia get off the court with a win,” Thornqvist shared. “Getting those early wins was huge for our players involved in the other singles matches.”
Sofie Oyen was the next off the court and the Gator junior won the intense battle over Silvia Garcia, 7-5, 7-5 on court two in two hours and two minutes. After winning the first set thanks to a break in the eighth game, Oyen was on the receiving end, down 4-3 and then 5-4 in the second, but broke both times, even staving off a pair of set points in the 10th game, before holding to take a 6-5 lead. Oyen then jumped on Garcia’s serve and held double-match point, winning on her second and gave Florida a 3-1 lead.
“The remaining matches were three-setters and we’ve shown, time and time again that we’re pretty tough in three-setters,” Thornqvist said. “When we get to that point I feel pretty good.”
All-American and No. 1-ranked Lauren Embree provided the dual-match clinching heroics, as she won the featured match on court one against No. 7 Lauren Herring, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, in two hours and 36 minutes. After dropping a tough 10th and final game of the second set that forced a third, Embree came out determined and held at love and then broke Herring for the 2-0 lead. She earned her second break of the set in the sixth game and lost one point on her next serve for the 5-2 lead en route to her 28th consecutive dual match singles win as well as her 10th straight overall. Embree, who improved to 33-0 all-time in SEC dual match singles play.
Georgia seemed to be close to taking a 2-0 lead, as No. 17 Maho Kowase was dominating Florida’s No. 55 Alexandra Cercone on court three where Kowase won the first set 6-1 and held a 4-1 lead with the serve in the second set. Somehow, Cercone battled her way back in the match, as she earned a break and held for 4-3 down. She then held double-break point in the eighth game and eventually won on a 20-plus rally on her second try and evened the set at 4-all. On her next serve she fought off two break points and held for the 5-4 lead, before Kowase held and the set was even at 5-all as the frame made its way into a tiebreak that Cercone claimed 7-4. The Gator junior then broke to begin the third set, taking her first lead of the entire match.
“Alex’s fight was incredible, I don’t know how she did it,” Thornqvist said. “While she didn’t get a chance to finish her match, it was almost like a win because she was able to keep battling and made Georgia work for a win. That was huge for us. What seemed like they might go up 2-0, never happened and that took pressure off everyone else.”
Florida freshman Brianna Morgan continued her impressive rookie season, as she was leading her match on court four against Kate Fuller, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 4-0, when play was abandoned.
Florida lost the doubles point for the fifth time this season, as Georgia’s third-ranked pair of Silvia Garcia and Kate Fuller jumped out early against Alexandra Cercone and Sofie Oyen on court one, where the Bulldogs took an early break for a 3-1 lead. The Gators got the break back in the seventh game, but Cercone couldn’t hold and Florida trailed 6-3 after Garcia held. The teams each held in the respective next games, but Georgia got one final break for the 8-4 win.
One minute later the Bulldogs clinched the important doubles point when Lilly Kimbell and Makenzie Craft also got the final break over Caroline Hitimana and Olivia Janowicz to win the match 8-5. Georgia dominated the match early, losing just four combined points in the first four games for a 4-0 lead. Janowicz finally held and got the Gators on the board before then the Gators capitalized on their third break point and then Hitimana held, as Florida trailed just 4-3, down one break. The Gator tandem, however, couldn’t overcome its early hole, as Kimbell held and the final five games were breaks.
Florida’s Lauren Embree and Brianna Morgan were leading their match on court two, 7-3, when play was abandoned.
Florida returns to action on Saturday, when the Gators play host to No. 25 Tennessee beginning at 1 p.m. Admission is free and the first 300 fans will receive a Florida Tennis clover-shaped stress ball.
Vandy Dominates Mississippi State
NASHVILLE – No. 13 Vanderbilt took care of business Friday evening against Mississippi State en route to a 6-1 win at the Currey Tennis Center.
With the win, the Commodores ran their record to 11-5 overall and 4-1 in SEC action, while Mississippi State dropped to 6-7 overall and 0-5 to begin the SEC season.
In the series with Mississippi State, Vanderbilt has now won 27-straight and owns a 30-7 record all-time against the Bulldogs.
Vanderbilt pounded Mississippi State right out of the gates by winning the doubles point. Courtney Colton and Lauren Mira defeated Georgiana Patrasc and Petra Ferancova, 8-1, at the No. 2 position. Frances Altick and Georgina Sellyn completed the shutout of Sarai Flores and Roseline Dion at No. 3, 8-0.
Altick and Sellyn then continued their winning ways in singles action. Altick recorded her second shutout of the SEC season with her win over Flores at No. 6, 6-0, 6-0. The Monroe, La., native has now won eight matches in a row to run her dual record to 12-2 and a perfect 5-0 in the SEC.
Sellyn’s win at the No. 4 position over Lien Van Geel (6-1, 6-0) continued her perfect start in the SEC at 5-0, as well. The freshman is 10-3 in dual play and 9-0 when playing at No. 4.
