The match would be decided in the third set of No. 6 singles. Rhys Johnson won the first set easily, 6-1, but dropped the second, 6-4, to Adrian Skogeng. In the third and final set, Johnson put the pressure on early by building a lead en route to a 6-2 win.
Kentucky Dominates Singles to Complete Mississippi Sweep
STARKVILLE, Miss. – After dropping the doubles point on the road to the 13th-ranked team in the nation, the University of Kentucky men’s tennis team won four of the completed five singles matches, as the Wildcats knocked off Mississippi State 4-2 on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, Kentucky wins its fourth consecutive Southeastern Conference match and completes a Mississippi sweep as the Wildcats also knocked off No. 4 Ole Miss on Friday afternoon in Starkville, Miss.
“A tremendous effort by the boys today,” UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “Going down in the doubles didn’t do us any favors, but we stayed positive and did not panic. They all stayed committed to one another and communicated that to each other.”
The Wildcats now sit at 16-4 overall on the season and remain tied atop the SEC East Division with a 4-1 record in SEC play.
Kentucky dropped the doubles point for just the sixth time all season as the Bulldogs were able to pick up wins on courts one and two to solidify the point. On court three, Anthony Rossi and Grant Roberts moved to 3-1 in SEC play and 8-3 overall, picking up an 8-5 win on court three.
Kentucky would go on to dominate the singles portion of the match, winning four of the five completed matches, with the sixth match on serve in the final set at 4-4.
The first singles match to go final was on court five as junior Grant Roberts had a quick dismissal of Pedro Dumont 6-3, 6-1. With the win, Roberts moves to 6-1 on the year with a 2-0 SEC record as he caps off his 4-0 weekend in singles and doubles action.
UK would open up a 2-1 lead as Charles Minc moved past MSU’s Zach White with a 6-4, 6-1 win on court four. The win was Minc’s first in two weeks as Minc moves to 8-5 overall and picks up his second-career SEC win.
The lead would be expanded to 3-1 when Kevin Lai capped off his undefeated week with a 6-1, 6-3 straight-set win over Stefan Vinti of Mississippi State on court six. Lai continued to keep his undefeated streak alive, as the freshman is now 9-0 on the year overall and 2-0 in SEC action, with both career SEC wins coming this weekend.
After MSU tightened the match at 3-2, Rossi capped off the match with a straight-set win over No. 18 Romain Bogaerts of MSU for the 4-2 win. The win was Rossi’s first in singles play since the opening weeks of the month, as he picked up his 97th-career win 7-6 (3), 6-3. After jumping out to a 6-1 lead in the opening-set tiebreaker, Rossi continued to put his foot on the gas, collecting an early break in the second set. After giving it back, Rossi broke at 4-3 for 5-3 and served out the match on the fourth match point to seal it 6-3.
“This road trip to beat Ole Miss and Mississippi State outside is always extremely difficult,” Kauffmann said. “The boys aced the challenge and I am so proud of them.”
A&M Downs Arkansas, 6-1, to Stay Undefeated in SEC
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 3 Texas A&M remained undefeated in Southeastern Conference play and extended its win streak to 11 with a 6-1 victory over No. 41 Arkansas today at the Billingsly Tennis Center indoor courts.
The Aggies improve to 13-1 overall and 6-0 in the SEC, while the Razorbacks suffer their fifth consecutive loss and fall to 6-11 overall and 1-6 in conference matches.
"Our ladies acquitted themselves very well in the face of some tough challenges on the road today,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said. “The doubles point was a lot closer and more ferocious than the score line would suggest. In singles we were able to be oppressive in the sense that all six players competed fabulously."
The race for the doubles point was a hard-fought affair on all three courts. Although A&M took early leads on two courts, the Razorbacks mounted late rallies to set up for a more suspenseful outcome.
Aggie freshmen twins Ines and Paula Deheza had jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Arkansas’ Ana Hernandez and Kimberley-Ann Surin at the No. 3 line, but the Razorback duo fought back and got within 4-3. A&M would win the next three games to go up, 7-3, but the Razorbacks held strong before falling 8-5 in the first match to be completed.
A&M’s Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Nazari Urbina also jumped out to an early lead on Court 2 and held off a late surge by the Razorbacks to win 8-5. The Aggie pair built a 5-1 advantage to begin the match, but Arkansas’ Brittany Huxley and Yang Pang got within 6-4 and 7-5. A&M held triple match point, and the Razorbacks got within 40-30 before Arkansas hit long to end the match and give A&M a 1-0 lead.