Ashleigh Antal clinched the win for Vanderbilt after defeating Dion, 6-2, 6-4, in the No. 5 spot. Antal is tied for the team lead with 12 dual wins and five wins in the SEC.
Three Commodores have yet to lose through the first five matches in SEC competition.
To wrap up the evening of play, Colton and Marie Casares each registered wins. Colton played in the longest match of the day at the No. 3 spot before grinding out a straight-sets win over Naomi Tran, 6-3, 7-6(3). Casares defeated Alexandra Perper, 7-6(4), 3-6, 10-5, in the lone three-set match of the day.
Mississippi State’s lone point came from the No. 1 singles position, where Patrasc knocked off Mira, 7-5, 6-3.
The Commodores welcome Ole Miss to the Currey Tennis Center on Sunday at 1 p.m. to wrap up the weekend. Vanderbilt begins its five-match road trip with stops at No. 12 Georgia Friday, March 22 at 3 p.m. and No. 44 Tennessee Sunday at 9 a.m.
Lady Vols Win Fourth Straight
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The University of Tennessee womens' tennis team earned its third-straight SEC match win after defeating No. 32 South Carolina 4-2 Friday night.
With the win, the Lady Vols even their record out at 5-5 and improve to 3-1 in SEC action while South Carolina fell to 8-6 and 1-3 in conference play.
"This was a great team match today," said co-head coach Mike Patrick. "We came back after doubles with a tough competitive spirit and fought hard on every court and sealed a team win.
Despite No. 4 Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely earning their 28th doubles victory of the season and third in SEC play with a 8-6 win over their South Carolina counterparts, the Lady Vols dropped the doubles point to begin the match Friday.
Sarah Toti and Mimi Fotopoulos fell 8-1 at No. 3 doubles while Caitlyn Williams and Joanna Henderson dropped their first SEC doubles match 8-6.
The defeat made no mark on the Lady Vols' single game as Tennessee took four of six matches to earn their third-straight victory, and third in SEC play.
No. 20 ranked Boren evened things up at one-all with a brisk 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 78 Jaklin Alawi at No. 1 singles.
Szekely, the 40th ranked player in the country gave the Lady Vols a 2-1 lead with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 102 Katerina Popova, but the Gamecocks battled back to even things at two-all as Tiffany Tavares fell on court six 6-2, 6-4 to Josefin Anderson at No. 6 singles.
The Lady Vols gained the edge once again as Joanna Henderson finished with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Dominika Kanakova and Tennessee clinched the game-winning point as Mimi Fotopoulos finished with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over South Carolina's Ximena Siles Luna.
Caitlyn Williams' No. 3 singles match against Elixane Lechmia was halted at three-all in the third set (6-3. 1-6, 3-3) after Fotopoulos earned the match win.
The Lady Vols will look to keep the win-streak going on Sunday, March 17 at 1 p.m. against the No. 4 Florida Gators in Gainesville.
Alabama Remains Perfect in SEC Play
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – No. 17 Auburn women’s tennis dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker to eighth-ranked Alabama on Friday night at the Alabama Tennis Stadium.
The loss ends Auburn’s school record 14 match winning streak and is its first defeat since January 26.
Auburn (14-2, 4-1) jumped out to an early lead with its 15th-straight doubles victory. The highlight was Auburn’s No. 51 Pleun Burgmans and Plamena Kurteva knocking off Alabama’s sixth-ranked pair of Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane, 8-6.
Jen Pfeifler and Paulina Schippers locked up the 1-0 advantage with an 8-6 victory on court three over Emily Zabor and Natalia Maynetto.
Alabama (13-1, 5-0) stormed back to take a 2-1 lead with straight-set wins at Nos. 2 and 5. On court two, freshman Michala Kucharova fell to ITA No. 60 Guarachi 6-3, 6-1. Then at the fifth line, Pfeifler was defeated by Emily Zabor, 6-1, 6-3.
The Tigers charged back to knot the match at 2-all with a 6-3, 7-6 win by No. 51 Burgmans at the top spot over Alabama’s No. 25 Macfarlane, 6-3, 7-6.
The win is the fourth by the freshman over a ranked opponent. She is now 10-1 in matches as Auburn’s top player in the lineup.
The Crimson Tide put Auburn on the ropes with a 3-2 deficit following a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win at No. 4 by Antonia Foehse over Jackie Kasler. Emily Flickinger answered the bell for Auburn with a thrilling three-set win on court three, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, as she defeated ITA No. 73 Maya Jansen.
Texas A&M Women Shut Out Lady Tigers
BATON ROUGE, La. – The third-ranked Texas A&M women's tennis team posted its 10th-consecutive win in convincing fashion this afternoon, shutting out LSU, 7-0, at W.T. “Dub” Stadium.
“You never know what to expect, but on the basis of the tennis I saw, it was somewhat obvious to me that we did have the stronger team,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said.” I’m very pleased with our team, that they did turn it into a workman-like performance and did a fantastic job of not giving an inch. None of the matches had any dramatics, although some of them had the potential to, but our kids were just really tough.”
A&M (12-1, 5-0 SEC) began doubles with freshman Anna Mamalat and senior Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar jumping out to a 4-0 lead against Keri Frankenberger and Ebie Wilson at the No. 2 court. The Tigers stopped the run at 4-1, but A&M countered with another 4-0 run to win the match, 8-1.
Aggie freshmen twins Ines and Paula Deheza then clinched the doubles point at the No. 3 line. A&M held a 3-2 lead against Kaitlin Burns and Ella Taylor before pulling away for an 8-3 victory, putting the Aggies ahead, 1-0.
A&M also was in command at No. 1 doubles, where the ninth-ranked duo of Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu built a 7-3 lead against Mary Jeremiah and Ariel Morton. The Aggie pair was poised to win its fifth consecutive match when the doubles point was clinched and the match was stopped.
A&M also was dominating in singles, posting straight-set wins on all six courts. Hristov was first off and improved to 7-0 at the No. 6 line as she led throughout her entire match and gave A&M a 2-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Caroline Hudson.
Stancu extended her win streak to five in singles after winning the first five games en route to a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Jeremiah at No. 2. With the Aggies ahead, 3-0, Ines Deheza then clinched the winning point for A&M with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Morton at the No. 4 line.
Wen Sun kept the Tigers scoreless and gave A&M a 5-0 lead with a 6-4, 6-1 win against Frankenberger at No. 5, and Nazari Urbina moved into a tie for fifth in the A&M record books as she posted the 92nd win of her career with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Taylor at No. 3 to put A&M ahead, 6-0.
Sanchez-Quintanar, ranked sixth in the nation in singles, completed the shutout with a 6-3, 6-2 win against Burns at the top of the lineup.
LSU, in its first season under the direction of head coach Julia S. Sell, falls to 7-8 overall and 0-5 in SEC matches. It also marked the Tigers’ fifth consecutive loss in the series against A&M.
A&M plays its fourth of five consecutive SEC road matches Sunday, taking on No. 41 Arkansas, at 1 p.m. at Billingsley Tennis Center in Fayetteville.
“Arkansas is obviously a very strong team and a team that is ranked much higher (than LSU),” Joffe said. “We will definitely expect stiff opposition on Sunday.”
Visit AggieAthletics.com for more information on Texas A&M women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieWTEN or on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/Aggie-Womens-Tennis/143874782434654.
LSU Knocks Off TAMU
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 68 LSU men's tennis team (6-6, 1-4 SEC) picked up their first SEC win of the season in dramatic fashion over No. 11 Texas A&M (12-7, 3-2 SEC) 4-3 on Friday night in College Station, Texas, at the Mitchell Tennis Center.
With the match tied 3-3, the Tigers pulled off the dramatic upset with the help of Boris Arias against Texas A&M's Niall Angus on court six in the singles matches. Arias took the first set 7-5 and Angus won set two 6-4. In the deciding third set, LSU came down to their final point twice but Arias continued to battle and sent the set to a tiebreaker. With the match on the line, Arias came through for the Tigers and dominated the tiebreaker 7-1 to win the singles match 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(1) and clinch the match 4-3 for Tigers.
"This was a tough position for a freshman to be in," head coach Jeff Brown said about Arias. "This was one of the biggest matches that he has won and he came up with big plays on match points and he made big plays in the tiebreaker to pick up the win."
This is the Tigers' first conference victory and road victory of the 2013 season, and is also the first time all season that the Tigers have won a match after losing the doubles point.
The Tigers and Aggies kept the doubles matches close, but Texas A&M was eventually able to pull out the doubles point.
On court one, the No. 15 pair of Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow for Texas A&M defeated LSU's Olivier Borsos and Roger Anderson 8-5. Almost immediately after, The No. 13 duo of Harry Adams and Shane Vinsant bested LSU's Tam Trinh and Stefan Szacinski 8-6 to give the Aggies a 1-0 lead. The matchup between LSU's Chris Simpson and Mark Bowtell and Texas A&M's Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo was left unfinished tied at 6-6.
The Tigers came roaring back in the singles matches, winning the first set in four of the six matches.
The Tigers tied the match at 1-1 on court five when Harrison Kennedy defeated Behzad Minavi 6-2, 6-2. Texas A&M retook the lead at 2-1 when Szabo bested Trinh on court four 6-3, 6-1. LSU came back and tied it up again with a victory by Szacinski over Texas A&M's #118 Adams 6-2, 6-4 on court three.
The Tigers took their first lead of the night following a huge 6-4, 6-4 victory by LSU's Simpson on court two over #52 Efferding. The lead did not last long as the Aggies' Ore bested Borsos 6-2, 7-6(4) on court one. Arias clinched the match for LSU on court six with his victory over Angus.
"This was a great team win," Brown said. "It shows a lot for what these guys have been through recently to stay at it and pick up a win like that."
The Tigers are back home this Sunday, March 17 at 2:30 p.m. CT at the Dub to face No. 40 Michigan (5-6). It will be free admission and come out early for some free crawfish.
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.