In a contest between ranked opponents, A&M’s No. 9 team of freshman Stefania Hristov and junior Cristina Stancu had its hands full with Arkansas’ 59th-ranked tandem of Segou Jonker and Claudine Paulson at the No. 1 line. A&M built its largest lead at 7-5, but Arkansas immediately broke back to get within, 7-6. A&M was at match point in the following game, but the Razorbacks came back to win the game and even the match at 7-7. Both teams held serve as the score was tied at 8-8 when the doubles point was decided and the match was stopped.
The Aggies came out strong in singles, winning the first set on five of six courts. Hristov made quick work of Hernandez and gave the Aggies a 2-0 lead after racing to a 6-1, 6-1 victory to improve to 8-0 at the No. 6 line. Hristov’s match was completed just as only the opening game was decided at the No. 1 court, where Arkansas’ 68th-ranked Pang finally won the first game against sixth-ranked Sanchez-Quintanar.
Sun would give the Aggies a 3-0 lead with a win at the No. 5 line. She and Flavia Araujo were tied at 2-2 in the opening set before Sun won four consecutive games to win, 6-4. Sun also won the first two games of the second set before Araujo got on the scoreboard. It would be Araujo’s only game of the second set as Sun won the next four games to close out the 6-2, 6-1 victory.
Urbina had a similar scoring line at the No. 3 court, winning four consecutive games to break away from a 2-2 tie and take the opening set, 6-2, against Sarah McLean. Urbina held a 3-2 edge in the second set before reeling off three consecutive games to win 6-2, 6-2. The win clinched the team victory for the Aggies, and Urbina improved to 6-0 in SEC matches. It also marked Urbina’s 93rd career victory, moving her into sole possession of fifth place in the A&M record books.
Paulson, ranked 93rd, prevented an Aggie shutout and put the Razorbacks on the scoreboard after snapping Stancu’s five-match win streak at the No. 2 line. Paulson won the first set, 6-1, but Stancu, ranked 62nd, earned a split by taking the second set, 6-2. With the overall match already determine, the two played a 10-point tiebreaker to determine the victor. Paulson won the first two points and held the lead throughout the tiebreaker en route to a 10-5 victory.
After dropping her first game, Sanchez-Quintanar won five straight to build a commanding 5-1 lead over Pang in the first set. The All-American went on to win the set 6-2. Sanchez-Quintanar then held a narrow 4-3 lead in the second set before winning two games to close out her match and account for the final 6-1 team score.
A&M wraps up a five-match SEC road swing on Friday, taking on the Missouri Tigers in Columbia, Mo. First serve is slated for 5 p.m. at the Green Tennis Center.
Rebels Knock Off No. 13 Vanderbilt 5-2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Ole Miss men’s basketball team wasn’t the only winner in Music City on Sunday, as the Ole Miss women’s tennis team knocked off No. 13 Vanderbilt 5-2 at the Currey Tennis Center to finish the weekend 2-0.
With the win, the Rebels improved to 4-8 overall and 2-4 in the SEC after their win over No. 38 Kentucky Friday in Lexington. They will return home for three matches beginning next weekend with LSU and Arkansas.
The Rebels dropped the doubles point and the No. 5 singles match to trail 2-0, but won the final five matches in straight sets for their first top-20 win of the season. They have now won three in a row and four of the last five against Vanderbilt.
“This was a great road win against No. 13 Vanderbilt,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “Great team effort to cap off a road sweep. I was very impressed with our ability to come back in singles after losing a tough doubles point. Hopefully we can carry this momentum over to the next matches. We are excited to be back at home for a couple of weekends!”
Vanderbilt won 8-5 at No. 1 and 3 doubles to take the 1-0 lead, and then Ashleigh Antal downed Rebel freshman Marija Milutinovic 6-1, 6-0 at No. 5 singles. That would be it for the Commodores on the day, as the Rebels won the first sets on the other five courts on their way to sweeping them.
Erin Stephens defeated 74th-ranked Georgina Sellyn 7-5, 6-0 at No. 4 singles to move to 4-1 in the SEC. Junior Caroline Rohde-Moe, ranked No. 39 in the nation, followed up with a 6-3, 6-0 win against 49th-ranked Lauren Mira at the top spot to even the match at 2.
Sophomore Julia Jones won her second match at No. 2 singles this weekend, downing Marie Casares 6-4, 6-1 to put the Rebels ahead 3-2 and improve to 5-2 in the SEC. Moments later Vief Vlaar clinched it, as she finished off Frances Altick 6-2, 6-4 on court six.
“I think we’ve known all year that we are capable of having much better results, we just got off to an unlucky start,” Jones said. “We came together this weekend and played with a lot of confidence. We were more energetic than we’ve ever been. That was the difference.”